Pruning wisteria

January to March is the ideal time to winter prune wisteria as the plant is dormant and if you have an overgrown specimen then you can see what you are doing! I have just finished pruning a client’s wisteria which has taken me two years to reshape as it covers the entire side of the cottage and had been badly neglected. If the framework is congested then be ruthless and completely remove some of the older branches and shorten existing branches by cutting to just beyond a strong, young side branch or young shoot emerging from lower down the framework. But don’t remove more than 25% in one winter. Also remove dead, diseased and crossing branches including those growing up into the roof, guttering or across windows and drainpipes. Cut all side shoots growing from the main framework to two buds. You should also see the more rounded flower buds on these spurs in contrast to the longer leaf buds. Finally make sure that all the branches are securely tied in. Wisteria is also pruned in the summer – this is when you cut back all the long, whippy growth which curls around everything and snakes into the gutters and roof. Cut back to 3 or 4 leaves and then the following winter these are cut back to two buds. Summer pruning helps air circulation and the increased light helps the flower buds to form. Good luck!!!