Wild growers pruned twice a year so flowers show
Some plants grow so fast and wild they need cutting twice a
year. Ironically, these that most need cutting are hardest to show
in terms of how-to because the overall picture at pruning time in
March and July is so crowded with branches.
So do what we do. Take it one main branch at a time. Here's one
branch of a wisteria and what we cut. All the whippy, tangly newest
shoots that will yield only flowers this year? Out! (Diagram of the
whole plant trained and pruned in
What's Coming Up 8.)
What we leave on the plant are the stubby spurs and thick branch
bases with their flower buds. This is what remains in March after
we prune. In July, it's the same -- but then it's not buds but bare
branches here. The vine is temporarily almost leafless. Don't
worry. It grows back. Just look back up and left at how much grew
between July and the next March.
Below: Blue lines mark where we will cut.
Pays to pay
attention to flower buds
Weeping cherry (Prunus varieties) and
Forsythia are like Wisteria in their rapid,
near-wild growth. We cut many of them twice a year, too. It pays to
pay attention to flower buds. When you know what they look like you
will see as you prune that you are removing non-blooming wood. That
lets the flowers sow off.
Below: Red-brown flower buds of an upright cherry and a
weeping cherry -- the cluster at a "spur" will be the
Below: Yellow-brown Forsythia flower buds. Where
there are paired buds, there will be bloom.