The dream combo of words that make our ears instantaneously prick up: a Monty Don wisteria tip. Right now, the gardening icon and the purple blooms are two of our favourite things.
When it comes to our gardens we’ll always happily defer to Monty – but his latest comments took us by surprise. Apparently we should be pruning our gorgeous wisteria sooner than we thought.
‘Wisteria produces its flowers on new growth, which in turn emerges from spurs off the main shoots,’ explains Monty. ‘When they have finished flowering – and for most of us that is around the middle of June – is the best time to prune all this years new shoots back to a spur leaving no more than about about 6 inches of growth.’
While we initially thought this seems so soon for us to be cutting back our climber. After all, they’re currently the showstoppers of our gardens. But Monty went on to explain the benefit of doing this job now.
‘In the process the whole plant can be tidied, trained and tied in so that there are no loose, trailing shoots,’ says Monty.
So if whether you’ve got a climber that’s been growing for decades or recently picked up one of the bargain wisteria plants from Aldi, you can ensure that its appearance is ship-shape and Monty Don-worthy.
We’ve been on a wisteria kick recently, especially since we learned how to grow wisteria in pots, so the more we know about how to keep this plant happy and healthy the better.
So, how much should you prune your wisteria plant? You don’t want to accidentally damage it and risk having no explosion of purple blooms next spring.
‘If there is any doubt about how hard to prune err on the side of cutting too lightly,’ suggests Monty. ‘And then in the the new year, when the foliage has all died back, you can prune again, reducing each side shoot to just 2 or 3 inches.’
So there you have it – when and how to prune your wisteria to make sure it’s the best it can be!