How to Prune Overgrown Wisteria

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Wisteria is a fast-growing, deciduous vine with a twining growth habit. It can quickly become overgrown and difficult to manage. Learn how to prune an overgrown wisteria vine in this step-by-step guide.

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Why prune an overgrown wisteria?

An overgrown wisteria can be pruned for a variety of reasons. Maybe the plant is taking over an adjacent tree or building. Perhaps it’s just too big and unruly for the space it’s in. Or, you may simply want to rejuvenate an old plant that has become woody and produce more flowers.

Whatever the reason, pruning an overgrown wisteria can be a daunting task. But with a little knowledge and patience, you can tame even the most unruly plant.

Here are a few tips on how to prune an overgrown wisteria:

1. First, identify the main trunk or ” leader.” This is the main stem that will grow vertically up from the ground. All other stems will branch off from this leader.

2. Cut off any side shoots that are growing from the leader. These side shoots will take energy away from the plant, preventing it from flowering.

3. Next, cut back any stems that are growing out of control. These can be cut back by up to two-thirds their length.

4. Finally, thin out any overcrowded areas of the plant. This will allow more light and air to reach the inner parts of the plant, promoting healthier growth.

When is the best time to prune an overgrown wisteria?

Wisteria can be pruned in late winter or early spring. If you wait until summer, you will likely remove most of the flowers for that season.

How to prune an overgrown wisteria

Wisteria can grow very quickly and become overgrown if not pruned regularly. If you have an overgrown wisteria, don’t worry – it can be easily fixed with a little pruning. In this article, we’ll show you how to prune an overgrown wisteria so that it is under control and looking its best.

What tools will you need?

garden shears, secateurs, or pruning saw.

First, identify the main branches, or trunks, of your wisteria plant. These are the thickest branches, and they will be the main support for the plant. You should aim to remove about one-third of the length of these branches.

Next, identify the lateral branches growing off of the main branches. These are thinner than the main branches, and they will produce most of the flowers on your wisteria plant. You should remove about half of the length of these lateral branches.

Finally, prune any small twigs or leaves that are growing off of the lateral branches. These will not produce flowers, so there is no need to keep them.

Once you have finished pruning your wisteria plant, it should have a more compact shape with lots of healthy flowers.

How to prune an overgrown wisteria step-by-step

1. Prune wisteria in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. 2. Begin by pruning any dead, diseased or damaged stems back to healthy wood. 3. Cut back all long, whippy shoots to 5-6 leaves from the main stem. These are known as basal breaks and will encourage the plant to produce more flowers. 4. Shorten any remaining lateral shoots left on the main stems by one-third to two-thirds their length. 5. Reduce the length of any extremely long side shoots by up to half their length, cutting just above a leaf bud.

How to prevent an overgrown wisteria in the future

Wisteria can become overgrown for a variety of reasons. Poor pruning practices are often to blame, as is incorrect planting. If you have an overgrown wisteria, don’t despair. With a little patience and the proper tools, you can get it back under control. Read on for tips on how to prevent an overgrown wisteria in the future.

Incorrect Planting
Wisteria should be planted in well-drained soil in full sun. It’s important to give the roots plenty of room to grow, so avoid planting it too close to foundations or other structures. If your wisteria is planted in a shady location or heavy clay soil, it will become overgrown more easily.

Pruning Incorrectly
To prevent your wisteria from becoming overgrown, you must prune it correctly. First, identify the main trunk of the plant, which is typically the thickest and oldest stem. Cut off any lateral (side) shoots that are growing away from the main trunk at their point of origin. Next, cut back all of the remaining shoots to 5-6 buds from their tips. This will encourage them to branch out and produce more flowers. Finally, cut back anyflowering shoots that have already bloomed to within 2-3 buds of their base. Wisteria blooms on new growth, so by pruning in this way you will encourage more flowers next season.

If your wisteria is already overgrown, you will need to take more drastic measures to get it back under control. Start by cutting back all of the lateral shoots to within 2-3 inches of their base. Then cut back all of the remaining shoots to 12-18 inches from their tips. This may seem drastic, but it’s necessary in order to rejuvenate the plant. You may not get many flowers next season, but with proper care your wisteria should recover and bloom beautifully in subsequent years

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books