Wisteria's spring cut

Dear Janet & Steven
Thanks for the invitation to help prune that vine at a botanical garden. We'd love to, but we have to pass, this time. How did the pruning go? - P.N. -

99% done! It was indeed a very fine day. Cloudy for a brief time, just long enough to make us grateful for the sun and still air.

Four of us tackled four wisteria vines that had accumulated excess wood a little at a time over their 20 year reign. We sorted out the main trunks, sawed off branches that had strayed beyond bounds, and clipped off thin unbranched vines (they lacked flower buds; their contribution this spring would have been to obscure the blooms with their emerging foliage). We took off enough wood to pack a pick-up truck twice over and called it a day.

We'll prune it again in July to shorten all the new growth. That keeps it neater and lower while letting more light reach the developing buds of older branches beneath the young shoots. Sunlight and warmth ripens those buds so they become flowers. Trimmed twice a year this way, the plant remains flatter on its pergola -- an easier reach for the gardener -- and the blooms are displayed without the interference of early-leafing flowerless tendrils.

Above: From the detailed instructions for pruning Wisteria in What's Coming Up 8.
Download the pdf to read What's Coming Up 8

When we have short lead time, we invite special friends

If you didn't know about this wisteria pruning opportunity but would have wanted to be there, drop us a line to be added onto the special-invitation list of those who have attended our free, hands-on Garden By Janet & Steven sessions. We try to publish all upcoming Garden By Janet & Steven dates on our calendar, but sometimes special opportunities arise suddenly. Then we notify those on this short list.

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