The whippy green shoots of the current year's growth are yearning for a trim. Learn how to prune wisteria and enliven the walls of your house.


Knowing how to prune wisteria wisely is key to keeping the outside of your house attractively covered. Let it go and you may start to resemble an overgrown secret garden. Wisteria is an ornamental plant and climbs gracefully when taken care of. If left to ramble and tumble into the gutters, it will be begin to look barren and stop producing flowers. The end of summer is a popular time to prune wisteria. It allows more sunlight to reach the young growths and will encourage better ripening of the wood.

If a touch of pruning prompts thoughts of a garden spruce, consider reading our practical advice on garden hedges and boarders for some advice.

QUERY: My husband has a tendency to prune large shrubs with a chainsaw, with dramatic results. He has offered to prune the wisteria, which has got rather out of control. It’s wonderful on the front of the house and I am determined to make sure it survives by pruning it myself. Help! When should I do this? Can you advise me how to prune wisteria?



The ideal time to prune wisteria is in July/August and again in January/February. It is important to keep the growth and size under control and this makes it more floriferous. To prevent the wisteria from raiding the guttering and windows, cut back the whip-like green shoots of the current year’s growth to six or seven leaves after flowering. This will encourage the wisteria to form flower buds instead of green growth. Take care to water it if there is a dry spell between July and September as the flower buds are forming for next year; a drought at this time can result in a failure to bloom. In January/February cut the same growth back to two or three buds – this will ensure that the flowers are not blocked by the leaves during flowering.