Welcome to the new ‘Smith’s How To…’ Series

Over the coming months we will be sharing with you tips on ‘How to’ for key aspects of gardening.  Today we are discussing ‘How to’ best maintain your creepers and we’re focusing on Wisteria. For seasoned gardeners, you will already be aware of the task at hand, but for those new to gardening there are a few simple rules that you should be mindful of.

Firstly, not all creepers require the same approach, so it is wise to remind yourself which varieties of creeper you have in your garden and what and when to conduct any maintenance. At Smiths Nurseries we are keen to ensure that you are best placed to have the knowledge required to nurture your plants such that you are able to enjoy them at their very best.

All Wisteria require regular pruning. Left unattended, your plant will become leggy and uncontrollable. January and February is the time that you should be conducting the first of your Wisteria pruning sessions. This is called Winter pruning. All the leaves will have fallen by this time, which will leave you with dormant and leafless shoots. Cut back these shoot growths to two or three buds. This will tidy the plant up before the start of the growing season and allow the flowers to obtain the spring and summer sunshine, whilst not being obscured by too many leaves.

Summer pruning is conducted in July or August. Your plant will have been in full leaf for some time by now and significant growth should have occurred. Cut back the long green shoots from the current years growth to five or six buds after the flowering period. This essential maintenance will allow your plant to divert its energy into producing new flowering buds for the following year rather than just green growth; whilst retaining a tidy and manageable plant that is not going to invade windows, eaves or guttering.

In addition to general maintenance pruning, there are of course all sorts of additional pruning activities that you may wish to consider. You may have your Wisteria growing over a doorway, pergola, arch or other garden structure. Alternatively, it’s increasingly popular to train Wisteria as a ‘Standard’ or ‘Umbrella’. Our expert horticultural team here at Smiths Nurseries will be happy to discuss these pruning techniques with you and advise on the correct pot sizes and soil types to help you to achieve the desired results from your plant.

As always Smith’s has an extensive range of secateurs, loppers and pruning saws to help you maintain your creepers, so should you need to replace any old tools, we hope to see you in-store soon.