Saturday, February 24, 2018

28 Nov

Time to Prune Wisteria & Honeysuckle!

Don’t worry if you find the idea of pruning your abundant Wisteria or Honeysuckle daunting, just follow our simple guide and you can learn how to keep your garden climbers under control.

Overgrown plants will bloom poorly and younger, unpruned plants may not bloom for years at all. Many gardeners end up digging out their Wisteria and Honeysuckle because of their vigorous growth and lack of flowers. This is a waste of a stunning, scented plant so try to make the most of it by pruning!

When buying new Wisteria or Honeysuckle, choose free flowering varieties and prune correctly from the beginning. If your plants are already old and in a large tangle, don’t worry, you can help them flourish by pruning now. Don’t prune away at the mass of growth as this will only encourage your plants to grow vigorously next year.

Pruning this time of year will reduce the weight of your climbers and in turn the structural damage caused by the harsh winter weather.

Aim to grow the plant out across it’s supports, this will create a framework that will support new stems and flowers next spring. Vigorous growth is fuelled by nitrogen in the soil and overfeeding, so try to reduce the amount of nitrogen in your soil and keep up with pruning. It’s the perfect time to start pruning as most of the leaves have fallen and its easy to see the bare framework. cut down new shoots now and again next summer when the plant is in full leaf. Pruning twice a year may seem a lot of effort, but the blooms will be worth it!

Luckily, Honeysuckle is a little more forgiving when it comes to pruning. Overgrown stems can be cut down almost completely. Honeysuckle is best grown as a framework of stems, trained over your chosen support. Honeysuckle flowers at the tip of the current season’s growth. These stems need to harden up and form sideshoots of their own, which will carry blooms the following year.

To prevent the whole plant becoming woody and congested, keep a succession of replacement shoots coming by cutting out the oldest stems every few years and training in new growth. When pruning make sure you cut side shoots back just above the pair of buds.


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