Overgrown Wisteria on Pergola

(Question)

I live in Toronto. I have an 8 yr old wisteria that has been pruned twice a year – July and October. It has not flowered for the last 2 years since I moved into this house. I keep cutting the shoots to avoid climbing on the electrical wires and neighbouring garage roof tops. My question is, can I cut back some of the intertwined branches at the stem near the ground to control it from over growing? Please see pic below. I also have many green shoots growing out from the ground that I constantly cut back at the soil. I’m thinking it is over growing. Please advise if I can cut this in mid Summer in July or wait only in the Fall.

 

 

(Answer)

Thank you for your inquiry.  There is an excellent article posted on the UBC Botanical Garden Forum from Plant Amnesty that indicates that yes you can cut wisteria back drastically to control it and that you can do it just about anytime.  For more in-depth information see

https://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=12743

Good pruning is essential in getting a wisteria to bloom, so you’re definitely on the right track. It’s also a common question, and here’s a link to our TMG guide “How to get wisteria to bloom: a Toronto Master Gardeners Garden Guide“. It suggests pruning twice a year, in late winter and in summer, and provides details about how to go about it.  The Royal Horticultural Society also has an excellent video that you can view online: Video guide to pruning wisteria in summer.  See also Canadian Gardening’s “Turn your barren wisteria into a prolific bloomer” — and best of luck with getting your wisteria to flower.