Help I need advice on planting and getting a wisteria to grow and flower. I have planted two before and never got a flower. I now have another wisteria and would appreciate any wisdom on this plant.
Wisterias will flower when they are ready and sometimes that's too long a time to wait for us humans. :O) My DM waited 10 years for her's to finally bloom and my SIL has been waiting for 5 years. The plant is now reaching the fourty foot mark in a pine tree after crawling 10 feet on the ground. It's impressive! Next year she is going to try a trick I use with Clematis and place tomato fertilzer in the soil around it. I had a Clematis grow for 3 years which finally flowered after using a bit of tomato fertilizer at it's base. Haven's bothered using it since then as it has flowered every year.
I have had spectacular results using the pruning method I read about in a gardening mag (can't remember which one).
This wisteria vine was only 3 years old in this photo.
I prune very hard in the early spring...in Feb here in SW Ontario. You prune each side shoot of the branches back to only 5 buds and also head off any whippy ends of branches back to sturdy wood. The vine will look vary bare but never fear, it will rebound quickly in the summer.
You also prune back any long "whips" that spring out from the vine around mid summer to keep the wisteria in check. They can quickly get out of control. Mine tries to grow thru the eaves into the studio. They can pull down all but the most sturdy of arbours.
This is what it looks like in the summer after it has bloomed in the spring. It also usually has a sparse rebloom of small flowers in late July.
It was just loaded with large buds this spring but unfortunately we had a late frost that killed them all. Didn't hurt the vine itself though. :) It's just as thick and leafy as ever and provides nice shade at my studio door.
The magazine article also mentioned that you should not fertilize a wisteria. They prefer a very lean, well draining soil. Mine is planted in very gravelly soil because there used to be a driveway where it is planted.
Wisteria does have to be pruned to bloom. Prune back all but the main one or two stalks and keep all other offshoots pruned off. It also needs to be about seven years from seed to bloom and in full sun.
If you are going to buy a Wisteria look for one that has either flowers or flower buds on it already, these should bloom the current year and every year after. If you buy one that has been grown from seed yep, these take around 7 years before they bloom. Wyndyacre is right a severe pruning in late winter/early spring and then another summer pruning will help to get the flowering spurs to form.
If it is growing close to a lawn that is being fertilized this could be another reason for not flowering, it's getting too much nitrogen. If all else fails do a little root pruning...and... if that doesn't work, threaten it with verbal abuse while waving an axe about. That's what finally worked for me. I just about lost mine once again to a late freeze after the buds had started to form, thank goodness it is recovering once again.
Try a "native" wisteria: Wisteria frutescens. Harder to find-- you might have to get one by mail order-- but these are reliable bloomers even when young. They are also a little less rampant than the oriental varieties, and terrifically hardy.
I just so enjoyed your photos Could we see more.
Nice to read a bit about the plant. I was just thinking of planting one the other day.
Did have a gorgeous plant growing in a house I owned in downtown Toronto.
I rented the house out for a few years, and one of the tenants, when I went down to have a look at the house, had cut it right out.
It was such a gorgeous and heavy bloomer. Mostly never had anyone care for it or prune it. Must have been just the right spot for it.