Two questions about shrubs: 1. my variegated weigela is pretty ragged looking and hardly blooms. It's located on the northwest corner of the house. What do you suggest to encourage flowering and growth? 2. my orange scepter butterfly bush is not showing any green leaves or growth. What do you suggest for it? It is located on the northwest side of the yard. Ankeny, IA
Weigela blooms best in full sun. If the shrub is growing poorly, it won't bloom well. Consider cutting it back to encourage new vigorous growth from the base. It may also need fertilization, but avoid high nitrogen fertilizers, which promote vegetative growth at the expense of blooms.
It's early in the season to see any growth on any butterfly bush. However, Orange Sceptre is hardy only in Zones 7 to 9, so it likely will not come back at all in your Zone 5 garden.