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Wisteria

watlinggwatlingg Posts: 20
I was given a small wisteria 3 years ago (about 2 ft tall) which appeared to have been grown from a graft. In the first summer, the 2 stems shot up to about 8 ft tall and spread out laterally by about 3 ft. The leaves looked fine. In the second year, all appeared well apart from the fact that the leaves on the 2 lateral shoots died. This year, despite the cold end to the winter, it budded up and has come into leaf but I have noticed today, that the leaves on one of the upright shoots are dying off. It is South facing and in the sun all day. It has been watered, although not excessively as I know they do not like to be waterlogged. There is no discolouration to the leaves and there does appear to be any infestation or fungus development. Could anyone throw some light on the likely problem? Thanks for your thoughts in advance.

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  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,093
    Could you put on some photos?
  • watlinggwatlingg Posts: 20
    Will do.
  • watlinggwatlingg Posts: 20
    Ref my above quandary regarding my failing wisteria, here are a few photos which I hope helps to establish the cause of its demise.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,093
    edited May 2018
    Have you read up at all on wisteria training / pruning? This article might be of help. (Part one of the series deals with basic care). They suggest treating as you might an espalier apple - focusing on the lateral branches and keeping the leader short - at least for the first few years - to promote best growth. This has to do with hormonal transitioning - re-routing apical dominance from the top of the leader to encourage flowers in the rest of the plant.

    It looks like the opposite approach to the picture, where you have gone for height. I understand that wisterias can take along time to establish and then to flower, so it's a plant that takes great patience. It looks like you have trained the leader over and along the wire, rather than pruning back the leader in order to get the laterals to shoot.

    I am no expert at all in wisterias or woody pruning, though I do have an espalier apple, a wisteria and several climbing roses, that are pruned in the same kind of way. I also can't see the whole plant in your picture, but I would encourage you to research the wisdom of cutting your wisteria back to the first wire (painful I know) - that would be, about three feet from the ground (as the first article suggests). Choose a few strong laterals and follow the three year plan. I imagine you will end up with a very robust plant, probably shorter than you imagined it for a while (not the vision in your head) but happy. 

    Again, these are only suggestions. There might well be some veteran wisteria trainers out there with different ideas.  Take consolation that the plant is alive and obviously has good energy in it so it can adapt! All best wishes for your project.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,600
    Good advice above.  The problem could be a late frost or inadequate watering and feeding.  Have a read of this info from the RHS and follow the link to pruning too - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=173

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • watlinggwatlingg Posts: 20
    Many thanks for your advice; I shall have a read and prune back tomorrow.
    Regards to you all.
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