Netflix’s much-anticipated hit show Bridgerton is back for another season today, as fans take inspiration from the stunning variety of floral displays.
Most notably, fans were impressed by the lilac wisteria framing the Bridgerton household, even sparking a ‘wisteria hysteria’ last year as eBay searches for the plant climbed 300 percent.
But while wisteria is generally an easy-to-care-for plant, ensuring wisteria flowers is not always so simple.
For those hoping to replicate the Bridgerton’s glorious wisteria bloom this spring, the gardening experts at The Greenhouse People troubleshoot why your wisteria might not be flowering and gives their top tips on growing wisteria.
Though most gardeners opt to grow wisteria from a ready-rooted plant, some may savour the challenge of growing wisteria from cuttings.
To do so, you should take cuttings from a healthy wisteria plant in mid-spring to promote optimum growth. The cutting needs to be taken from the softwood of the plant, between 3 to 6 inches long and should have at least a couple of leaves.
You can also choose to wound the cutting at its base by scratching or cutting the stem to aid the plant to take roots.
Plant the cutting in well-draining potting soil and cover with a plastic bag to trap in heat and moisture, taking care not to let the plastic touch the leaves of the wisteria cutting. Ensure the cutting is kept moist by watering the soil when it feels dry to the touch. Once you can see growth, you can then remove the bag and pot the plant.
Growing Wisteria – Lighting matters
A lack of flowers is a common complaint amongst gardeners when it comes to wisteria. Though fast-growing and beautiful in bloom, wisteria is not a wise choice for the impatient gardener since it notoriously takes a long time to flower – sometimes taking up to five years to bloom.
Luckily, there are some ways to help promote flower growth. The first thing to consider is whether your wisteria is getting enough light. Wisteria needs to be planted in a sunny position, ideally against a sturdy structure such as a south or west-facing wall for support, so double-check if too much shade is the culprit for a lack of flowers.
Growing Wisteria – Perfect pruning
Poor pruning can also cause wisteria to not flower. Wisteria should be pruned twice a year in July and January. Summer pruning should involve cutting back the green shoots of the current year’s growth to five leaves to control the size of the wisteria. Winter pruning should involve cutting the same shoots back to three buds.
Growing Wisteria – Strong support
While wisteria is a hardy plant, its weight can leave it vulnerable to damage against extreme weathers such as strong winds. Because of this, it needs a sturdy structure, such as a wall, to ensure its weight is supported or risk damaging the vines which could result in a lack of flowering. You can also grow wisteria along a pergola which can make for a stunning floral feature in your garden. However, take care to ensure your pergola of choice is solid and in no way at risk of collapsing under pressure. A metal pergola may be more suitable and allow the wisteria vines to grow freely.