Pruning of wisteria: why do it
Pruning the wisteria looks like a demanding and elaborate operation, which requires the knowledge of some elements in order to perform it correctly and without damaging the plant. The purpose of pruning, which can however be done at different times of the year, is to increase the production of the flowers and at the same time direct the growth of the wisteria by moderating the vegetative growth. On the younger plants, in particular, the pruning carried out in the winter months and during the vegetative season is essentially aimed at directing and forming the desired structure: it is possible to cultivate the wisteria in many ways, in fact, raising it, as well as as creeper, also as a medium-low shrub, with a palmette, on a stem with a small tree or a tree, and finally as a semi-informal hedge, resting on fences or walls.
Pruning intensity and vigor of the branches
A rule that must be absolutely respected explains that the more intense the pruning is, the greater will be the response of the plant, in the sense that a smaller number of buds corresponds to a smaller number of branches to the recovery: branches that consequently will be characterized by a vigor greater as they are characterized by higher individual development. When the possibility of doing so is felt, the main branches must be grown in a horizontal line in order to obtain the best possible growth. As far as adult plants are concerned, there are two pruning operations normally carried out: both have the main purpose of facilitating the production of flowers. But what needs to be done, specifically? It begins the first days of August, cutting most of the new mass that was produced during the season, reducing the branches on the sides to about fifteen centimeters, corresponding to four or six leaves, with the most important branches, so as to constitute flower spurs. In the event that pruning is carried out before, in June or July, it may happen that the spurs that originate bloom in the same season. To obtain a greater number of flower buds it is possible, however, also to use a longer and more demanding procedure, which among other things also allows the formation of new jets on the sides: in practice, it is a matter of cutting to fifteen centimeters long the new vegetation all summer every two weeks. In this way, a constant topping will allow to obtain more dense and more numerous spurs.
It is worth noting that starting from mid-December, for at least five weeks, the spurs must be shortened again, this time to a maximum of ten centimeters, leaving two or three buds: on these spurs, in the following season, the flowers will sprout. In essence, the wisteria pruning it is indispensable to moderate the intrusiveness of this climber, which can be excessive, and at the same time give it a shape as tidy as possible. Winter pruning, in particular, is performed after the leaves have fallen: the branches are shortened, while the weak ones are completely eliminated. If you want to lengthen the plant, you must leave an intact branch, and then direct it in the desired direction according to the shape you prefer. Beyond pruning, on the other hand, wisteria needs a rather constant care. Irrigation, for example, must be performed once a week, or even more frequently at particularly high temperatures. To stimulate flowering at the end of winter it is advisable to give the plant one or two kilos of mineral superphosphate; fertilization can be suspended completely starting from the fifth year if the plant is luxuriant.
Wisteria pruning: A versatile and elegant plant
In conclusion, the purpose of pruning wisteria is to modify the plant by extending the production cycle and favoring its adaptation to fertility. The aesthetic aspect cannot be clearly underestimated. A pruned wisteria, moreover, can count on a form suitable for capturing light in an optimal manner, and at the same time facilitates the operations that will be applied later. The achievement of harmony between the roots and the branches and the balance between the reproductive phase and the vegetative phase, furthermore favors a constant quality production. Plant particularly appreciated in our country, the wisteria must therefore be pruned with the greatest attention. The sinuous and elegant line of the stem constitutes a distinctive sign for this increasingly used creeper to decorate the gardens of Italian houses, also by virtue of its ability to adapt with maximum versatility to different lands and climates. All you need is a sunny location. And, of course, someone who can prune it properly.