How drastically can I prune a wisteria in late summer?
There are two of them in our new home's garden, I suspect they have been here for decades. And from the looks of it they have been neglected for years.
Last fall I pruned away all those long 'feelers' several times, and in early spring I cut away the remaining new wood as close as about 3 flower budds from the old wood. With good effect, I have been rewarded with a huge cascade of pink flowers.
It's still a bit of a mess though, with multiple stems and branches going every which way, encroaching on the road next to our garden and threatening to damage the roofs of our garage and wood stack.
How far can I cut into this thing without it dying? Can I just take a saw once it's done blossoming and cut away the whole tangled mess? I'm okay with less flowers next year, as long as the plants survive and stay healthy so that I can start over pruning them properly and leading them in the right direction.
- ?Lv 74 years ago
Honestly, you can cut it as much as you want and it will be fine Just remember it may take a year after the pruning before it will bloom again.
Severe pruning, if needed, is done during the winter dormant season months of November, December, January and February. Some July pruning can be done, to help control the rampant growth of the vines. Otherwise, you end up with a tangled mess of intertwined vines. The dormant season pruning is the severe pruning, when one should cut the leader vines back to the desired height. Then prune the side shoots (those growing from the main leaders) back to the second or third dormant bud.
- 4 years ago
You should gradually do major prunings over several years. Choose one or two major branches to prune in the winter when its dormant (assuming you live in area that gets cold) while leaving at least one or two major branches for it to recover with. Repeat again the next year until you get the desired structure.
- Anonymous4 years ago
It has been my experience that you can practically cut them to the ground and they will come back. They are very tough and invasive if not controlled. Three years after I dug up our wisteria, I still found sprouts coming up from roots I missed.