The Q&A Archives: Pruning Wisteria

Question: In one of your answers I read about wisteria, you said they have to be "selectively pruned". You're dealing with a novice here, what exactly do I do?

Answer: Pruning and training are important for bloom production and control of the wisteria's size. Let newly set plants grow to establish a framework, then remove stems that interfere with that desired framework. Pinch back side stems and long streamers, rub off buds that develop on the trunk if you want a single trunked specimen. For multiple trunks, select as many vigorous stems as you wish and let them develop. Prune blooming plants every winter, cutting back or thinning out side shoots from the main or structural stems and shortening back to two or three buds the flower producing spurs that will grow from these shoots. You'll have no trouble recognizing the fat flower budding spurs. Since wisteria's are vigorous plants, even a novice can prune without doing too much damage!

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