Asked on Oct 1, 2017

Can I trim my Wistera now in the fall?

Linda GuertinLindaBetsy
+16

Answered

We have waited for about 4 years to finally get a bloom this year. Now I'm not sure just how to prune the tree to ensure blooms for next year. Don't want to cut the wrong stems or branches. Thank you, Georgia Hammett
The Wisteria is on the very right side and is growing across the arbor.
12 answers
  • Linda Sikut
    on Oct 1, 2017

    I went searching on the web to find an answer to your question. I was surprised to learn that the 'experts' suggest pruning Wisteria twice a year. This is one of the articles I read and I think it gives you a lot of information that you might not know. Here's the link to the articles;


    This article is from the UK, but I imagine that the basics would be the same. I wish you the best of luck on your project. If you can, take pictures as you go then share it with use under "Post Project" - at the top right of the page. I'd love to see how it turned out.
  • Gigi
    on Oct 1, 2017

    thank you I will check out the website to see what the advice is . Thans
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      on Oct 2, 2017

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  • Linda Guertin
    on Oct 2, 2017

    Fall is a perfect time to prune back wisteria. The blossoms will leave bean pods hanging and you really want to remove all of those... they mature with a winter freeze, then *pop* open sending beans everywhere once summer heat builds. They look like coffee beans. If they land in water anywhere... like birdbaths, planter saucers, ponds, they create an extremely toxic brew for critters.

    Wisteria is a force to reckon with as far as strength and invasive properties. If you have branches intertwining thru your arbor, cut those now... or you'll be chainsawing your arbor down in a few years. New growth should be trained around itself and let the top branches just lay across the top of the arbor like ribbons on a table. The weight of the stems alone will keep them in place.

    Once the plant is mature enough to bloom, it literally takes over and you really need to keep on top of training it's growth and limiting it's spread once it gets to where you want it. I have two wisteria growing 'on standard' (as a tree trunk kind of thing) and it covers a 12 ft X 16 ft pergola. If you want it to travel to a 2nd arbor/location, just put down a guide wire at the base and twirl the new growth along to where ever you lead the wire to. Twirled branches turn into really neat tree trunks to support the plant. When twirling the branches, be creative but don't twirl too tightly as the branches gain girth over the years.

    Watering with a composted manure solution in spring will give you brighter/deeper blue blossoms. Be warned on the beans tho, I fill a 45 gallon trash can with them when I 'harvest'. If you want to keep some to grow more/share, let them freeze over winter, then nick the outer coat, to speed up germination, soak for a few days in water and plant away.

    FYI, I do two prunes a year... once after the first flush of blossoms fade, then a 2nd flush, albeit less profuse, happens about 8 weeks later. I just use an electric hedge trimmer on mine as it's a beast and I don't like climbing up on top of the pergola anymore.

    Any questions... fire away :)

    • Gigi
      on Oct 3, 2017

      You are very knowledgeable on the Wisteria plant. Thank you for your suggestions and input. I really do need to get a handle on this thing lol..cause i do not want to be cutting down the Arbor lol... The Wisteria has gotten out of hand already, so I will take your suggestion and cut back all the little runners and just leave the mail branches to go across the top. That was our goal in the first place. it is planted on the side of the arbor so it would train to go across the top and the flowers would drop down on the top and be very beautiful like you see in magazines lol.. but that hasn't happened yet. The one bloom we had was on a older stem on a main branch on the side near the top. only one bloom this year and the plant is about 6 years old. It has blooms on it when we bought it so it was mature enough for blooms. We had it for about 3-4 years before that one bloom. So we need to really give it a cut this fall. Then hope for the best. knowing what we know now with all the responses we received we don't have to be so afraid to be a little brutal with the trimming. Thank you so much !!
  • Catherine Anspaugh
    on Oct 2, 2017

    Go right ahead and prune your wisteria now. Once it has bloomed again next year you can give it another trim.
  • Cheryl A
    on Oct 2, 2017

    that looks like clematis instead of wisteria - but you can cut it back now so it will bloom in summer and spring
    • Gigi
      on Oct 3, 2017

      This wasn't the best picture of the Wisteria that is to the extreme right hand of the picture. The Clematis is in front of the arbor. That needs cut back as well. All in good time as it is pretty dry here in the Thumb of MI right now and it still pretty warm for this time of year. Thanks for your input. Appreciate everyone's suggestions.

  • Ela26544792
    on Oct 2, 2017

    use google
  • Ela26544792
    on Oct 2, 2017

    Yes, it's a clematis. Wisteria grows tall and clings to roof porch railings etc
  • Janet Pizaro
    on Oct 2, 2017

    Any flowering shrub should be pruned immediately after flowers have stopped
  • Willa Klein
    on Oct 2, 2017

    It's definitely a clematis!
  • Betsy
    on Oct 2, 2017

    agree, wisteria clings to everything and those aren't wisteria blooms
  • Linda
    on Oct 3, 2017

    I had wisterias that I turned into dwarf trees so I could maintain them. I trimmed the shooters the entire growing season and the still bloomed the following year. The blooms are on the brown bark, I trimmed them back to about 1/2" from the woody stem. Have fun!
  • Linda Guertin
    on Oct 3, 2017

    You're welcome! I do recommend composted manure around the base... in early spring... it should help with bloom production. Most wisteria doesn't reach maturity for blooming for several years, yet the manure feed forced mine to bloom on the 4th year. As a norm, usually 7+ years is standard. I don't know where you're located, but here in Illinois that's pretty much my history with the beast. Best of luck!
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