How To Prune Wisteria: A Gardener’s Guide
To improve the flowering display of your wisteria plant, it is essential to learn how to prune wisteria. Regular pruning keeps the growth and size of the plant under control.
While it may seem complicated, learning how to prune wisteria is quite simple with the right steps.
The Basics of Pruning Wisteria
The main aim of pruning wisteria is to control growth and encourage flowering. Therefore, consider pruning wisteria in mid-winter and summer.
The best time to prune wisteria in summer is about a month or two before it flowers.
Pruning wisteria involves cutting the current season's shoots to within three buds from the base. This encourages the buds to bear shoots and flowers.
Overgrown wisteria can be pruned by lopping and cutting to within three feet from the base. However, it is essential to know that pruning the tree too far back means that the tree will take a few years to flower again.
You may notice some larger branches have died back after pruning your wisteria.
There are two ways to deal with such branches: merely take them out of the plant or cut them all further back. Cutting dead branches further back will not kill the wisteria.
If you are beginning to learn how to prune wisteria, avoid getting into the temptation of vigilant pruning.
Some gardeners believe vigilant trimming will cause old wisteria bushes that have not bloomed in a while to bloom at least just one more time. Vigilant pruning may or may not encourage old wisteria bushes to flourish.
How to Prune Wisteria in Summer
First, trim the long shoots once the flowers have faded. The best time to start pruning is early to mid-summer. During this period, the flowers and shoots of the wisteria bush have grown unruly.
The previous year's growth determines the development of wisteria bushes. Therefore, pruning the flower on a biannual schedule helps to keep the vines to a manageable size and creates a system of short branches for the plant to bloom.
For the best bloom, trim the current year's growth back to a few inches long in early summer with the flowering of the first vines.
It is also essential to remove shoots that are not needed for the plant's main framework and trim root suckers.
This type of pruning may be done annually or more frequently depending on the amount of time you have and how neat you want the vines to look.
How to Prune Wisteria in Winter
Prune long shoots to within three or five buds. Like in summer, the framework of wisteria vines is unruly in winter.
However, wisteria is much easier to prune in winter because the leaves have shed.
Unwanted, long shoots from last season should be removed entirely. It is easier to remove long stalks from last season because they are now more exposed due to the leafless framework of the vine.
Be sure to cut short branches to three to five buds to encourage the vine to flower rather than remain in vegetative growth.