Weigela shrubs can die for several reasons: improper pruning that removes too much of the plant, disease/pest infestation, poor drainage leading to root rot, insufficient watering during hot/dry periods, excessive cold weather damage, or old age. Examine the shrub for signs of specific problems and address them accordingly.
Weigela is a beautiful plant that is kept in the garden for its blossoms. Weigela produces a lot of flowers in the spring. Weigela blooms sporadically in the summer.
Weigela is a low-maintenance plant, so it is beginner-friendly. Weigela is a fast-growing shrub that grows 1-2 feet every year.
Weigela leaves turning brown
Both underwatering and overwatering cause Weigela leaves to turn brown. The ends of the branches die back and turn brown due to frost damage. Twig blight also causes foliage browning in Weigela.
If your Weigela doesn’t get adequate water the leaves will turn brown and dry. Leaves becoming dry, brittle, and brown is the main sign of underwatering in Weigela.
Check the soil with your fingers, is it dry up to two inches or more? Get a moisture meter if necessary to confirm underwatering.
Deep watering Weigela twice a week is a good practice. Add a layer of organic mulch around the plant to decrease unnecessary water evaporation.
How often should I water my weigela?
Ideally, you should water your Weigela once a week thoroughly for the best results. Check the soil with your fingers if needed.
Soil should be wet one inch below the surface. Water your Weigela in the early morning to give the leaves some time to dry off.
Overwatering causes waterlogged conditions around Weigela. Prolonged wet soil causes a fungal disease called root rot.
This situation also happens when the soil is not well-draining. Clay soil doesn’t drain water very well. You can increase the drainage in the soil by adding compost to it.
Overwatered Weigela leaves turn brown but are droopy, not dry like in the case of underwatering. Check the soil with your fingers.
If the soil is wet even below 1/2 inches then the reason is overwatering. Water only when the top 1-2 inches of the soil goes dry.
Twig Blight in Weigela
Weigela plant is susceptible to Twig Blight, a fungal disease that turns the tips of the branches brown. Dieback is observed on the tips of Weigela branches.
Severe infection can even kill the precious Weigela. Weigela shrubs that have been established for more than five years are not affected by twig blight.
Control twig blight in Weigela
- Do not wet the leaves when watering your Weigela.
- Spray the plant with a Copper fungicide or lime sulfur fungicide when you first see the symptoms.
- Increase the air circulation around the susceptible plants.
- If the infection is severe destroy the infected plants in the early spring.
Twig blight and frost damage may appear the same but Twig blight subsides if you prune the plant at the right time.
Weigela looks dead after winter
Weigela looks dead after winter due to frost damage. If the temperatures fall below than optimum frost damage is seen in Weigela.
The vascular tissues of Weigela get damaged due to this. You need not panic as there’s nothing you can do to cure the plant. If the plant is healthy it will bounce back.
You just need to wait patiently. Meanwhile, water the plant less frequently as it requires less amount of water.
Prune off the damaged branches in the spring just before the blooming time. The plant will grow new branches if it is healthy.
Brown spots on Weigela leaves
Brown spots are seen on Weigela leaves when the plant is infected by Anthracnose, a fungal disease. The edges of the leaves turn purple.
The spots have a black center and the brown spots expand eventually. The disease overwinters in the plant debris of the infected plants.
Anthracnose is commonly seen in plants that lack the proper ventilation.
Weigela leaves turning yellow
Weigela leaves turning yellow can have several causes: insufficient watering leading to drought stress, wet/poorly draining soil causing root rot, nutrient deficiencies in the soil, pests like Aphids/Spider Mites, viral diseases, or normal aging of older leaves.
Examine yellowing leaves closely to determine the cause. Address watering issues, improve drainage, fertilize if needed, treat pests, remove diseased limbs, and prune older yellowed leaves. With proper care, weigela will regain health.
Weigela leaves curling
Aphids cause curling of the leaves so they can hide inside the curled leaves. Aphids feed on the leaves of Weigela turning them yellow.
Aphids are tiny flying insects that suck the plant sap. Aphid infestation can be confirmed by the presence of honeydew.
You can prune the infested leaves to control the infestation. You can also get rid of aphids by clearing them off with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
You can introduce Wasps and Ladybugs to control aphid infestations. Aphid eggs are carried onto the host plants via ants, so if you control ants you’ll prevent an aphid infestation.
Mealybugs are tiny pests covered in cotton-like outgrowth with spines around the edges. Mealybugs gather around on stems and leaves, looking like a cottony mass.
Mealybugs gather around like this and suck the plant sap affecting the plant vigor. Infected Weigela’s leaves turn yellow.
Infected Weigela plant almost becomes stunted. Spray the infected plant with Neem oil two or three times at 10-day intervals.
Spray horticulture oil on the shrub in late winter to kill the overwintering eggs. This helps prevent an infestation.
Fungal leaf spot disease in Weigela
Leaf spot disease in Weigela is caused by a fungus that spreads via mold spores. Leaves of such infected Weigela turn yellow or brown.
These yellowed leaves get covered in black spots. Using an anti-transparent leaf spray in early spring prevents leaf spot disease in Weigela.
After doing this add fertilizer to your Weigela to encourage new foliage growth. Make sure to sterilize your garden tools after usage.
Can a severe pruning kill a Weigela shrub?
Yes, severe pruning can potentially kill a Weigela shrub if too much of the plant is removed all at once. Weigela shrubs are generally quite resilient plants that can withstand aggressive pruning, but there are limits.
It’s best to prune Weigela conservatively by removing no more than about one-third of the total growth during any one pruning session.
This approach encourages the shrub to produce abundant new growth while minimizing stress on the plant. More gradual renewal pruning over successive years is preferable to extreme pruning all at once.
As long as care is taken not to over-prune, weigela shrubs can bounce back well from pruning and thrive for many years.
Why is my Weigela not blooming?
A weigela shrub not blooming can be caused by insufficient sunlight, improper pruning that removes flower buds, over-fertilization, soil pH extremes, drought stress, damage from late frosts, or normal aging resulting in fewer flowers.
Assess growing conditions and address issues like amending soil, moving the shrub to a sunnier location, reducing fertilizer, watering sufficiently, and pruning older branches. With good care, weigela should bloom abundantly again.
Can Weigela take full sun?
Weigela can tolerate partial shade but full shade is a strict-no. Weigela shrub needs at least six hours of sunlight per day.
Move your Weigela into a spot where it gets full sun to get the best blossoms.
Weigela transplant shock
It is quite common for plants to go into transplant shock. When you transplant Weigela the roots might get damaged due to various reasons.
The root ball must remain moist until the plant is put into the soil. Leaf wilting is commonly seen in transplanted Weigelas.
You should never transplant your Weigela during the summer season. Such a transplant will only increase the stress on your Weigela.
You need not amend the plant/soil in any way. Give the plant some time to recover on its own. People fertilize when they see that the plant is wilting.
Do not fertilize the plants that are under transplant shock. You’ll deteriorate the situation further by feeding your Weigela.
Why is my Weigela wilting?
Weigela wilts due to a fungal disease called the Verticillium wilt. Fungal spores clog in the xylem vessels resulting in the blockage of resources to various parts of your Weigela.
Weigela wilts due to a lack of sufficient nutrients. Weigela plants infected by Verticillium wilt get scorched on the leaf margins.
You need to select Weigela cultivars that are resistant to Verticillium wilt disease. If you care for your Weigela properly, the plant won’t run into such issues.