How To Prune Wisteria: How To Trim A Wisteria?

Pruning Wisterias: How To Trim A Wisteria?


The most common question I get asked is “how do I trim my wisterias?”

There are many different ways to trim your wisterias. Some people like to just leave them alone, some prefer to remove the top 2-3 inches and others want to completely remove it all. These are all good choices, but they have their drawbacks.

There are two main types of wisteria: those with long stems and those with short stems. Those with long stems tend to grow taller than those with short ones, so if you have a tall one, then you will need to make sure that the stem doesn’t reach the ground or else it may fall over. If you don’t want to deal with this problem, then choose a shorter type of wisteria such as a dwarf variety.

When you trim wisterias, you should cut back to a lateral branch. Try to do this in early spring or late winter. Make sure that you aren’t removing more than 1/3 of the vine at one time. In fact, if you can avoid removing any green growth, it’s best because the plant will grow thicker with more foliage and will be stronger.

Always make your last cut above a bud so that the plant can easily heal itself.

If you only want to remove a little bit of the vine, then removing the very tip is sufficient. Make sure that you don’t cut into a flower stem or it won’t bloom the following year. When it comes time to flower, wisterias will grow thousands of little flowers all over the plant. If you only need a small amount, you can always pinch off the amount you need and then remove the stems.

You will still get a lot of flowers, but you won’t have as many little flowers all over the place.

If you want to prune wisteria heavily, then late winter is the best time to do it because this will allow time for the plant to heal and grow new shoots before the following year’s growing season. Always cut back to a lateral branch and remember not to remove more than 1/3 of the plant at one time. Usually it is best to do this every 3-4 years unless it is a small trim.

Wisteria flowers are very pretty, but they can be a royal pain if you don’t want them. The flowers are very light and tend to blow all over the place. Many people dislike this and would prefer to have fewer wisteria flowers. Although you can remove all of the flower buds when they first start to bloom, this will prevent the plant from blooming at all.

If you want it to bloom the following year, only remove a few flowers.

Since the flowers are so light and they grow in bunches, they can also be messy. They blow all over the place and can stain things. This can be especially bad if you have white carpet or if you have an outdoor party and the wisteria flowers get all over the tables and chairs. If this is a concern for you, cut the flower buds as soon as they start to bloom.

You can also cut them as soon as they fall off the vine during pruning if you don’t want to remove them from the vine first.

Pruning Wisteria: How To Trim A Wisteria |

Wisteria can be very invasive. It spreads underground and can easily take over an area if not kept in check. If you have a short type of wisteria, then it may not spread at all or only spread a little bit. If you have a long stemmed type of wisteria, then it will probably spread to nearby plants or into the forest or field if you don’t keep it in check.

In order to stop it from spreading so much, you can cut the stems at the base whenever the plant is dormant, which is usually late winter or very early spring. The vine will sprout suckers from the roots and these need to be cut off as well. Suckers are little shoots that come up from around the base of the plant. Sometimes these are very close to the main vine and other times they can be quite a distance away (especially with the long stemmed types).

You need to get all of these suckers or the wisteria will continue to spread.

Finally, it can also grow through fences if you don’t keep it in check. The stems are very strong and can easily poke their way through. This is very true if the fence is made of wood. If this is a concern for you, then you can severely trim the vine back every year to keep it from getting too wild.

If pruning wisteria, you will probably be left with a lot of cuttings. If you have a fireplace or outdoor fire pit, then these make excellent kindling. They are very thin and dry and light up very easily. You can also just throw them on the ground if you don’t want to mess with lighting them.

Most everything else can just be thrown in the garbage.

Wisteria can be a beautiful addition to your landscape if you are willing to put in the time and effort. If you want help with your plant or need tree service in Tuscumbia Alabama, then contact us today.

Wisteria can be beautiful, but it does pose some challenges. Wisteria does best in partial shade and is very vine-like. It can easily take over an area if not kept in check. The trick with wisteria is to cut it back every year.

This will keep it under control, though it will never be as full as it would be if you let it grow wild.

The first step in cutting it back is to choose the type of wisteria you want to grow. There are 2 main types: American and Chinese. The Chinese wisteria is less aggressive and won’t overtake an area like the American wisteria is prone to do.

The next step is to decide what type of growth pattern you want to achieve. The main way that this is achieved is by pruning. The basic rule with pruning is to cut the main stem back to around 3 or 4 feet high. After this, you can cut any side shoots that grow back to the base to encourage new shoots in a more desired location.

You should also keep an eye on the soil that your wisteria is growing in. It needs well drained soil, but the exact makeup of this soil will vary depending on where you live and the type of wisteria you have. So a soil analysis should be done at a local university to determine the best soil mix for your area.

Pruning Wisteria: How To Trim A Wisteria from our website

Finally, after your wisteria has grown and flowered, you should cut it back to around 3 or 4 feet high. This will ensure good growth over the next year and the flower production that you want. If you wish, you can train the wisteria up a trellis or other structure to get the effect you want.

Wisteria can be a beautiful addition to your property, but it does need a good deal of attention. If you want help with your plant or tree care in the Tuscumbia AL area, then contact us today.

Sources & references used in this article:

Wisteria in the Garden by M Caron, T Beddes, G Judd – 2015 –

Pruning Ornamental Trees & Shrubs by D Wyman – Arnoldia, 1949 – JSTOR

From the new President of the Fellowship by F Gouin, R Bosmans – 2000 –



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