I need a wisteria expert

(Question)

I need a wisteria expert. I unfortunately missed the opportunity to cut back my wisteria after it bloomed. If I prune now will that affect the blossoms for next year that are possibly forming now as buds?

 

 

(Answer)

The “experts” suggest that wisteria be pruned regularly, twice a year in July/August and early spring. This means it should be safe to prune now, even though your blooms came to an end a while back. This pruning will keep the plants growth and size under control and at the same time improve the following season’s flower display. A summer pruning will allow better air circulation and more sunlight to reach those buds responsible for producing the flowers.

Wisteria is a vigorous grower and if left to its own devices it will put all its energies into producing new growth and not flower bud formation. What you need to do is shorten the long dangly stems because the end buds are the ones responsible for all next year’s vegetative growth. The buds nearer the main stem, which looks woody, are the ones going to produce the flowers. Count the buds and cut back to about 5-6 buds out from the main stem. Make the cut just above the bud taking care not to damage it. Revisit your wisteria in early spring to see if it needs further pruning and tidying up.  Its much easier when the plant is dormant and leafless.

You may wish to review our gardening guide on How to get Wisteria to Bloom

You may also find this website of interest: www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=242