Wisteria- Why Won’t It Bloom?

The biggest problem with Wisteria that fail to bloom is usually due to an abundance of nitrogen which produces foliage rather than bloom and a phosphorus deficiency.  To remedy the situation amend the soil in the fall with 1/2 lb of colloidal sulphate or the same amount of bone meal per 1" of the main trunk diameter.  However, be aware that it may be several years after planting before this vine blooms.  Root pruning of established plants may encourage shy bloomers to perform.  Prune the Wisteria severely after it blooms to encourage further blooming and to control excessive growth (which can be as much as 10ft a year); prune all new growth back to three buds.

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19 Responses to Wisteria- Why Won’t It Bloom?

  1. admin says:

    Maureen, on the home page of this website under the heading “what to read” you will see ‘Wisteria’ and yes it would also be a good idea to have a knowledgeable garden person come over to look at it. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Maureen

  2. Maureen says:

    Dear English Lady:
    Thank you for this helpful website. We have a beautiful arbor (near San Francisco, California) with purple wisteria. Right now the left side is blooming (although not as lush as the last few years) but the right side is completely bare. There’s a tree on each side of the arbor but I don’t think these trees are shading the arbor enough to affect the bloom. I am woefully inadequate as a gardener and wonder if I should have someone come over to look at it. Would love some advice.

    Kind regards, Maureen

  3. admin says:

    Patsy, your lilacs require full sun in order to bloom on the south or southwest side of the property. They also require good drainage, so I don’t know what kind of soil you have – clay soil does not have good drainage and if you have that kind of soil, some gravel and sand in the soil around the lilac would help. If you prune, prune immediately after flowering so that you don’t inhibit flowers for the following year. Powdery mildew can be a problem, spray with a mix of water, 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda and 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Sprinkle some lime around the base of the lilacs in early April and add manure to the soil. Good luck Maureen

  4. admin says:

    For your Christmas cactus to do well – give sun in fall and winter – on the south side of the house and keep soil barely moist during this time. In spring and summer water freely. In mid October or November, give plants 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and cool nights at 55 degrees, so they will set buds. Humidity at 60%. Good luck Maureen

  5. DJ says:

    My indoor Christmas Cactus is very limp looking. Can’t seem to get the leaves to “plump” up as they once were. Still pushing buds, but some fall off…any clues?
    Thank you

  6. Patsy says:

    Dear English Lady: For 12 years I have had 6 French Lilac bushes. Not one year did they bloom. Last year in May, after returning home from the hospital, I was sitting on my deck and low and behold I saw six blossoms on a couple of the lilacs. How come, after all that time, did they bloom? I was so distraught that I seriously was going to cut all of them down. Do you think they will bloom this year? I was told that lime put around the trunks on the soil will make them bloom. Can you solve this mystery for me? Thanks

  7. admin says:

    Holly, the lack of sun has held back the morning glories this season, and they also often bloom only every other year in the same place. They are not male and female but are pollinated by bees, which is also a part of the problem as the honey bee population is being wiped out by chemicals and it is taking some time before the wild bees are able to catch up with all the pollination. Maureen

  8. holly says:

    Hi, i have morning glory’s on my porch side some of the vine’s do not bloom and have just seeds and the other side bloom’s like crazy. Are some of the morning glory’s…male that don’t bloom and female’s that do vise versa?

  9. Maureen, How many years have I been complaining about my Wisteria to you? I was about to give up and get my chain saw and my wife Arlene called me this morning (8/21/09) and told me it actually has a flower on it. Hallelujah Allan
    See you for the September broadcast

  10. admin says:

    Ilene, on the website you will see the article about the Wily Wisteria which can answer your question about pruning it so that you get bloom. Maureen

  11. Ilene says:

    Last spring I planted wisteria in a 1/2 wine barrel. Foliage is growing well around our arbor, but few flowers. The instructions from the nursery were not to feed it the first year. Shall I feed it this summer? If so, what mixture?

  12. admin says:

    Bob, the answer is no. Enjoy the bloom when it comes. Maureen

  13. bob says:

    good morning !!

    does a wisteria bloom more than once a year in connecticut?

  14. admin says:

    Elaine, Wisterias prefer full sun, on a strong support. Main reason Wisterias do not bloom is an abundance of nitrogen which promotes foliage but not bloom, so stop using the miracle gro – as its full of nitrogen. Amend the soil around it to counteract this problem with bonemeal – one half pound. Through the season prune all new growth back to three buds and you can also root prune, about two feet from the trunk, take sharp spade and go into the earth and cut through the roots to shock the plant. Good luck Maureen

  15. admin says:

    joelle, prune the wisteria every two weeks during the growing season June through September, shortening all the new growth by a third and cut out the dead section.
    Good luck Maureen

  16. joelle says:

    HI I have a very large wisteria . Actually 2 plants on each side of an arbor. The right side is rapidly growing over a tree and my house. It has beautifull flowers. But I cant seem to get the branches to go over the arbor it just goes its own way, What can I do? Also the left side seems to have died. No leaves or anything.

  17. Josephine N says:

    Last year I got my grandson (16 yrs old) interested in growing fruit trees. We went out and bought two peach trees to start. This year we missed spraying the trees because we couldn’t find any fruit spray. The trees now have small peaches. I went over their last night and I found some insects on the trees. What and where and I put on these trees. He is so excited to have peaches and I would not like him to get discouraged after just starting to be a farmer. PLEASE HELP!

    Thank you,

  18. The English Lady says:

    Dear Amy, add bone meal and of course aged manure to all the borders and your veg garden if you have one and put aged manure and a fine bark mulch around the base of the wisteria. To promote bloom on the wisteria is to work the plant over every two weeks in summer, pinching back all shoots to about four inches on the ones not needed to extend the plant. Maureen

  19. Amy says:

    Can we add bone meal now in April or too late? Our wisteria doesn’t bloom, and we do not feed it. thanks!

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