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Pruning baby wisteria

I planted a Japanese wisteria a couple of years ago. It's not doing much, though I suspect then endless invasion of couch grass doesn't help that at all.

I'll be carefully removing the grass yet again, but should I prune it this year and if so where and when?

There's side branches low down (orange area) and near the top of the main stem (red). It is ultimately supposed to be climbing over an arch.


Posts

  • I do think your Wisteria is really up against it. The couch will be taking all the available water and nutrients. I assume as a baby it is newly planted, an obelisk isn't really suitable as they do get BIG. I would leave well alone and concentrate on clearing the couch.
     Retired Gardener, new build garden, clay soil, South Notts.


    The more I garden the less I know but the more pleasure I get from it. Monty Don 
  • Thanks. I'll leave off pruning for now then.

    It's not an obelisk but one leg of an arched tunnel. There's lots of room.


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,633
    edited February 2023
    Wisteria is best grown against a warm wall. You are right in thinking that is important to train wisteria from a young plant. As said the biggest problem at present is the possible lack of water. If you can get it going it will break the arched tunnel in time.
    They are also best purchased in flower so you know what you are getting. Purchased one without flowers and you may have a plant that never flowers. 
     Retired Gardener, new build garden, clay soil, South Notts.


    The more I garden the less I know but the more pleasure I get from it. Monty Don 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,017
    You need to clear out all that grass to a diametre of 60cms and then mulch the soil with some well rotted manure or garden compost enriched with pelleted manure being careful not to let it touch the stem of your wisteria.  Come spring, give it a good drink of liquid tomato feed - however much you need for a 15litre can.

    Guide the existing stems up and along the support post and cross bars.   I wouldn't prune it now but have another look in July where any stems growing away form your framework can be cut back to 7 buds.   Other than that, leave it be but carry on guiding new stems in the direction you want.

    In february, next year, you can cut those shortened stems back to 2 buds but let others carry on growing till your framework is covered to your liking.  Feed it again in spring.

    Carry on with the training and the 7/7 and 2/2 pruning regime plus spring feeding.  Water generously in dry spells and mulch every year and it should grow and flower well. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,633
    edited February 2023
    The couch grass is a big concern it will be in the roots of the Wisteria. As a child my family had a small rose garden we could never get rid of it and it did affect how some of the roses grew. 
    Sorry if my posts seem negative but I do hope you are successful.
     Retired Gardener, new build garden, clay soil, South Notts.


    The more I garden the less I know but the more pleasure I get from it. Monty Don 
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