Weigila shrub has no growth showing yet


Hi, I transplanted a very large Wiegla shrub the year before last. Last year it looked be struggling and never bloomed. This year I see no growth on it yet my other Wiegla bushes all have growth already. Is there any other way to see if it’s still alive? Have long should I give it before digging it up? If its dead I want to dig up a gold flame spires that’s large and already in leaf, so I don’t want to wait too long to transplant the spirea.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners about your ailing Weigela.

Weigela is a popular shrub because it is easy to cultivate and it produces an abundant and long-lasting floral display. It prefers a sunny location and rich well-drained soil, but it can survive in partial-shade, can adapt to a variety of soils and can tolerate dry .

You do not provide details on the type of soil, amount of sun, when you transplanted the shrub, or after transplant care. So, we cannot comment on these factors, all of which will impact plant growth and transplant success.

Plants take some time to recover from the shock of transplanting. Good post-transplant care is critical, especially regular watering to keep the soil moist while the shrub gets re-established. Larger, more established plants may never recover from transplant shock.

To check if the shrub is alive, scrape off the outer bark of one of the branches lower down. It if is green or tan inside, the shrub is still alive, and you may be able to rejuvenate it. Another test: try bending a few of the branches. If they are flexible, and do not break the shrub is likely still alive. If they snap in two easily, those branches are dead, and possibly the plant.

Your shrub may still begin to leaf out, or send out new shoots from the base as it is still early spring. So, even if the above tests suggest it is dead, I would wait until May before declaring the plant dead and removing it.

As to transplanting your large gold flame spirea, here are detailed instructions on transplanting or moving trees and shrubs.

I hope your Weigela decides to grow.