Why hasn't my Wisteria bloomed? - Knowledgebase Question

Lake Zurich, IL (Zone 5A)
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Question by rentas
July 16, 2007
I planted a Wisteria Vine three years ago dreamnig about the bunches of blossoms drooping from my arbor. However, although it is healthy and continues to grow tall and bushy every year, it has not bloomed. Should I prune it to the ground and hope that next spring it will bloom?

Answer from NGA
July 16, 2007
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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