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Growing Weigela – The Perfect Low Maintenance, Deer-Resistant Bush!

If you are looking for an incredible low-maintenance shrub to add to your landscape, consider growing weigela! Not only does this flowering shrub add beautiful color and texture, it also happens to be resistant to deer too!

Weigela has become increasingly popular in recent years. Available in a variety of colors in leaves and blooms, it is an extremely hardy perennial bush with beautiful mid to late spring flowering.

In addition to it’s deer-resistant qualities, weigela has few issues from other pests. And, it also happens to be highly drought tolerant as well.

growing weigela
This minuet weigela is just one of many bloom and foliage colors available.

But perhaps best of all, weigela requires minimal effort when it comes to pruning, fertilizing, and long-term care. It really is the perfect, low maintenance shrub for the landscape.

Planting & Growing Weigela

The Basics

Although they can vary by variety, weigela is generally hardy in growing zones 4 through 8. As with any perennial, be sure when selecting an individual plant that it will indeed work in your area.

Most varieties of weigela, like the popular Wine and Roses mature 4 to 6 feet in both diameter and height. There are also a few dwarf styles available, along with larger bushes that can top 6 to 8 feet.

wine and roses
The red foliage and pinkish blooms of the Wine & Roses weigela make it one of the more popular varieties.

Weigela prefers sun, but tolerates partial shade with a fair amount of success. Avoid, however, planting in full shade. Full shade will result in weigela bushes that grow spindly, with little to no spring blooms.

Soil Prep

Weigela is best planted in fertile soil that drains well. Dig planting holes 1.5 to 2 times the diameter of the root ball, and a few inches deeper as well. This will give roots plenty of room to spread out and establish.

To help supply plenty of nutrients and promote good drainage, plant weigela with a 50/50 mix of compost to soil.

compost soil mix
Plant with a 50 / 50 mix of compost and soil to add nutrients and promote healthy, long-term growth.

Begin by filling the bottom of the planting hole with a few inches of the compost / soil mix, being sure the top of the root ball is slightly above the surface of the ground. This helps keep the plant’s roots from becoming waterlogged.

Next, again using the 50/50 compost-soil mix, fill in the hole around the shrub. Slightly tamp in the soil and water thoroughly to help set the roots in place.

pink weigela
Proper planting will help plants to establish in the soil quickly, and sets the stage for great long-term growth.

Finish by mulching with at least 2 to 3″ of mulch a minimum of 12″ in diameter around the base. This not only helps repel weeds, but keeps moisture around the roots as the plant acclimates to the soil.

Pruning & Trimming – Growing Weigela

Weigela is one of the easiest shrubs of all when it comes to long term care. It holds it shape fairly well, and rarely if ever requires severe pruning.

planting and growing weigela
Weigela’s compact growth pattern require little pruning. Plants should be slightly pruned when dormant to help keep their shape and promote new blooms.

Light pruning of renegade branches helps the shrub to keep it’s shape, and also encourages new growth and more blooms near the tips. Pruning should take place during the winter months when the plant is dormant.


Weigela is not a heavy feeder from the soil, and requires only light fertilizing to keep it healthy and blooming.

Fertilize lightly in early spring using a basic shrub & tree fertilizer. This not only helps the plant develop it’s late spring blooms, but aids in promoting a denser fill of foliage too. Product Link : Jobes Organic Slow Release Shrub Spikes

fertilizing weigela
Lightly fertilizing weigela with slow release spikes is an excellent way to promote healthy, long-term growth.

Here is to adding low-maintenance beauty and color to your landscape this year by planting and growing weigela! For more information on adding shrubs and bushes to your landscape, be sure to check out our Shrubs & Bushes category on the blog.

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