When do you Prune your Wisteria?

Is your Wisteria vine already trimmed for the winter? If so, well done, you may progress directly to this reward video of cats in strawberry hats.

But if you have not yet cut the twiggy ends off your Wisteria’s lateral shoots (which carry all the flowers), then now is the perfect time to go outside, look at your Wisteria with your arms akimbo, exhale for a long time with your eyes narrowed as though expertly assessing the plant, and then go back inside for a snack, possibly a nap: you can always come back to it later.

Cutting back your Wisteria in winter is all about directing the resources of the awakening plant exclusively to the bases of the lateral shoots, which is where all the flower buds are. Pruned correctly, Wisteria should look and feel like this:

If you do not prune Wisteria around this time, it will wake up in Spring and quickly produce a lot of leaves at the expense of the flowers, which will be partially hidden by that lush foliage.

One of the best all-round Wisteria mini-documentaries online is this one by garden & landscape designer Ian Cooke – upon rewatching it, we discovered that he speaks so clearly that you can set the playback speed to 1.5x and hear him perfectly well.

And this is a great video specifically for tackling a mid-sized Wisteria that’s well established on the side of a house, but still needs training to fill the desired space. It reminds you to watch out for drainpipes & gutters, which Wisteria will destroy if you let it!

So be sure to tidy up your Wisteria before February is out, or else you may get a visit from the Wisteria inspector, who could revoke your Wistering licence, and no one wants that.

Beware the Wisteria Inspector

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