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Give wisteria its summer prune23 August 2013
Give wisteria its summer prune to keep it within bounds, prevent winter damage and encourage lots of those sumptuous long perfumed flower racemes next spring.
Your plant will by now be sprouting a jungle of long, whippy shoots in all directions: this not only looks messy, but all that green growth is diverting the plant's energy into producing lots of extra shoots rather than ripening wood to make fat flower buds for next year.
What's more those long tendrils have a habit of finding their way into guttering, under roof eaves and through windowframes, so snip them back now to bring them to heel.
Start by filling any gaps which have opened up in your plant's framework by selecting well-placed shoots and training them in to fill the space, tying them into position on support wires using soft jute string. These will thicken during the year and eventually become part of the framework themselves.
Then work your way along each main branch cutting back every sideshoot to five or six leaves from the framework. Always cut just above a bud, as that's the bit which will go on to make one of those luscious long strings of sweetly-scented flowers next May.