The Q&A Archives: Wisteria Will Not Bloom

Question: Why does the wisteria not bloom?

Answer: I know how disappointing it is when wisteria won't bloom. There are actually three different species of vining wisteria that have similar blooms: Japanese wisteria is Wisteria floribunda, Chinese wisteria is Wisteria sinensis and American wisteria is Wisteria frutescens. The most commonly grown plant is the Japanese wisteria. All three of the plants are prolific vine producers and can grow thirty feet or more. Japanese variety blooms first--typically April, while the Chinese blooms in May and the American variety blooms June to August on the current season's growth. For that reason, you need to prune at the correct time for the type of wisteria you're growing. The oriental varieties set their flower buds in the fall for spring bloom and should be pruned after flowering. The American variety should be pruned hard before growth begins. All will perform best in full sunlight, and need little in the way of nitrogen, since rapid growth can preclude flowers. Wisteria can take up to 8 years to begin blooming if it is grown from seed. Age might be a factor with your plant. Nitrogen fertilizer or rich soil can also produce foliage growth to the exclusion of flowers. Try avoiding nitrogen around it, and apply some super phosphate instead. You can certainly try root pruning; it sometimes stresses a plant just enough to convince it to bloom. In this case, I hope so! Best wishes with your wisteria!

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