The Q&A Archives: Non-Blooming Wisteria

Question: I planted a wisteria 2 years ago and it is growing very large but no flowers. What can I do? Will it ever bloom??

Answer: The biggest frustration gardeners face when growing wisteria is that plants have a longer than average juvenile period and sometimes fail to bloom as expected. If you start with grafted plants or those produced from cuttings rather than those grown from seed, your plant will flower earlier in its lifecycle. A plant will also fail to bloom if: it does not receive full sunlight; there is excessive vegetative growth that may have been stimulated by excess nitrogen fertilizer; it is pruned heavily in winter and spring, which encourages vigorous, vegetative growth; and/or it is pruned improperly. Also, in severe winters, flower buds may be injured or killed. The following practices may help induce non-blooming vines to flower: a heavy application of superphosphate (0-20-0) in early spring (3#-5# per 100 square feet), and severe pruning of new growth in late spring or early summer, followed by root pruning in late fall. Root pruning is sometimes done in late fall to stimulate young plants to bloom or to restore blooming on older plants. It serves to check top growth and favor flower production. Use a spade to cut vertically into the soil (about 18 inches deep) and about four feet from the main trunk, all around the vine. I know you're frustrated, but resist the urge to prune your plant down to the ground! Do a little tip pruning this summer and some root pruning this fall. Hope this information helps!

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