copper trellis for established wisteria

jojo40March 30, 2008

I am belatedly trying to train a wisteria grown from a runner that I took from a nearby abandoned garden many years ago (when we were still z4 here in the mid-Hudson Valley) because I figured it would be a reliable bloomer. It was indeed, planted against the south-east corner of our stone house. I had blooms the first year and it has continued to be extremely floriferous, fragrant and long blooming (though it isn't the glorious long-racemed type).

It wasn't too rampant but rather sent out many shoots, all of which flowered, around both sides of the house. We decided we wanted to train it over a pergola and constructed one of copper pipe and wire on the south and have tried to encourage the thing to grow that way. No luck.

The trunk keep sending shoots along the ground but the ones wired up along the pergola just don't seem happy and after three years have still not covered even half of the 12 x 16 structure. Can the copper itself be inhibiting growth or do I just have to be more brutal in pruning the maze of vines that keep starting from the base?

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Copper conducts heat so I am not certain if that is a problem, but you should prune back some of the top growth so it branches out more. Generally vines send out suckers at the base of the stem when the rest of the plant isn't happy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:38PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

I have clematis growing on copper trellises so I don't think that is the issue. However I would be worried long term with wisteria growing on copper since the vines can get big and woody and might end up crushing the copper over time.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 11:51AM
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Thanks about the copper info. If only the vines would get big and woody! They don't even wind around the pipes - just each other.

We originally used the copper as a sort of tryout (as a do it yourself project) because I wasn't sure about the proportions. But if I can't get the wisteria out there to create summer shade, I don't want to invest in the cost of getting a wooden arbor built.

I will be more diligent about cutting out those myriad runners and see what happens. Thanks, again.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 8:27AM
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