I bought two wisteria to climb our pergola. I picked the two that had the longest single vines and cut the rest back. Both of the vines have died at the tips while waiting to be planted and are now pushing growth out the sides. Will any of the side shoots grow tall and be able to climb the columns, or do I cut those down and wait for a new vine shoot?
I remember reading to cut the top of the vine shoot once the wisteria got to the desired height...but mine are only half way there!
Jun 16, 2012, 08:10 AM
Hi Shook Found this> Per Better Homes & Gardens>
PRUNING With your wisteria trained, light summer pruning should take place during the first three summers to control any wild side shoots that you do not wish to tie in and to reduce any excessive foliage.
If you have had a wisteria for a number of years that has failed to flower, it is time for some drastic measures. In late autumn after the leaves have fallen you should prune the plant back by 50% removing all the thinner stems, only leaving the main plant structure. Test the soil to see if it is alkaline and if it is add a small dressing of iron sulphate to help counteract this and help turn the soil slightly acid.
Finally, top dress with some organic matter around the base. In some cases you will find that even this drastic pruning will not result in flowering because the plant has been planted incorrectly in the first place with no organic matter, or it had been propagated from a parent plant that also lacked flowers.
The only solution at this stage is to re-plant with a new plant, which you know to have been propagated from a prolific flowering parent.
"Those that throw mud, lose ground!" :>)
Jun 16, 2012, 08:19 AM
Not sure what I would do. Perhaps someone here has dealt with this? I think I might let it go the first year or just nip a few of the side shoots. The general thinking is always if you cut the top the side growth increases & if you trim the side growth the top starts growing. That sure will be beautiful one day. My neighbor has done almost the same thing on her pergola. Her's is a little larger than yours & in part shade from some tall trees. She planted vines on every corner & it took many years for it to grow. I remember once a couple years after she planted I tried getting a picture with my zoom & when I examined the pics she had some artificial wisteria woven in there! LOL She fooled me from a distance. Drastic measures I guess! Hahaa I have no idea if she planted the vines in good soil but her property was pretty rich woodland soil.
"Those that throw mud, lose ground!" :>)
Jun 16, 2012, 12:35 PM
Barb in Mississippi
shook, it really depends on which variety of wisteria you have. If you bought "amethyst falls", do the correct thing and follow pruning instructions. If you have purchased the Japanese variety, then it doesn't matter what you do, you can't kill this stuff. If it is the Japanese variety, go ahead and prune back the sides. This stuff is so aggressive that it should grow back in a couple of days, if it doesn't, don't worry about it. It's just taking it's time. Make sure that you watch this variety, like I said it's very aggressive and CAN eat your pergola. I have pruned mine into tree form to make upkeep easier. Course, I have to watch for crossed branches and I have to prune it once a week, but it was my choice and I prefer the Japanese blooms to the "Ameythst Falls".This message has been edited. Last edited by: Barb in Mississippi,
Jun 16, 2012, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the info, ladies. I have 'amethyst falls' variety. When I bought them, I pruned them back to one main shoot on each plant. The tips of both leaders have since died back. There is plenty of side growth, but I don't know if any of it will grow upwards to allow it to climb to the top of the pergola.
Jun 17, 2012, 01:44 PM
I did some reading on the Amethyst Falls wisteria...it seems if you help tie it to where you want it to grow, the side tendrils will take over where your leader broke off or died. Let a couple of the side tendrils grab hold & then when they're firm you can cut off the others that grow out. Hope this helps.
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