WHY doesn't my Wisteria flower? is the lament of gardeners
everywhere in mid summer. Having spent a considerable sum on
a decent specimen and waited patiently all spring for
racemes of colour and fragrance, lots of us are being
So the foliage itself is graceful enough, yes but that's not
why you bought it. Correct pruning is the solution! Wisteria
needs to be pruned in late summer and in winter. The aim is
to produce lots of fresh side shoots in spring from which
The first winter after planting, cutback side branches by
one third, and on newer shoots, aim to cut back to 2/3 buds.
Prune the leading stem to 2/3 feet above topmost
This encourages flowering sidegrowth. For the next few
winters, prune back the leading stem and sideshoots as above
until your framework is established.
Once you've done all this and you have a reasonable sized
shrub, in late summer cut back all excessively long side
shoots to 6 inches of the main branches. In winter cut back
these same side shoots to 3-4 inches, to 2/3 buds. That's
Feeding with Tomato food or better still, a longer lasting
feed with Sulphate of Potash will help Wisteria flower too.
Don't forget Wisteria can cause severe discomfort if
ingested. Of course, planting in full sun is essential for
Wisteria. There is a fair amount of work and even more
patience involved in growing this most graceful of climbers,
but the rewards are more than worth your efforts. Just
remember that once every seven years they take a flowering
It can take three or four years to get the flowering going'
a long term investment plant that will last for generations.
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