When and how is wisteria pruned?

Wisteria is a shrub that is pruned at the end of winter.

Image – Wikimedia / Michal Klajban

Wisteria is one of the most vigorous deciduous climbers in existence. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be pruned; in fact, recovers fairly well from pruningso it is possible to have it as a small tree or bush as you see in the image.

As it also has long branches and quite large leaves, it is very interesting to have it in large trellises, or on a roof. However, How should the wisteria be pruned?

What is the best time to prune wisteria?

Wisteria pruning is done at the end of winterWisteria pruning is done at the end of winter

Image – Flickr/Mike DelGaudio

Of course, before we start pruning, we have to know if this is the best time. And, well, from the wisteria or wisteria we have to say that it is a deciduous plant, that loses its leaf in autumn-winter, and that sprouts again in spring. But it also blooms relatively young, during the spring.

It is for this reason that we only recommend pruning it at the end of winter if it is a young specimenthat is, if it is one meter tall or less. In the event that it is larger, then we recommend waiting for it to finish flowering, since otherwise it would produce fewer flowers than it normally does.

When is it NOT to be pruned?

There are certain situations where pruning has to wait. And it is that, however much you want, we have to take into account that pruning is not the solution to everything; Moreover, I would dare to say that it is only for a few things. For example, this work will be done if we have a fruit tree and we want it to develop lower branches so that it is easier for us to harvest its fruit, or if we have a very sick plant and we are going to remove the branches that are dead.

But what about wisteria? Well then that nothing should be taken away in these cases:

  • if it is blooming,
  • in full growing season (i.e. in spring and summer),
  • if it’s winter and there’s still frost,
  • if we suspect that it is wrong, but it only has the affected leaves.

What pruning tools are needed?

Not many actually. just a few anvil scissors (as these) to trim or remove branches that are beginning to lignify but are very thin (less than 0,5 centimeters thick), a small hand saw (on sale here!) for the thickest branches, and some conventional scissors if we have to cut some that are green.

But yes, we have to clean them wellconscientiously, before and after having used them. Microorganisms, such as fungi, bacteria or viruses, not being seen with the naked eye, can give the feeling that they are not there, but there is no need to take risks. If we clean the tools with dishwashing soap, we will prevent the wisteria from getting sick.

How to prune wisteria?

Wisteria is a plant that resists pruning very well, therefore what we recommend doing first of all is to see if we want to use it as a climber or as a shrub. And it is that, of course, we will not take away the same in one case as in another.

Wisteria pruning as a climbing plant

If we are interested in having it as a climber, what we will do is the following:

  • Remove branches that are dry.
  • Cut the others a little so that they branch out. The cut must be made above a bud, which is where the leaves sprout.
  • Put a tutor or guide. Wisteria doesn’t have tendrils, so you’ll need help to start covering an area. In addition, we will have to tie it with zip ties to hold it.

Wisteria Pruning as a Shrub or Small Tree

In the event that we prefer to have it as a bush or small tree, we will proceed to do the following:

  • As it is a woody plant, which over time develops a more or less wide trunk, what we will do is prune its crown. The branches must be kept at an adequate length taking into account the height of said trunk; that is, if for example this one measures about 30 centimeters, the branches should not measure more than 35 centimeters long.
  • Therefore, branches will have to be trimmed; and if we see that they are growing too much, prune them when the time comes to do so.
  • If we remove thick branches, which measure more than 1 centimeter, we will put healing paste on it as this to seal the wound.

Once we have gotten it to have the shape we want, the only thing left for us to do is keep the branches with the length that interests uscutting them out.

Wisteria pruning is not overly complicated. In fact, being a resistant plant, it is quite simple. If you take into account what we have discussed in this article, surely it will not be difficult for you to have it with the look you want.

Remember to use the right tools and at the right time. This will prevent problems from arising.

When and how is wisteria pruned?

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