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How to Transplant Weigela Bushes

Updated February 21, 2019

Weigela (Weigela Florida) is an old-fashioned blooming shrub with a dense, rounded shape and graceful, arching branches. White, red or pink trumpet-shaped flowers appear on the shrub in late spring. Weigela is a medium-sized shrub that grows fairly rapidly, reaching 6 to 10 feet at maturity. As the weigela matures, the plant sometimes outgrows its boundaries, especially if the shrub is planted too near buildings or walkways, and needs to be transplanted. Transplant weigela in autumn.

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  1. Select the new planting spot before digging up the weigela. Weigela grows well in full sunlight or light shade. Although you can plant weigela in most soil types, the soil must be well-drained.

  2. Water the weigela deeply two days before transplanting. A well hydrated shrub will tolerate the stress of transplantation, and damp soil will adhere to the roots, making transplanting it easier.

  3. Prune the weigela's branches by about one-third of their length. Lift the branches carefully and use light rope or twine to tie them up and out of the way.

  4. Dig a trench around the circumference of the weigela, using a sharp spade. Dig the circle several inches from the trunk. As a general rule, dig approximately even with the tips of the pruned branches. The trench should be 16 to 24 inches deep. Dig straight down to a depth of 16 to 24 inches. Then dig under the shrub to cut the roots and create a ball shape.

  5. Lift the weigela and the root ball carefully from the soil. Place the weigela on a tarp or in a wheelbarrow. Move the weigela to its new home. If you can't plant the weigela immediately, place the shrub in the shade and keep the roots damp.

  6. Dig a hole in the new planting site. The hole should be two to three times the width of the weigela's root ball, but only as deep. Place the weigela in the hole, at the same depth at which the shrub was previously planted. Backfill the hole with the removed soil, then untie the branches.

  7. Water the weigela deeply, immediately after planting. Thereafter, water the shrub deeply enough to saturate the soil around the roots every ten to 14 days. If the soil is wet 4 inches down, wait a few days and allow the soil to dry out a bit more, so that it is slightly dry. Keep the soil moist until the ground freezes.

  8. Spread 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the newly transplanted weigela but leave a span of 4 to 6 inches unmulched directly around the trunk. Use a mulch such as decomposed leaves or wood chips.

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Things You'll Need

  • Light rope or twine
  • Sharp spade
  • Tarp or wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Mulch

About the Author

M.H. Dyer

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.

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