Overcoming Obstacles: How Growing Wisteria is Similar to Growing Laboratory Revenue

I planted a wisteria tree seven years ago and have been waiting for its characteristic long, soft, purple flowers and magical scent. While it is one of the most beautiful of flowering vines, wisteria is a bane to all but the most masterful gardeners. Even under the best conditions, it can take several years to flower.

Because it is notoriously difficult, advice and folklore abound on how to get wisteria to flower:

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  • Some recommend fertilizing with a high phosphate fertilizer to strengthen flower production.
  • The time of annual pruning and technique are important: once in late January or February and then again in March, down to six and three buds, respectively.
  • Shocking the plant works sometimes—hitting the trunk with a baseball bat or shovel and root pruning (cutting through the roots with a shovel) to make it think it is endangered so that it will send out flowers (and seeds) to survive.

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