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Sunday, 19 April 2009

Why Wisterias Don't Flower

I have done hundreds of gardening clinics and one of the most common questions around this time of year is why doesn’t my wisteria flower. It’s nearly always one or more of the following five reasons.

1. There are several species of wisteria. The Chinese ones (W. saneness) can take seven years or more to start flowering. Japanese (W. floribunda) types flower in two or three years. Hybrids are a safe bet.
2. Wisteria plants that you buy may be grown from seed or a stem of one variety may be grafted on to the roots of another one. Seed raised plants are unpredictable and generally take much longer to reach flowering stage. The easy way around both 1 and 2 is to buy plants while they are in flower.
3. Wisterias like to have their roots restricted. If the roots have space to run, plant them in bin with the bottom cut off. Old plants can be made to flower again by digging around them and cutting back the roots. Moving a plant is risky. Be prepared to loose it.
4. You didn’t prune? It’s quite easy. In summer, cut back all the long dangly bits to around 60cm. In winter, cut back all but the main stems to three pairs of buds. If you have a very big specimen, call a professional unless you are very confident with ladders and have a good head for heights.
5. Wisterias thrive on neglect. Too much food and water and they will produce a mass of leaves and no flowers.

Written By Alistair Ayres

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