The Q&A Archives: How to make a Wisteria bloom?

Question: We bought a pair of wisteria (not sure which variety) and planted them in 1990. They are huge now but have never bloomed. Not one blossom. They are in a part sun location trained over an arbor. They are quite vigorous. We have received advice to stress them, prune heavily, which we have several times. We have fertilized with phosphate on occasion. One time the arbor they were on was removed and replaced, and they were hanging, heavily pruned, in mid-air for months. We have a feeling that just giving up and cutting them off at the ground wouldn't allow us to start from scratch either. What should we do?

Answer: Based on your description, I am not certain what the problem might be. There are cases where wisteria vines grown from seed take up to 20 years to begin to bloom. However if your vines were grafted or budded from blooming stock, they should be capable of blooming once they become established in their new location - meaning after a year or two. Another possible cause for lack of bloom is spring frosts damaging the buds which can happen often in some microclimates or in years when temperatures oscillate in spring, or sometimes, pruning at the wrong time can limit flowering. While I do not have a specific diagnosis for you, you may find something interesting or helpful in the following wisteria care and training information. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.

If your vines are recalcitrant seedlings, though, there is no cure except time. I wish I could be more encouraging.

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