I am in Halifax NS area and my wisteria is quite unruly. It bloomed last year. I did not prune it after it bloomed. Can I prune it now in late February or is it too late?
The bottom line is that wisteria can be pruned (and drastically) any time of year – but it may take a few seasons to bloom again. One issue is that wisteria blooms on the lower 30 cm (12 inches) of last year’s growth – so if you pruned the plant now – removing last year’s growth –don’t expect blooms. On the other hand, if you can leave a few buds in place (see below), the vine may produce blooms this coming summer.
Plant Amnesty’s Pruning Topics – Wisteria Vines provides a great overview of pruning the vine. A UBC Botanical Garden forum, Pruning Wisteria summarizes pruning issues very nicely. In particular, pay attention to the advice that some lateral “spurs” should be left in place when pruning, as these will yield some flowers.
Other resources that provide helpful information on pruning wisteria include:
- How to get Wisteria to bloom: A Toronto Master Gardeners Garden Guide – this includes a comprehensive section on pruning.
- Wisteria pruning – also from our website.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden. How to Prune Your Vines and Other Climbing Plants.
Please feel free to ask us questions any time! However, as you are in Halifax, you may want to contact the Atlantic Canada Master Gardeners Association – they may have information more specific to your area, for some of your gardening questions.