Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The case of the invisible wisteria

I got all excited last year when, finally, the wisteria bloomed after five years in the ground, all the while growing a thicker and thicker trunk and spreading more and more roots through its limited bed. I had expected this masterful behavior, but was willing to tolerate it for the flowers. I do love wisteria.

When I saw (and smelled) the plethora of blossoms that have appeared this year, it was difficult to be feel joy. The thing is, my wisteria is totally invisible to the naked (or clothed) eye. Sure, there are ample flowers, but to see them you have to walk through a narrow garden passage, under the overhanging branches, and look up. Voila.

It is not clear what I've done wrong here. Should the spring pruning be more rigorous? Is this a type that doesn't flower until after the branches have fully leafed out? Normally you see the flowers before the leaves, but that's not what is happening here.

I have no answer to this, but plan to look up different cultivars and see what might be the issue. In the meantime, I'll enjoy them however I can.


Arlene said...

Oh, please post what you find out, I have the same problem, mine had a few blooms before the leaves, now nothing...I cannot seem to figure out how to prune this correctly...I see others so beautiful over the arbors...why not mine?

Shira said...

It's been a while since I took my pruning classes - but from what I recall - it responds to heavy pruning - once a month in the growing season including some root pruning. According to my handy-dandy Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, it likes higer pH and not too much nitrogen. If it were me - I'd prune out all of the water sprouts (maybe just leaving one or two that are growing in a direction that you like) that are in the foreground of the picture. Hope that helps!

lisa said...

Wow...this is my first wisteria year, but I'll be glad to get an education from your experience! Right now, I'm just cheering for survival!