When and How to Prune Wisteria
April 17, 2024

The stunning cascades of wisteria are an impressive sight every spring and summer. This vigorous climbing vine can be grown up walls to add instant impact to your house, over pergolas to create a stunning floral archway, and even up trees where the vines will coil around branches. Whatever your wisteria is climbing, it’ll reach a height of 10-12 metres in the right conditions, so its growth will need keeping in check.

Proper pruning will also encourage another show later in the season, so it’s important to know how to do it right. With the help of our experts we’ll guide you through when to prune wisteria, and also how for the best results every year. 

When to Prune Wisteria

Wisterias benefit from being pruned twice a year: once in summer and once in winter.

The first pruning should be immediately after flowering in midsummer – usually June, or July to August if your wisteria flowers slightly later. This will encourage a second show of flowers, after the main show in May. 

Then prune in midwinter, around January while the plant is dormant, to keep the plant to size. This is the main pruning period.

How to Cut Back a Wisteria

The first pruning, which should be done straight after the first show of flowers in summer, should be relatively light. With some sharp secateurs, reduce the new green shoots to five or six leaves. This will help not only to keep your wisteria to a manageable size but also encourage a better display of flowers. Once you’ve finished this pruning, it’s a good opportunity to tie in new growth to replace any old branches.

For the main winter pruning, the plant should be trained to size. Cut your wisteria back to just two or three buds with some bypass pruners, making sure you prune just above a bud rather than just below it. This will help keep your wisteria’s size in check so it won’t get out of control, and also encourage the production of flower buds so that they won’t be obscured by leaves. During this pruning it’s a good time to remove any unwanted or spent branches, trimming it right back to the main stem.


When pruned this way your wisteria will happily blossom magnificently every year, adding colour and impact to your garden or the front of your house. 

Now you know how to prune a wisteria and when to do it, your garden will no doubt benefit from its improved growth and blossoming. For more pruning and gardening tips, have a look at our gardening ideas and advice hub, and find everything you need for the perfect pruning and more in our vast garden range.