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Overzealous trimming on Wisteria- dying ?

BillsmithBillsmith Switzerland Posts: 4
Hello all,  1st time gardener here so in need of lots of advice.

I have a new house with an established garden  that needs LOTS of work!  The MIL decided to cut off the old nodules on the main stem of a large wisteria and all the  shoots at the base   and I fear she's overdone it because there are only a few flowers and virtually no leaves , and the leaves that have developed don't look healthy..   and all the, what I would call catkins have gone brown/ dried and easily fall off.....     help!  

What are your thoughts ? 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,475
    edited May 2022
    The cutting to little stumps presents no problem. The gash  in the middle of the fourth photo, cutting into the stem, will restrict water going up , and that is probably why the flower buds have gone brown.  I can't tell which branch the dead/dying bits are on.  Start at the dried up bit and trace it back to the main trunks.  If it is attached to that gash, that is your problem, and in August or September, I would cut it cleanly below the gash.  Attach a ribbon or spray paint the bits you want to come off so you can identify later.  Do not further prune at this time as sap is rising and it may bleed to death though open wounds.
     Do the normal pruning, back to seven buds from the framework in July, and back to two buds  to promote flowering in February.

    Give it a feed, water it well through the summer, and give it a mulch. You may need to build a  3 ft ring round it with bricks to keep the mulch from being scattered everywhere by blackbirds.

  • BillsmithBillsmith Switzerland Posts: 4
    Hello, thanks for the reply... to clarify about gash do you mean the area circled in red  ?  If yes  I believe its been like that for at least 20 years.  I know last summer it was  completely full of healthy leaves and flowers and I believe apart from the trimming  circled in blue,  nothing has changed in its care
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,587
    Don't worry.  I have two established, inherited wisterias which we regularly prune back to the main trunk to remove all shoots below the framework we want to keep higher up.  In our second year here I did a drastic prune to reduce the upper framework too as it was too heavy.  Then I kept them watered all that summer thru a long drought.   They have both responded well and are glorious.

    This year we had some late frosts and that damaged and/or killed some of the flower buds on a new, young and lower plant and even, to my surprise a week or two later, browned off open flowers on the two established plants.

    If you fed and water yours as @fidgetbones advises your plant should be fine and will repeat flower sporadically thru summer, as ours do.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,475
    Its the trimming circled in blue which appears to go into the trunk I was worried about.  It also has a split in the stem just below it, which appears to have healed.
  • BillsmithBillsmith Switzerland Posts: 4
    Ah that bit,that's the smallest amount of old damage, there are sections you can see through ! 
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