Look Locally over the Garden Gate: May’s plant in focus is Wonderful Wisteria… 

Mimosa Gardens look at Wonderful Wisteria

Abundant dripping blooms of purple racemes drape the porches and walls of our homes throughout this month. They are a joy to behold, and with a scent to match; an aspirational plant to bring into your garden. 

They are however a plant that can cause a little consternation: Why won’t they flower? What makes them bloom? How do I train them where I want them?

I know wisterias. Would you believe, I am Miss RHS Wisteria on YouTube! 279k views! Go check it out if you want to see me 10 years younger and with a Surrey accent! You will of course get the how-to on why and when to prune your wisteria.

What do you need to consider if you want a wisteria in your life? Wisteria sinensis, commonly known as the Chinese wisteria, is a species of the pea family, native to China, in the provinces of Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, and Yunnan it can grow 20–30m, so planting position is key.

Coming from those regions wisteria is hardy at low temperatures but loves a sunny spot. It needs the sun for ripening those buds and without this, it is very reluctant to flower. So a west or south-facing wall is very important for best blooms.

Then it is all about the pruning. Wisteria as we have noted is a vigorous plant and so it needs pruning back to 5 buds from the framework to keep it in check. This prune is done in late summer (July /August) as the sap returns to the roots. When you prune you expose the flower-bearing tips to the sun and keep the plant’s growth close to the framework on the wall or pergola (or wherever you want it). You will then need to prune again in January cutting back to 2 buds. This reduces the leaf break in the spring and concentrates the plant’s energy in the flower buds giving you bigger blooms and an unfettered view of them. For the cultivar with the longest blooms go for Wisteria floribunda macrobotrys. I also love white Wisteria brachybotrys ‘Shiro Kapitan’. 

A note of caution on buying cheap and small specimens can take 7 years before they are mature enough to bloom so could be slow to perform. Those seeds like the laburnum are poisonous so be watchful with Dogs and children when the seeds drop.

For information on these or any other flower join me on Facebook @mimosadesign.

Email: info.mimosadesign@gmail.com
Call: 07737 286784. 

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