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Getting desperate after 8 years.... WISTERIA, help please

I have done most things recommended for this thing. Will not flower. Every year I say I am going to pull it out if it doesn't flower next time...

I have pruned to 5 buds in July as widely instructed, planning to prune to 2 in January.

Just back from 2w hols and the whips have gone mad again. Lots and lots  of new ones. 

Do I leave them, as I have already done my 5 bud July prune, or, take them back to 5 too?

Any help greatly appreciated. Do not wish to be defeated. Thanks.



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    No you don't leave them, cut them back to 3 leaf axils. One of my clients has two huge wisteria's takes me 2 days to do the pruning on it.

  • cornellycornelly Posts: 970

    Dave, February I believe is the time to prune, that was when I pruned in the garden I looked after for a few years.

  • First of all, a couple of questions:-  has the plant ever flowered?  Apparently it takes quite a few years before they get to that stage, so it's advisable to buy one when it is in flower, so that you know it is mature enough to flower in the following year.  Secondly, where is it planted?  I ask this because sometimes - when wisterias are planted close to, say, the wall of a house - they suffer from poor soil conditions and lack of water.

    To explain a bit further - when I moved to this house years ago there were two apparently well-established wisterias on the front wall.  They'd been planted in holes which had been dug out of a concrete path, so got little rainwater, and I guess the soil was very poor indeed.  I was surprised that there were no flowers the first year I lived here, despite the fact that the plants themselves had obviously been in situ for a very long time.  I read some things about why this might be, and discovered that it was recommended to keep them very well-watered even during the autumn and winter months.  Before the concrete path was removed - a couple of years later - I poured literally two buckets-full of water down each "hole" every week or so, and the following year was rewarded with loads of flowers, having done the recommended pruning in late February.

    The path is now long gone - there's open ground now in front of the house, with a sort of shrub bed, and the wisterias are now well-known locally as being the most amazing ones people have ever seen!  The racemes are often as much as 18" long and look like a purple waterfall down the front of the house.

    I think that if any of the above applies to your plant, you could try what I did and see what happens next year.  Good luck!

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    Steph, I'm having the same problem. I bought the wisteria from Ashwoods so I know that it's a good plant.  I have spoken to a local plantsman and he told me to prune the second or third week in August.  He says it varies across the country and that July is too early for the West Midlands.  He then said to wait until the flower buds begin to swell in early spring and cut back to 4 buds.

    He also said to feed with Potash in June and August and to feed with Fish, Blood and Bone in Feb/March.

    I'm following his advice this year and this time if it doesn't flower the bl**dy thing will be removed.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Hi. I've had my wisteria for about 10 years now and this year flowered for the first time. One raceme. Have pruned twice a year as per RHS website. Looking forward to next year. Might be very lucky and have two flowers.  

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     Be patient - it's worth it. I bought my wisteria from Woolworths for 99p as a 10inch took 8 years to flower (its 25 years old now), and flowered every year since. The roots are under flags now and, apart from the 1st couple of years hasn't been fed or watered. I cut the long whippy growths off all summer as they keep coming. 

  • gardeninglily1 - I am beyond jealous

    Thank you all for your V helpful comments. I will post a photo in the morning so you can see.

    no, hypercharleyfarley, it has never flowered. It's on a south facing wall, and grows around a bay window roof. It looks utterly fab at the moment,  a picture of health. Just. No. Flowers. It grows in a grass area, which does get plenty of rain water. I try to water it also when I remember.

    yviestevie yes, tried sulphate of potash this year for first time, but after should have flowered, so it could have been June. I've got some fish and blood, so that's a plan for spring. It's the most frustrating thing ever!!! 

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     Photo evidence of thriving flowerfree wisteria, as promised.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,645

    Mine took years to flower too but now it does it twice.   This May we had the best ever show and then it produced some more in late July.  

    Worth waiting for.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Cornelly, wisteria are pruned up to 3 times a year, I've been doing this a while you know. All your'e doing now is cutting back the new excess growth, your'e not doing the spring prune.

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