Wisteria – when and how to prune
They’re known for their stunning displays of flowers in the summer but to get the best out of your wisteria, you should be pruning it twice a year – once in summer and once in winter.
Winter pruning should be done in January or February as this is when the plant is dormant and doesn’t have any leaves. Cut back any growths to two or three buds to tidy it up before growing season begins. This will ensure the flowers will not be obscured by leaves. When cutting, make sure to cut just above the new buds.
After flowering, (usually July or August), cut back the green shoots of the current year’s growth to five or six leaves. This will help manage the size of the wisteria and encourage it to form flower buds rather than green growth.
By removing the summer growth, it allows more sunlight as well as better air circulation to reach the new growth which in turn, improves the chance of flower buds. Restricting the amount of vegetative growth and encouraging short, flowering spurs will result in more flowers.
Renovation or hard pruning
If your wisteria has been long established, you may need to give it a really good prune. Remember that hard pruning will stimulate strong, new growth so it is better to avoid feeding in the first spring after hard pruning.
Shorten long branches to just above a young branch lower down or if necessary, cut back completely to a main branch. If there are branches twining, you may need to trace it back before cutting it. Ideally, once pruned you’ll have a plant with well-spaced branches.
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