How to Manage a Wisteria Bonsai

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I’M going to talk to you today about wisterias bonsai and how to prune them. Let me introduce the subject by showing you some of the vistas that i’ve owned in the past. This is a picture of a wisteria that i showed at the chelsea flower show.

Maybe in 2005., let me just move the thing on, so this is going to be a slight show of some various slides where stairs come in all forms, and this is a double form. Look at the flowers. This is a white wisteria.

You get the white in either flory bunda or sinensis. This is a collection of wisters and the red maples. This is the double one which i showed you earlier on. I have a whistle that grows on a leland die.

Let me show it to you again. This is a large tree that grows at the end of our property and it climbs up a leilandai tree and when it’s in bloom, everyone thinks that the lilian lilandia has these purple flowers, but not so.

This is a pink form of wisteria. One of the wisteria specialists in this country always refers this wisteria as chan’s pink, but he has never officially named it as such. Close looker is distinctly got a pinkish tinge to this tree.

It’S not blue, and it’s not purple. This is a white one, this is sinensis sinensis or the chinese wisteria are usually shorter in the flower, a red seam. That means they’re only like six or eight inches long, whereas the japanese, flory bunder white, with steel, the ray seams or the blooms can be about two feet long sometimes more.

This is that same wisteria that i showed you earlier at. One of our chelsea flower shows flowering. Trees are always much admired at flower shows. This is another pink form. This is a white sinensis. Again, most wisterias fly from the end of april to about the third week in may.

This is the pink variety. This is the double double blue one. I regret having sold this tree because now that i’ve sold it – i don’t have any more of this, but it’s such a rare tree look at it double flowers, almost like delphinium.

This is my favorite pink one. This one is called horn benny. This is a red variety and it’s a distinct, deep, pink rather than a light pink. This is another wisteria. I think this is just an ordinary uh flory bunder light move one.

So with this introduction, i will now show you what we do when the stairs have finished flowering as bonsai and how to deal with them. I’M going to talk about the pruning of mysterious. Many people have asked me to do videos on this, because there’s quite a lot of misinformation or people just do not know how to handle wisterias.

We stills are a very popular tree as i’ve shown on the introduction. Some of these wisterias grown old buildings and they’re absolutely massive, and they cover the whole building and people who go with stairs on buildings and on trees.

They recommend pruning twice a year in late summer and then in early spring, when it comes to bonsai, we usually only prune once or possibly one and a half times a year. We are now in the first week in august and if you’ve been watching my videos, we’ve had this horrendous summer, unprecedented heat, where we’ve had temperatures reaching 40.

2 degrees two weeks ago and then in the last week we’ve had temperatures of 37 38 degrees. So so, hot now these mixtures are growing in big pots, so they’re not suffering very much i’ll, give you some tips about how we grow them.

Normally, when they’re put on exhibition and bone in smaller parts, they look different from when they’re just going normally like this. This is a very good time to talk about pruning, because look at all these long tendrils that have produced this tendril is about two meter long.

So what do we do with these wisterias? I have already pruned some, but some i’ve deliberately left so that you can see what is happening if you are familiar with growing fruit, trees like apple trees and other trees that bear flowers and fruit, you will know the difference between fruiting buds and non-fruiting buds.

Now these buds, these plump buds like this – these are the buds that will carry next year’s flowers. Okay, that’s a pretty short stem. What happens when you have a long stem like this? This is a very, very long step now, if you look at this long stem as you go further up, there are not many buds which are potential flowering buds they could be, but they haven’t swollen up yet so with a long bud like this, you can see Where the shoot emanated from it started from there and it’s gone about two meters, so i would normally recommend you keep like four nodes, one two, three four and then prune it back to about there prune all that off.

So that’s how you keep them short and you have enough flower buds at the end of that. So all these shoots we’re going to keep to about four buds. We can’t be too greedy. I know that if you leave the long shoots you will get a lot of flower buds like this one.

Here this one was produced earlier. There are buds here, they’re buds here, they’re buds here. If you don’t want the tree to get too big, then you just prune it here, i’m going to sacrifice the flowering buds at that end.

So that’s how you keep this tree compact as simple as that. Keep it compact. So that is that one done and by the way, if you see these scorched leaves wisterias are very thirsty plants. They are almost akin to the weeping willow where the roots are so vigorous that they can extract water from anywhere.

I’M going to give you some tips about growing mysterious in the summer. Look, that’s another long shoot now, i’m going to prune this back to about there, so we go around and see. This is how we’re growing them they’re grown in big pots, but if i’m doing it for exhibition, i won’t put it in such large pots.

This is a pink one. I have the stairs of many colors. I have red, pink, blue white and so on. You look at this tendril here. This tendril has gone round and round and it is going this way which is clockwise.

So this is sinensis. There are not many flower buds on this. There are flowers right there, so you can see how long this is. [. Music ]. I think this one has started from here. I will just keep a couple of don’t be greedy.

I’Ve got enough floss, so this has been cooled back see this one is strangling itself. So that’s what i do to these ones here. So that is the summer tuning i’ve given to this one. As i told you, i have a lot of pink whiskey here now.

This is a beautiful, pink mystery and this one produces seed pods. So i let the seed pods grow, because i want to collect the seed, and i saw the seeds wisterias by the way are very easy to germinate from seeds.

So i’m keeping them because i will germinate those seeds next spring and i will get more plants from that now. What has happened to this one? You might well ask this: one: didn’t get watered properly at some stage and it has dried out, but the tree is not dead.

It will come again, it’s full of buds. So because it’s been dried out, i would say that we are all guilty of not watering properly with the nursery as large as this, where we have thousands and thousands of plants.

If you count the seedlings, i think i don’t even want to hazard the guests as to how many plants we have. If you count the seedlings, it must be like 20, 000 or more because we saw a lot of seeds ourselves.

Just in mountain maple alone. We grow about 5 000 seedlings a year and we don’t have space to go them all. So these burnt leaves they’re no good to anyone, so i might as well get rid of them. I might be lucky enough to get another crop of leaves, but the tree because it’s not dead, might push out new leaves.

I will follow the progress normally leaf pruning. We do on mountain maples and i have stood it back in water. Okay. Now let me go to some more mysterious, just another one which got missed so that is turning a bit yellow.

But again you see, look at the plum buds. Let’S come closer and have a look. These are the flowering buds for next year and what am i doing? I’M standing it is a japanese water basin so that it doesn’t get neglected.

As far as watering is concerned, let me take you to another area where i have hundreds of wisterias. These large fiberglass trays are filled with water in the summer and we fill it with water to a depth of two or three inches and stand all the way stairs in that.

So you see how well these vistas are going so again, look at this whisper. I would just point out something a lot of these leguminous plants that means plants that produce these legumes or beans and peas in the summer when it gets hot, the leaves fold up.

I’M sure you don’t know that, but the leaves fold up because it reduces transpiration. This is a thing, not many people know, but they do fold up. Let me show you something which is going on here: okay, they produce enough flower buds, so i’m going to prune them back to about four buds.

If you look at this, this one, two, three four i’ll prune it up to there now what is going on with this one now this one is a sucker. These wisterias came from japan, and this, i know, is a red, wisteria, horn, benny, very rare red wisteria and this wisteria, because it’s red has been grafted.

I know that they’re grafted, so this is the under stop. You can see straight away that the leaves are different from the grafted part. So if i don’t want the understock to take over, i will remove that completely.

I do have a tree. I will show it to you that is growing near the waterfall in our japanese garden and that tree when it flowers creeping on the cherry trees, they will find two colors, blue and white and people think it’s a wisteria which is very strange with two colors blue Flowers and white flowers: no, it’s not because the tree has two colored flowers, it’s just that the understock is blue and the top part is white.

So if you don’t want the understock to take over that’s what you’ve got to do and again look at the long shoots that these have produced masses and masses of long shoots and because they’re, all tangled i’m going to just take all these long sheets off.

So that i can get access to the plant mind you, i’m sacrificing a lot of flaws. If you look at any of these long shoots, these are all flowering buds. So if i wanted to be greedy and have lots of flowers, i will just let these long sheets grow, but as a bonsai that may not work because who wants trees, which are straggly like six feet.

Eight feet nine feet long. You want a tree which is compact and because you want to see it compact, sadly, you will have to remove all these candles now. Let me take one of these long ones out. Look at this one here.

Look it’s all triangled up! Okay, this one look at see this can’t really be a bonsai. So if we look at this new shoot, this is this new growth which is about. I would say it’s almost like two and a half meter long, but there are lots of flower buds all over the place – flower flower flowered, but we don’t want them too long.

So we let’s keep a few and prune them back to about there pulling them back to about there. So these all flowers pull and that we will keep as a compact tree like so, and that is going to be the shape of the tree for flowering.

Next to so, i’ve got to go through all these trees. Look at these long tangles. I have to deal with all of them. I know it makes the tree strong, but on the other hand, because we are growing them from one side.

I can’t let them go. Berserk as it were, so i’m going to go through all of these and deal with the mysterious this way so roughly prune them and then take them out see. Although it’s standing in water look at this, even this one is turning yellow because, although standing in water, the heat is really doing a lot of damage to these trees.

This year has been an unprecedented year for heat and sunshine, and all our plants are suffering. So this briefly, and simply is how we prune the wisterias no real secret to it, except that you prune it back and keep just a few flowering shoots.

Look at this. All these are flying buds. That’S flowering bud, that’s flowering but all flowering buds, but because we don’t want it that long, i’m going to sacrifice that and keep it short like that.

I will show you another wisteria, which has been wired. I’M now going to show you a wisteria that one of my colleagues padma priya he wired this. Usually we don’t wire with steers, we just let them grow, and especially the ones that have really thick trunks.

We just keep the branches short and hardly any wiring is involved. So this is a novel thing which padma player did he wired all the branches? And you see what the lovely shape it has created and it’s nice and compact, and if you come close with the camera you can see, we have shortened some of the tendrils and they’re full of flowers.

So all these are flowering buds. The plum buds are all flowering buds, so this tree will be covered with flower and it will be able to hang like this is planted in a tall cascade pot, so the flowers were drooped down.

So this is an instance where you can wire the branches, and these branches were wired immediately after flowering, which was at the end of april. So this is something that you can try as well. Now, i’m going to take you to the field to show you some of our big mistakes growing in the field.

In case you think i’m a tropical jungle, i’m not i’m showing you a wisteria that i planted in this garden of ours. I made this garden in 1991 and there’s a big waterfall and i wanted the vista to hang over the waterfall.

So this is a mister that has two flowers, two colored claws: purple flowers and white flowers. So the white flower is the proper uh wisteria and the white and the blue is the under stock. So this was only a small bonsai, no more than eight inches tall and it was planted there and i will show you what has happened after 30 years.

So, look at all these 10 rules. You see these tendrils if you leave it to their own devices will grow like this, and if you can remember some of the tricks, i told you about distinguish between chinese wisteria and japanese wisteria.

Japanese misters use the wisteria floribunda and the chinese vista is usually sinensis. I think it’s usually the sinensis. So how do you distinguish the two? We always say that the chinese wisteria is anti-clockwise and the japanese, because they’re usually more methodical in what they do.

So this. How i remember, is clockwise, so if you look at this one see, the tendril is going like this clockwise. So this is a japanese whistle, the white wisteria. Let me show you the trunk of this tree, because the trunk is absolutely massive.

Look at how these pencils are weaving and twisting so i let the vistas climb up the trees. If you go to japan in the mountains, they will still grow one by climbing up other trees, so this is how they normally go.

If you look at the undergrowth there, you can see the trunks and just in the space of 30 years the tree has gone absolutely crazy and this one i pull twice a year. I pull it after flowering and then i pull it again in september.

I don’t prune it in february now: let’s have a look at the trunk, the trunk, if i can find it, is somewhere there. It’S about three foot in diameter all in the space of 30 years. Look at that trunk. I’Ve got to cut off all the growth to show it.

To you absolutely huge, a word of warning people who grow we stare at the houses they, the wisteria vines, can lift the tiles. So that’s something to be careful about. Let me show you another one that we go in the fields, so this is a wisteria believe it or not, one plant which has spread about 40 foot across, and what do we have here? This is the summer flush.

Those of you who go with steer will find that in the summer they produce a second flush and those flowers are produced on the current year’s wood, not on the old moon. So all these flowering shoots are produced on the current years.

With this year’s growth, look at it all this year’s growth – and this is in the middle of august, this year’s growth. So let me show you: these are wisteria seeds that i collected from that white and purple tree and i didn’t have time to sow the seeds, but i kept the seeds aside, but i will get around to sowing it next year.

So if you open it, you see, this is how the seeds look, and these put in the soil will germinate with steels are so easy to germinate, and i get what i call 100 success. That means, if i saw the seed 100 seeds i’ll get 100 pounds.

This is a two-year-old seedling. This was last year’s growth. This is this year’s growth. Sorry, this is three year old, so one two and three years, so these are from three years back and these ones, which are slightly bigger.

Let me tell you how old they are. This again, i think it’s three years, it’s just that. I put it in a bigger pot, so they grow faster. So this is this. Wood is the first year, and this is the second year and then there’s third year as well.

So in three years it’s made all that growth and they’re very, very strong plants, a word of warning about wisteria that are grown from seed. They take at least 10 years before they flow. The ones that are grown from bonsai are usually grafted and because they are grafted, they will flower almost immediately.

So i hope you’ve enjoyed these little tips about pruning the stairs and growing listeria thanks, [, Music, ]

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About the Author: James

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