Japenese Wisteria

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Japenese Wisteria

Post  Dystinction on Sat May 21, 2011 11:42 pm

Hello everyone.
New to the forum, so I figured I'd jump right in with a newbie/validation for you to get my "feet wet".

I just picked up a nursery stock Japanese Wisteria. I haven't given it a full inspection yet, but there appears to be 3-5 flower "bulbs" on it.
The main trunk of the plant is approx. 3/4" dia. Total standing height is approx. 16".
Now, I have been trying to do my fair share of research and learning on this plant, but no advice is better than that of first-hand from someone experienced.
So....my question is:
Am I correct in the approach to basically wait on doing anything to the plant until after the flowering has completed, given the time of year that we have already entered?
Should I re-pot, now, out of the plastic nursery tub without root trimming until later in the year?

I appreciate any advice that is willing to be shared, as I am very excited, however, also willing to be patient.

BTW, I am located in Colorado Springs, and I should be able to abide by the watering and sun requirements for this plant just fine.

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Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Sat May 21, 2011 11:49 pm

Hello Dystinction and welcome to the forum. I suspect your Wisteria is in leaf? In which case repotting will have to be left till next Spring. Posting pictures is always helpful with aiding advice.

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Dystinction on Sun May 22, 2011 12:23 am




Sorry for the sideways photos....not sure why they did that.
A pic is worth a thousand words


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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Sun May 22, 2011 12:30 am

There you go. Too late to pot though. Its best done as the leaf buds start to wake up in the Spring.

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Dystinction on Sun May 22, 2011 12:42 am

Thanks, Will.
I appreciate the advice.
Now I need to join a Picture-Posting-to-Forums forum to figure that part of it out! Very Happy

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Sun May 22, 2011 1:03 am

If you preview your pictures on your pc, you can turn them round first. Very Happy

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Sun May 22, 2011 1:38 am

I know wisteria fairly well, and i notice that is a Monrovia plant. In your question you ask if its ok to re-pot now IF you don't touch the roots. In my opinion yes you could put that wisteria into a larger deeper pot if you like with no ill effect. BUT just slip pot it in and don't touch the roots. some on this forum will disagree with me and probably get upset that I'm giving you this advice. In bonsai culture when we have to trim the roots we do that operation as buds extend. Potting up a plant is a common nursery practice that happens at this time of year, they don't trim roots, they just put plants in larger pots, in fact we were doing it the other day where i work. That Monrovia nursery stock is intended and sold to be planted in the ground, obviously if people only planted nursery stock in the ground (which is essentially a type of potting up) exclusively when the buds were just extending in early spring many garden centers would have to close their doors around the 3rd week of May for the season and thats ludicrous of course. Wisteria like and need a lot of root depth, they will get grumpy if they stay TOO confined, They also like a lot of water and fertilizer, weekly-full strength. The best thing you could do as millions of people do across america at this time of year is stick that thing in the ground and let it fatten up its trunk. Then dig it up and do your root work next year when you see the buds extending. But getting back to Monrovia, they use a lot of compost and beneficial fungus in their potting media so should you decide to leave the plant in its pot it should be healthy. In my opinion If your not touching the roots as you suggested, slip pot it into a well drained 3 gallon pot keep it watered and you should be just fine. In fact IN MY OPINION the tree will thank you for it.


Last edited by man on the mountain on Sun May 22, 2011 1:41 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Sun May 22, 2011 2:02 am

Commercial nursery plants, potted up or planted in the ground will need their roots spreading or pruning, for bonsai purposes as you should know MOTM. This should be done when dormant or about to break bud. Your advice to pot on will result in fat roots that follow the shape of the last pot. For the sake of one season, leave it in its present pot and decide if you want to put it in a deeper pot or in the ground next Spring. Early root training for any species is extremely important for the future. Please don't mislead.

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Sun May 22, 2011 2:10 am

I give up-

I'm done with this forum.


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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Sun May 22, 2011 2:27 am

That was not my intention Man of the mountain. I just feel that this kind of advice for a newbie can be very confusing. Basics is whats needed and to be pulling in different directions is not the way forward. Please forgive my somewhat curt reply.

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  coh on Sun May 22, 2011 3:19 pm

Will, I understand what you're saying and why you're saying it - as a relative beginner I've messed up some plants by repeatedly slip-potting them and not working on the roots along the way. Well, now I get to see if I can fix some of the resulting problems, which will be a learning experience of it's own. However, as to the original issue about repotting now -I've slip-potted nursery type plants many times throughout the growing season with no ill effects to the overall health of the plant. If the wisteria is basically root-bound and not growing much, why not just slip pot it now (tease out the edges of the root ball a bit) into a slightly larger pot so the plant can grow well this summer, then plan to do the more significant repotting and root work early next spring? That would be my approach, otherwise you might essentially lose a season of top-growth. Just keep the wisteria somewhat protected for a week or two after the repotting.

I don't think I'd want to put it in the ground now and then dig it up next spring, however. One thing I've learned is the necessity of working on the roots before planting in the ground.

Chris

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  stavros on Sun May 22, 2011 4:19 pm

Guest wrote:I give up-

I'm done with this forum.


why do people get so upset when there is another opinion/approach different to theirs???? scratch scratch scratch

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Tue May 24, 2011 12:48 am

This is Wisteria your all talking about???? Repot & root prune that thing NOW!!!!!! Advice from the world expert on them (Peter Valda) as well as any who has studied plants in china.... PRUNE AFTER FLOWERING!!! to be able to do so it has to be in leaf, they come thru with the flowers!!!! And PRUNE HARD!!!!

Best bet is to get it in the ground for a season, once it fires away, dont prune those runners but give them something to keep them going up. Wisteria shoots can extend 10,20,30ft or more in a season & the further they run the thicker it will get. This will thicker 4mm twigs into 1" branches in 1 growing season, I know because i have several planted last spring that are just about finished for the year & will be dug in a couple weeks time.

If the skeptics need proof let me know & I can take some pics & let you know pages in P.V's book.

Matt




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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Tue May 24, 2011 1:13 am

Hello Matt. So what your advocating to a relative beginner is to prune back, defoliate, bare root, root prune and plant out in late Spring/ early Summer?

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Tue May 24, 2011 7:20 am

will baddeley wrote:Hello Matt. So what your advocating to a relative beginner is to prune back, defoliate, bare root, root prune and plant out in late Spring/ early Summer?

YES Will, that is exactly what I am advocating & would always say the same to beginner or expert alike....I did not say to bare root or defoliate... I said to prune HARD, if that means defoliated & bare rooted then so be it, it wont care.... Wisteria is almost unkillable & when its a young plant like that it just wants to grow. In the ground it will take off (even in Suffolk)! Plant up some of the pruned roots with the tips just at ground level & dont be surprised if you end up with a few extra's

I have dug & planted them in mid summer with 40degC temps & mid winter with -5C and everywhere in between. No matter when its done the roots take off & the top half when time comes (if out of season).

I planted floribunda 'violacea plena' & several rooted cuttings of floribunda & sinensis at the end of March (my autumn), 5wks later I had to move one and the roots had already gotten a good hold on the earth!!!!

Wisteria & particularly floribunda demand regular & hard pruning & root work if they are to make successful bonsai instead of just being potted flowering plants. Even as garden plants, floribunda requires constant heavy pruning to get the best out of them, growth & flowering wise.

Matt

PS: Timing given for work in any bonsai guide or from any grower is always best time... IT IS NOT THE ONLY TIME

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Dave Martin on Tue May 24, 2011 8:40 am

Sorry Matt,
I have to disagree with you regarding the root pruning.
As to pruning the wisteria I shall be pruning in August back to 5 buds on the new growth, then in February I will cut back to 2/3 buds prior to the formation of flower buds as the plant comes out of the UK's winter. It is at this time that I will root prune and re-pot. The other thing is that when I prune I ALWAYS seal the cuts.



The picture of the wisteria shown above is always treated in this fashion each year.

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  fiona on Tue May 24, 2011 8:43 am

I think Will's concern was not that the advice was incorrect but that it was being given to a confessed newcomer to bonsai who may not have the skills or knowledge of the techniques we are talking about. Hopefully he/she will be able to distinguish between advice given for a bonsai wisteria and that for a garden one.

However, I am interested in what you are saying, Matt but have a question for you: I prune my own (garden) wisteria frequently throughout the summer. I have to as it grows like fury and if I don't it starts to look like the set of a bad sci-fi movie. I'm sure it tried to grab the dog one day as he was passing. However - and here's the question (at last): I only get a few flowers and they don't always appear every year, so what is the best method/time for pruning to induce flowering?

Bear in mind that I live in a part of Scotland whose summer temperatures scarcely get above 20C, with winter temps of between 5C and -10C and which has a lot of rain throughout the year.

The wisteria is growing on a pergola and I try to keep it to two main branches.

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Thu May 26, 2011 11:34 pm

Hey Dave,

Beautiful sinensis, thanks for detailing your regime and timing, the tree shows how well that works for you in your climate. However, I am trying to work out where we disagree re root pruning. If I read your post right... You repot & root prune each year, as do I... both flying in the face of usual practice & advice!!! (Leave pot bound, dont feed etc etc)

How old is this tree & how many years in training? Have you always grown it in a pot or fattened up in ground first? I would love to see the structure when this is bare.

Matt

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Guest on Fri May 27, 2011 1:36 am

Fiona,

I think thats half the problem with our hobby/passion... all too many are put off because we try to differentiate between bonsai practice & normal gardening practice, making it sound soo much harder than it really is (EG in my climate it is best to plant out trees during autumn so they can get established & settled before the heat of summer hits, yet I was recently told not to do this with some maple potensai "they are bonsai! you cant treat them the same as a normal tree!" I did anyway & the trees thanked me very quickly)

I too had issue with a garden vine that never flowered well, then I found Peter Valder's book & it has changed much of my growing and training of this species for garden & bonsai... The first & most important aspect in getting good flowering is SUN ... as much as you can give them! Followed by proper pruning. Thirdly, dont feed or over water(this may be part of probblem due to your location) it encourages vigourous growth instead of flowering.

I assume your growing sinensis (if I am wrong let me know) & its an established plant not a youngen in training (plants can take 3-5yrs before flowering, up to 20yrs if raised from seed) Wisteria produces 2 types of growth, long running stems & short flowering spurs. With age & correct pruning you can increase the later & lessen the former.
This shows a shoot on the old sinensis I dug last winter. Because this tree was cut back so heavily when collected, it produced alot of runners. With each successive prune the number lessened & more spot flowering & flower spurs formed (from 90 runners to 50 to 15 by last prune), it also spot flowered 3 times due to the regular pruning (most of these were removed, with over 70 counted during the January clean up!) Red line is where it was cut back to last winter, black lines show where the succesive runners were cut back to and the final production of a flowering spur. This branch will now produce short spur growth & flowers instead of runners (barring another major cut back)... Runners are cut back to the 2nd/3rd leaf when they have extended atleast 6-8', the leaves you cut back to have hardened off & the tip has started to spiral looking for something to grab (or has already grabbed something). DO NOT remove them entirely as this will encourage even more runners at the expense of flowers.
These are growth buds on a short runner that formed late in the season (it looks a bit like a spur because its short but is thinner as are the buds) I will remove this whole section back to a flower bud (shown below, nice & fat) around July (midwinter)..
Any drastic shaping or cutting back should be restricted to spring just after flowering (or during if you are willing to remove this seasons flowers). All suckers & unwanted shoots are most easily removed as they appear, coming away easily when pulled or bent over.

Having said all the above, Wisteria sinensis actually flowers better if pruning is restricted to just once a year, after flowering, during the growing season the long runners can be twisted back into the mess to keep them out of the way. It is also not the best choice for a pergola, floribunda with its longer racemes show up much better & also respond better to constant hard pruning (they require it or will only sporadically bloom) In japan they train them over frames & pay particular attention to the placement of every branch (first second third order etc) bit like bonsai.

Hope my rambling makes sense & has been of some help.

Matt

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Russell Coker on Fri May 27, 2011 3:53 pm

Guys, this has been a really informative thread. I appreciate y'all sharing.

I found a wisteria about as big around as my leg at my knee this past winter. The first 8 feet or so is free-standing, and from there it grows into an oak tree. I cut it down to about 3 feet, and the last time I checked it was poping new growth on the trunk. Should I leave digging it until winter (that WAS my plan), or should I go ahead and do it now? It's already pretty hot here on the Gulf Coast, but not nearly as hot as it's going to get. Matt, it looks like we have similar weather but I have more rain.

Any thoughts on collecting some big, old plants?


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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri May 27, 2011 5:47 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Guys, this has been a really informative thread. I appreciate y'all sharing.

I found a wisteria about as big around as my leg at my knee this past winter. The first 8 feet or so is free-standing, and from there it grows into an oak tree. I cut it down to about 3 feet, and the last time I checked it was poping new growth on the trunk. Should I leave digging it until winter (that WAS my plan), or should I go ahead and do it now? It's already pretty hot here on the Gulf Coast, but not nearly as hot as it's going to get. Matt, it looks like we have similar weather but I have more rain.

Any thoughts on collecting some big, old plants?

Russell,

I too collected a large wisteria sinensis a few years ago and did my collecting at the end of winter just before it would normally bud out and it did just fine. Personally I wouldn't collect them now after they have leafed out. It's better to be safe than sorry, particularly with good plant stock. Here's a couple of pictures of mine

Randy

2 months after collecting(feb 2003)


May 2010


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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Mike Jones on Fri May 27, 2011 6:16 pm

Dave

May I just say, your Wisteria is an absolute joy to see, and the pot is just simply absopositively wonderful. Thank you for showing it. bounce

Mike

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Dave Martin on Fri May 27, 2011 6:35 pm

Here is the Wisteria that mine was air-layered from by my friend and mentor in wisteria matters John Lee of the Phoenix bonsai group.

Unfortunately, the flowers were just starting to go over when I took the photo.

This tree was featured in Peter Adams book the art of Flowering bonsai, it was grown from a whip planted in 1972, which was planted s a bonsai1993. It is over 6 inches in diameter and approx 3 feet tall.It is undergoing a restructure at this time.

Mine was taken as an air-layer in about 2005/6 it is now 2-3 inches in diameter from 3/4 inch.
I re-pot every other year and it is due another re-pot next year.
John re-potted his this year into a training pot as his Dan Barton pot is to small, I follow the same re-potting regime as John.

When I said I disagreed with Matt E's comments on re-potting I would not wish to re-pot when the plant was in leaf but only in late February before bud movement with the weather we seem to be experiencing in S England I alway keep the plant in my garage protected from frosts after this.


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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  coh on Fri May 27, 2011 7:04 pm

Question for Randy regarding the collection of that large wisteria - what kind of root system were you able to get out of the ground? I haven't collected anything that large, but did remove a wisteria from a bad location (right near house foundation and in deep shade) a few years ago...trunk at the base was only an inch or two so I figured no problem. Well...when I dug around the plant I found no near surface roots, just a lengthy underground trunk (or tap root) that went straight down. Couldn't get it out by hand, neighbor came over with his truck and tried to pull it out...the chain broke! We eventually got it out in 2 pieces, neither of which had any feeder roots. We each took and planted one, and today they are thriving. We did this after leaf out as I recall.

Chris

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri May 27, 2011 7:38 pm

coh wrote:Question for Randy regarding the collection of that large wisteria - what kind of root system were you able to get out of the ground?
Chris

Chris

My wisteria was growing at the base of a 90 foot tree (oak or ash, I don't really remember) growing in the woods. The wisteria has been there since being planted in 1960 and climed up to the top of that tree as well as spread to other trees covering about 2 acres of ground. The base of the wisteria is 18" at the soil line and when I removed it, I had to dig out a bit to get the lateral surface roots which is why it was in that rectangle wooden box. As I recall it had 2 or 3 large lateral roots that were cut back to 2 feet or so and there were a number of smaller roots right at the base of the vine. It took 2 hours of hand digging to get it out of the ground but it was relatively easy work (emphasize relatively). Today, the roots fill that large pot and it grows into the ground each year so that I have to lift it and cut the roots in the ground off every spring. Over the last few years I have cut it back some so it's now about 3 1/2 feet tall or so. I occasionally feed it, have repotted it once, never root pruned it since collection and leave it outside year around (we got to -4f this winter). Wisteria are quite winter hardy but once they leaf out they are very sensative to late spring frosts which can kill them if it's a hard frost during the leaf budding and flowering period. It's right next to the greenhouse door so that If there is a late spring frost I can roll it into the greenhouse for protection.

Randy

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Re: Japenese Wisteria

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