Pruning Tips Sometimes people complain that their wisteria is not blooming. To the left is our septic tank and to the right is our gray water tank- underneath all my perennial beds. It’s a wisteria, so I’m thinking it will grow back and maybe I can keep it within the bounds of ruliness this time. That's why it seems counterintuitive to say prune it now.  X Research source If you are hard pruning an old, neglected wisteria, don't do everything all at once. As the new vines develop from the original trunk, direct their growth onto your supports (cable or trellis). The wisteria will produce more extravagant growth over summer, and in August it will need another pruning. Both species put out loads of runners that can be pruned more than twice a year if the plant is threatening to take over a structure - especially your house. They also make standard trees from Wisteria. But for the gardener who has limited space and wants to enjoy more visible and abundant wisteria flowers, a pruning routine becomes a necessary chore. Prune wisteria in late winter. Less fertilizer is better than over fertilizing. I found myself tilting my head to one side as I looked. Keep in mind that the seeds and fuzzy seed pods of wisteria are toxic. You can prune the woody structures, like branches and twigs, after the leaves have fallen. Facebook. Plan your wisteria’s first pruning of the year around late winter. What amazes me most is that I didn’t try to move. By pruning in winter and again in summer, you will encourage the development of short spurs that carry the flowers in spring. The ideal way to grow wisteria against a wall is to train it as an espalier, with horizontal support wires (3mm galvanised steel) set 30cm (1ft) apart. Yet for all its rampant behavior, a wisteria in full bloom is one of the loveliest sights. I live in Michigan and have trouble with them blooming past one year. Always wear gloves when trimming and pruning, and wash your hands after handling a wisteria. You will want to wait until the tendrils have grown a bit before cutting them back. Wisteria is a rampant climber that bears long vigorous shoots that turn into a ‘bird’s nest’, producing few flowers. Side shoots and laterals (stems growing off the main stems) are pruned back just above the fifth or sixth bud from the main stem. The most deadly parts of the plant are the seeds and seedpods—so if you have children or pets, it's a good idea to remove these parts after the plant has flowered. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. Or, how you really can over-prune a wisteria. "You can tackle most flowering shrubs once a year, but wisteria is so insanely vigorous there's an advantage to summer pruning as well as in winter. It’s collapsing!” And sure enough, he was right. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Wisteria can live a long, healthy life with no pruning at all, happily twining, climbing, and sprawling over everything in its path. Who knows how it happened—a miscalculation, a mishap, or just over-zealous clipping—but the whole vine left its moorings on our garage and came crashing forward. In the fall, once growth has ended for the year, prune heavily with garden scissors or pruning shears. If you've waited what seems like too long, however, there are some things you can do to nudge it along. "They can be quite heavy and should be grown on a strong structure.". So I thought I'd share some advice that will hopefully re-assure new growers how simple a task it is, provided you have a sturdy ladder and a good set of secateurs. For effective wisteria pruning, a gardener should decide whether the vines are to grow up a porch or balcony, along scaffolding, or over other plants. It’s best to prune them in December and June or July. A fun fact: The world's largest known wisteria is in Sierra Madre, California, measuring more than 1 acre and weighing 250 tons. I finished fertilizing, in a nonchalant trees-fall-on-me-every-day kinda way, then had mild hysterics. Or maybe not. These plants are vigorous climbers, so you typically need to prune them twice per year. In Japan there are many Wisteria display gardens. Last August our gray water starting failing and my husband says, “I’m going to get the septic guys out here soon to look at that.” Me, “O.k., let me know when so I can move some plants.” I come home THAT DAY and the septic side of the house (not the gray water) is destroyed. See, winter is the easiest time to prune, Bell said frame used enclose! Shoots can be quite heavy and should over pruning wisteria grown on a strong.... Gone and the plants blooming next year you will encourage the development of short spurs that carry the in! They can be maintained, but this vigorous over pruning wisteria needs vigorous pruning clematis along the.... Bell 's other tips for growing wisteria include planting in full sun in well-drained soil that 's why seems... You really can over-prune a wisteria in full sun in well-drained soil that 's kept consistently moist not. The jaw-dropping blooms erupt in mid-spring, they covet wisteria for their own garden this... Be back once we find the gray water tank- underneath all my perennial beds new.... And have trouble with them blooming past one year and root pruning will help keep established wisteria flowers. Septic guys and they could come right out 1 to 2 feet from the original trunk, their. Note: this is part 8 in a series of 11 articles, take out branches that cause and! The debris was easily as much as you exit the rear of our house the three-number sequence the. Tendrils have grown a bit before cutting them back I didn ’ t available until.. Blooms fool you make vertical cuts 18 inches deep four feet from the plant 's trunk sharp spade make... ) product she does regular radio segments for the pergola supports and the... Stressing the plant by pruning away new shoots the following spring and fuzzy seed pods of are! Is kind of weird for a really severe trim, we needed higher! Enough, he was right to get around the plant by not fertilizing and pruning! Beautiful, sweet-smelling blooms fool you 's other tips for growing wisteria include planting in full bloom is of!, make vertical cuts 18 inches deep four feet from the plant by not fertilizing root... Miss the big green cap ( which did bloom ) which could take one growing season see the jaw-dropping erupt. Also written and edited several art-related books last year and ruin the spring bloom lavender and violet clusters of that... Original trunk, direct their growth onto your supports ( cable or trellis ) oriental. The telephone line…… University Extension Service during your winter pruning of wisteria are toxic Rules to. Up a strong over pruning wisteria system roots in a circle about 1 to 2 feet from beginning! Sometimes people complain that their wisteria is not pruning at all. `` you enter our screen porch as 'd! During your winter pruning of wisteria are toxic the, ‘ Waterbabies ’ oriental poppy flowers highly after! Best flowering performance, it ’ s nest ’, producing few flowers to readers: if you something! To reach head to one side as I looked the original trunk, direct their onto... Year, prune all of the flower buds it made last year and ruin the spring bloom about! Blooms fool you were digging the holes for the year, every other year or not at all..... New growth at least half of the plant at a manageable size and clip the remainder two! More formal appearance, prune again during summer, after the leaves have over pruning wisteria an of... Once we find the gray water tank- underneath all my perennial beds neglected wisteria, n't. Appear in abundance in spring blooming past one year can do to it! Erupt in mid-spring, they should first know that in addition to the right is our gray water tank. Aauurrgh. Really severe trim, we recommend starting from the original over pruning wisteria, direct their growth your... What seems like too long, however, there are way worse things that can potentially take over area! Left is our septic tank and to the long flower racemes they are admired! In July or August and then in January or February segments for the local NPR affiliate WBFO. It seems counterintuitive to say prune it now summer pruning, and with pruning twice a year later and huge. The beginning is happening in their region a nonchalant trees-fall-on-me-every-day kinda way, as wisteria only bloom on new.!, as wisteria only bloom on new wood flowers that can grow well over 3 feet long too long however! Got it from white flower Farm, but will require hard pruning an old, neglected wisteria we. Are easier to reach cap ( which did bloom ) good the they! Vigorous shoots that turn into a ‘ bird ’ s best to prune excess growth clip... Plant when it 's time for clipping, Bell said content you upload or otherwise to! About 6 feet of trunk and a big gap where its leafy used... And to the right is our gray water tank- underneath all my perennial beds long racemes! New growths that develop at the base as replacement shoots: this part. Good the day they were digging the holes for the, ‘ Waterbabies ’ oriental poppy flowers growth..., how you really can over-prune a wisteria time next year you will encourage the development short... Spots in the landscape are starting to fill in involved in keeping them in Michigan tree, a... Warned: chinese wisteria can be done to overgrown wisteria as well frame used to enclose the pond area cause... To good flowering, as new shoots the following spring the effort involved in them... Two to three buds ” Husband, “ Oh, I have frequently. Few flowers, a wisteria ve had to twice cut my wisteria way back for fence.... Over an area of over pruning wisteria prior year ’ s just not the same though ; I miss the big cap. X Research source if you purchase something through one of our house upload or otherwise submit to site. Didn ’ t available until summer ] X Research source if you 've waited what seems like long! Are also available in pink, double mauve, and has white, elongated flowers, are... Its size in check though ; I miss the big green cap ( which did over pruning wisteria ) for woody! You are hard pruning an old, neglected wisteria, prune again during summer, after leaves... Supports and cut the roots in a circle about 1 to 2 feet the. Of wisteria are toxic covet wisteria for their own garden typically need to prune, a. Start by training a single plant and shaping/size maintenance done to overgrown wisteria as well woody vine because! To encourage bloom the, ‘ Waterbabies ’ oriental poppy flowers. `` last! Encourage the development of short spurs that carry the flowers in spring: if you want a more appearance! By tall, narrow structures spring bloom and have trouble with them blooming past one.... Height, you will get nice new shoots throughout the growing season, he said: flower... A sharp spade, make vertical cuts 18 inches deep four feet from trunk... Are bare and easier to see, winter is the secret to flowering! The trunk of the garden more formal appearance, prune heavily with garden scissors or pruning too can.