Wisteria amateur need help

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by bux, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. bux

    bux Member

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    I was given about a two metre high wisteria tree last year. It's been in the ground for one year now and appears to be healthy. It was a free standing tree with a main stock of about 2 inches in diameter. I have planted it near a lattice and trellis. I may have high hopes but it has about another meter to reach the top of my trellis and another 3 meters on each side to grow horizontally. It flowered modestly in early spring, and now has about 10 or so shoots growing vigorously in the directions I want. Growing about a foot a week now.

    My question is. Although I have what I think is vigorous growth, it has a long way to go to fill my space. Should I prune it, or just let it do it's thing, which may get kinda wild by the looks of things. It has nice established wood already, Will the dozen or so new aggressive shoots become woody.

    I have very little knowledge of plants/trees, it's and new interest which I've stumbled upon. Any help would be great
     
  2. Sea Witch

    Sea Witch Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum, bux.

    To answer your question, if it's growing in the direction you want it to, then I'd leave it alone for now. Flowers bloom next year on this year's (previous year's) growth. So if you prune a lot now, it won't hurt it, but you will be cutting down on next year's flowers. Prune it where you don't want it growing.

    Yes, the older stems will turn woody in time, and it will get woodier and woodier moving away from the trunk (if you let it spread and grow into a more vine-like shape).

    2 comments: First, it's very fast-growing and very hardy, so don't worry about your goals for height and width--it will get there in no time flat.

    Second, keep it mind that wisteria is very strong and gets stronger in time. Whatever you want it growing on (attaching to) needs to be very sturdy. It's famous for tearing gutters off houses or destroying walls it's climbing on. You get the picture.

    I hope this helps. I love wisteria. I think its aroma is....intoxicating.
     
  3. bux

    bux Member

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    Thanks I'll let it do it's thing then. Someone told me if I fertilize it will grow the trunk or main stem more. Don't know if this is true, but they also said if you fertilize your bloom won't be as prolific. As well, I have heard that wisteria may bloom twice a year? I can't see it happening with all the growth that's occurring right now.
     
  4. Sea Witch

    Sea Witch Active Member

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    The main thing to remember with fertilizer is that wisteria doesn't want or need a high nitrogen fertilizer and too much nitrogen can cut down on bloom or keep it from blooming altogether. So when you buy fertilizer and you see 3 numbers like X-Y-Z, X is nitrogen so make sure that's a very low number like 0-10-10.

    I have wisteria that's doing great and blooms like crazy. I give it an extra dilute all-purpose fertilizer about once a month. Don't worry about fertilizing for optimizing trunk growth. Your trunk will grow faster than you can imagine, all by itself.
     
  5. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Why not plant something else on the other side and let them mingle at the top? Something that may bloom at another time, or a diferent but complimentary color.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    You paid quite a bit more for it to have been trained as a tree, so planting it where it is now going to be used as a climber is at cross-purposes. With climbers being trained on surfaces it is also generally preferably to have multiple stems coming from the base, to be spread out over the area to be covered, with the tendency for growth bunching up at the top of the support to be guarded against.

    As mentioned wisteria is a large and powerful vine that needs a large space - unless it is pruned diligently to remain small. As one might do with a tree shaped one being maintained as a small lawn specimen.

    A local multi-storey historic mansion on a property where I have done one-time jobs several times had a wisteria on it until the newest owners had it removed. It had a trunk as big as a tree and was used to cover an atrium two(?) storeys above the ground. At ground level one year I saw it sending closely packed horizontal shoots across the surface of the bed, piano wire is what came to mind. On a different property where I have done pruning another long-established wisteria was seen generating an explosion of arching and questing low-level shoots that were getting into everything in all directions. In the eastern US these vigorous lianas are considered noxious weeds.

    On local soils (except for some heavily leached ones on the outer coast) it is usual for nitrogen to be the only primary nutrient needing to be supplemented, making use of something like 0-10-10 apparently pointless in pretty much all situations. With the second nutrient (phosphorus) you also want to watch you don't get a toxic buildup from repeated applications, it leaches so slowly that for all practical purposes it doesn't leach - the phosphorus you put on years ago will still be there, near the soil surface.
     

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