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Preparing weigela for winter is an important component of caring for an ornamental shrub. The abundantly flowering bush of a heat-loving plant grown in the middle lane is a matter of special pride for any gardener. To achieve the decorative qualities of weigela, you should take care of the correct choice of the variety and providing the plant with the most comfortable conditions. Among the varieties of plants, Weigela Middendorf, Weigela flowering and Weigela early differ in relative frost resistance. Many flower growers of the Moscow Region planting weigels of these varieties overwinter even without shelter. The rest of the varieties need careful insulation for the winter. Features of protection of weigela from winter cold depend on the variety and climate of the area.
Preparing weigela in the fall for winter
If a shrub grows in a sunny place protected from cold winds, in a fertile soil that is not prone to waterlogging and receives good care during the growing season and flowering, then it tolerates the cold season well. Experienced gardeners begin preparing weigels for winter long before the end of the summer season. Moderate, but regular watering, periodic loosening, correct fertilization contribute to an increase in the plant's endurance.
The purpose of caring for a weigela in autumn is to ensure that the plant is prepared for winter. The general algorithm for the autumn work is as follows:
- bush trimming;
- top dressing;
- preparation of materials and tools for work and planting insulation;
- cleaning from the site of all fallen leaves and other plant debris, in which pathogens and pests may remain;
- pre-winter watering;
- mulching of near-stem circles;
- shelter of the plant.
Pre-winter watering and mulching
Watering plantings in preparation for winter prevents soil freezing. It is produced at the end of September so that there are 3-4 buckets of water for each bush. If the autumn is dry, it is enough to irrigate the plantings once a week until frost or snow falls. If by this time rainy weather has established, there is no need for additional watering, since excessive moisture is detrimental to the roots of this plant.
Mulching is another important stage in preparing a shrub for frost. It is produced regardless of whether the plant is covered for the winter or not. To prevent fungal diseases, the soil should be treated with a fungicide before mulching. In the last days of September, the soil of the trunk circle is loosened, the trunk is spud with a layer of fertile soil up to 30 cm high.Then a layer of mulch up to 10 cm thick is poured.For this purpose, organic materials are used: foliage, peat, humus, spruce branches.
How to prune a weigela in the fall
Weigela tolerates pruning and responds to it with the formation of new shoots, abundant flowering and general recovery. A haircut carried out in the fall allows you to strengthen the crown, which has a beneficial effect on the ability of the shrub to winter safely. one
Timing of autumn pruning of weigela
Weigela of any variety blooms on last year's shoots, so pruning should be carried out immediately after the flowering of the shrub. Some varieties can be pruned at the end of June, while others will have to wait until September. If weigela blooms 2 times, then the haircut should be done in the fall, after the second flowering.
Rules and schemes for pruning weigela in the fall for beginners
The following video illustrates how ornamental shrubs blooming on last year's shoots, including weigela, are pruned in the fall.
Weigela pruning technology in summer or early autumn involves the following work:
- the trunks and lower branches are treated with a fungicide to protect the bush from fungal diseases;
- dried and damaged shoots are cut a few millimeters above the second living bud;
- remove weak branches;
- cut off faded inflorescences;
- for rejuvenation, the plants are cut off about a third of the old shoots. A rejuvenating haircut is carried out once every 3-4 years;
- to thin out the crown, cut off the branches growing inside the bush;
- too prominent shoots are cut off to give the weigel a greater decorative effect.
Attention! If the bush is very neglected, you can completely cut the crown, leaving only a small part of the trunk. Very soon, new shoots will grow from it.
To keep the plants from getting infected, garden cutting tools are disinfected, such as ignited over a fire or rubbed with alcohol. All sections with a thickness of 15 mm or more are treated with oil paint or garden varnish.
How to feed weigela in the fall
After pruning, the bush should be fed with potash or phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, which strengthen the branches and contribute to better adaptation of the plant to winter temperatures. Ash is often used instead of mineral fertilizers. Additionally, you can add compost or a solution of cow manure at the rate of 1 part of raw materials to 10 parts of water.
If the weigela was not trimmed, autumn feeding is carried out in the first half of September.
How to cover weigela for the winter
The quality of its flowering in the next season depends on how correctly the weigela will be covered for the winter.
It is necessary to cover the weigela after the first cold weather is established. Light frosts at the beginning of winter will not damage the shrub, but will only temper it. In addition, you should wait for the complete cessation of the growing season.
Attention! Weigels of some varieties retain their leaves until the beginning of winter. Such shrubs should be covered without waiting for the foliage to fall off.
Do I need to cover the weigela for the winter
Weigela's winter hardiness improves with age: adult plants practically do not suffer even from long frosts. Long-term frosts can only freeze the shoots, which will lead to less abundant flowering in the next season, but will not radically damage the plant.
It is imperative to cover the shrub in the following cases:
- young - up to 5 years of age - plants and especially newly planted or transplanted bushes;
- weigels of thermophilic varieties when grown in conditions of severe winters;
- shrubs, the crown of which can be damaged by snow.
How to properly cover weigela for the winter
Shelter of weigela for the winter should be done on a dry frosty day, so that moisture does not remain under the covering material, which can provoke fungal diseases.
Usually, one of two methods of constructing a shelter for wintering shrubs is used:
- Frame. This method is suitable for small, up to 50 cm tall, bushes. A structure is constructed from plastic, metal or wooden arcs so that the shrubbery fits completely under it. Supports are also suitable, from which you can make a kind of hut. From above, the structure is covered with insulation, its edges are fixed to the ground. The resulting shelter resembles a greenhouse. If the winter promises to be especially harsh, straw or hay is additionally laid on top of it. It is not recommended to use a film as a covering material, so that during thaws moisture does not accumulate under it, and the plant does not suffer from rot. It is best to use a breathable material such as agrotex or spunbond.
- Bending down shoots. Trunk circles are insulated with grass, brushwood or spruce branches. The branches are collected, wrapped with insulating material (usually burlap) and gently bent down. Then it remains to fix the bush in this position with hooks, additionally mulch and cover with roofing material.
Attention! This method is not suitable for insulating the weigela growing in the lowlands.
In regions with snowy winters, snow is the best covering material, but still you should not count on heavy snowfalls and it is better to insulate shrubs.
In winter, care must be taken to ensure that fragile branches do not break under a layer of accumulated snow.
However, in winter, not only frosts are dangerous for weigela, but also the bright winter sun, which can harm the unprotected bark. From sudden changes in temperature, the plant can get sunburn. If the bushes are not insulated with a covering material, the plants should be shaded from particularly bright sunlight.
How weigela winters
Weigela's departure for the winter is characterized by the cessation of sap flow and immersion in a state of rest. Depending on the variety of weigela and the winter hardiness zone in which it grows, plants overwinter with or without insulation. Heat-loving varieties cultivated in the south practically do not need additional insulation measures. Also frost-resistant varieties do not cover in conditions of moderately frosty winters. Heat-loving varieties in the northern regions must be covered.
When to open weigela after winter
Weigela spring care is designed to restore the plant after winter, stimulate vegetation and prepare it for abundant flowering. Already in March, before the removal of the winter shelter, the shrubs are fed with mineral complexes.
Shelter from weigela, as well as from other decorative heat-loving shrubs, is removed, adhering to the following rules:
- you can start the procedure when the danger of frost has passed. In the middle lane, as a rule, the plant is opened at the beginning of the second decade of April;
- you need to start by airing the shelter, without removing it completely;
- holes should be made in the covering material for gradual air access;
- mulch that has caked during the winter needs to be loosened a little to ensure access of fresh air to the roots;
- it is best to remove the shelter on a cloudy day so that the bush can adapt to the spring sun and not get burned;
- within 1 - 2 weeks after removing the insulation, the bushes are recommended to be shaded.
Attention! It is impossible to keep the shrub under cover during the spring thaws, as this leads to its damping out.
After the shelter is removed from the weigela, sanitary pruning of the bush is done to remove all frozen and damaged branches.
Some gardeners, after wintering weigels in the open field, complain that the plant has dried up. If this happens, moderate but regular watering is likely to help. Even when the plant looks completely lifeless, thanks to periodic irrigation, by the summer it will be able to grow again from the preserved buds, and in some cases even bloom in the same season.
Preparing weigela for winter requires some effort, but still not very difficult even for a novice amateur gardener. If all the preparatory work is done correctly and on time, this thermophilic shrub will delight the eye with long lush flowering even in cold regions. Even if for some reason freezing of the weigela occurs, the shrub will quickly recover due to its amazing ability to regenerate.