No Flowers - Knowledgebase Question

Comstock Park, MI
Avatar for SGoldsm673
Question by SGoldsm673
January 19, 1998
Never get flowers on my Wisteria and I've had it for 4 years. I planted it on the south side of my porch. I never clip it back. Last year I didn't water it thinking this was the problem. I also have a trumpet vine with the same problems and Idid the same with that.

Answer from NGA
January 19, 1998
Imagine your have two of the hardest to flower vines that I know of! Thats OK, I have been through the same thing myself with exactly the same two. Wisteria is one of the most spectacular vines you can grow - it is also one of the more challenging. Perhaps I should modify that...the vine is easy to grow, the challenge is getting it to flower. I think the youngest wisteria I have heard of producing flowers is 3 years old - and it wasn't a very impressive show. I have a family member who has a 10 year old wisteria with no blooms (we have tried just about everything!) There are many reasons that wisteria fail to bloom. If your nursery sold you a seedling wisteria, it may take 20 years to bloom! Good nursery stock is grown from rooted cuttings. Check with your supplier for this information. Also, wisteria tolerate very little shade if they are to bloom. Excessive vegetative growth suppresses bloom, too. This excessive vegetative growth can be intensified by too much nitrogen during fertilization. When fertilizing your wisteria, I would stick to a superphosphate.
They require specific pruning as well to balance vine and bloom stimulation. If you need more information on pruning, please feel free to submit another question via the database. Sometimes root pruning around the drip line of the vine will stimulate the flowers to form for next year. Just dig down one foot deep all around the drip line breaking any roots you meet. Now, for your trumpet vine, trumpet vine takes a very long timeto flower in most every case. I have several, and some flowered after 3-4 years, one I think is 7 years old and hasn't flowered. Trumpet vine flowers occur on new growth (as opposed to flowering on old wood). I would suspect that the plants are busy building up reserves in their root systems to enable flowering. Also, you could be on the edge of their hardiness range and they may not have a long enough growing season to put out flowers. How soon does it freeze and die back to the ground each year? Most flowering plants need a given amount of "warm hours" in ratio to "cold hours" annually to perform as they are supposed to. Really all I can suggest is that you pamper them through the winter, especially before you get your big snows,and they should flower as the plant ages and matures. As you may already know, it is a good idea to provide lots of organic material such as compost, fertilize regularly with a 5-10-10, and, I would also check the soil. Most vines like a well drained, fertile soil . You could have a soil deficiency that is causing the whole problem. Check with your local extension agent about having a soil test performed. Other than that...I am getting ready to dig up the 7 year old trumpet vine in my yard.

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