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Non flowering wisteria

Are there any serious wisteria experts on here? I need to pick your brains. 

I have a wisteria that I have been maintaining for a few years now, but the damned thing is refusing to flower. It seems to be a variety that comes into leaf early, it is almost in full leaf now with no flowers, whereas the other 'normal' wisterias in the garden are about to flower, and then come out in leaf later.

I don't need a lesson in wisteria pruning, but am I missing a trick, is there something clevererer I should be doing to the standard pruning regime?

Thanks all.

 

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  • PRO

    Is it the position - for example not enough sun?

  • Do you know if it has ever flowered? Occasionally, wisterias will self-seed, these new plants will very rarely flower.

  • PRO

    I have several in different gardens which all flower perfectly, though frosted this year on south faces walls or front windows. One specific garden where one was on a large pergola prior to my arrival I have looked after for 2 years and not flowered. Very warm in the summer but in the winter and spring the sun doesn't come over the hill and past a wood till about an hour before sunset, over a western hill. It was a nice thought to have one growing but the reality is I think it's never warm or sunny enough when it needs it early on in the year.

    one thing I was also told was always buy one in flower so you know it can do it, I planted one like that once and it been fine ever since.

  • PRO

    Glen

    Others have covered the points I would raise:

    • Has it ever flowered
    • What aspect is it planted on

    To that I would add, assuming the first answers are "yes" and pretty near a Southerly aspect would be:

    • How old is it? They can take upwards of 9 years to flower from leaving a nursury
    • Was it pruned properly in the winter.?

    Here in Wiltshire mine are begining to come out,  - there is that hint of blue on very long buds... a few mor edry warmish days and they will be in full flower!

     

    • PRO

      As already suggested they seem to like a South facing wall .

      Three years ago we chopped two wisterias down to around Three feet which had never flowered on a North facing wall , customer wanted rid so we took them away and heeled them in another customers south facing veg patch until we decided what to do with them , following year they flowered from the new shoots . 

      Customer moved away so we took one each for own gardens . 

      Planted mine on South facing wall and it's just coming into flower .

      Colleagues in more shady garden no sign of life yet . 

      Surprised they even survived after getting moved so many times but appear to be tough , someone told me they are known as the tree of iron .

       

  • Possibly to much nitrogen, root prune and feed with potassium.

    I found wisteria grow well in all aspects accept for deep north shade 

    Could be a dud though which I've seen a few times. I don't know if it's down to a dud stem that's been selected for grafting. I never heard or found any written evidence of this, but I have my suspicions.

    Some one also told me the always buy wisteria with flowers buds on, have used it as a rule of thumb and it's never let me down. They normally flower after a year or two. 

  • Thanks for all the comments guys.

    To answer your questions:

    Aspect is good - on a south easterly wall. Another mature wisteria over a pergola in the same garden is just about to look amazing. 

    It's a mature plant. 25+ years old. 

    Apparently it has only ever had the odd flower on it every now and then. Not for the last few years though. 

    I'm confident with my pruning regime. 

    It's possible that it could be self seeded, the other wisteria in the garden is much older.

    Honey Badger - can you talk me through root pruning a wisteria please?

    It just seems strange that it is in full leaf already, I've not got any others like it. Like has been mentioned,  maybe a dud / poor graft?

    I might have to give up on this one and encourage my customer to buy a new one. 

    • Same principle as root pruning a apple tree. Dig a circular trench a few feet from main stem and chop/ saw the roots off. Which reduces the leaf growth and increases flowering. Can be applied to all shrub's. My preferred method is to slit/chop with a sharp spade/digging bar, less work for than digging a trench.

      Si Al has a fare point about the root stock taking over. Customer may have not noticed the graft fail/or not know there grafted.

      Only seen wisteria graft fail couple of times. One was on my own 10yr old wisteria. I spent two years training the root stock but no flowers, so I dug it up. 

  • you could try grafting a cutting from the flowering one onto the non flowering one

    or look for a layered stem from the flowering one or do one it will take about a year 

  • Too much nitrogen add phosphorus 

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