Novice gardener training a wisteria

I planted a wisteria at the front of my house last year, the plan being to eventually cover all the brickwork. This year virtually all of the growth has been from one shoot. My question is, should I train this in a sort of zig-zag to cover the lower part of the house (only a few feet between window and door), or should I train it straight up to the first floor and trust that next year's growth will cover the brickwork below?
Thanks for any pointers.
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furnerc


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furnerc;968563 Wrote: > I planted a wisteria at the front of my house last year, the plan being > to eventually cover all the brickwork. This year virtually all of the > growth has been from one shoot. My question is, should I train this in > a sort of zig-zag to cover the lower part of the house (only a few feet > between window and door), or should I train it straight up to the first > floor and trust that next year's growth will cover the brickwork below?

They are quite rampant, and you will soon have no end of shoots to train whichever way you like. So design what you think you would like the basic structure of the plant to be in the longer run. It isn't uncommon to have use several laterals twisted together for the sideways runs.
Usually horizontal runs work best, because the flowers fall down from spurs. So I'd be inclined for now to train a vertical, and take horizontals off it later.
You probably want to keep it a bit below roof level because each year it will grow up and all over the place, and therefore it is a good idea to have a gap you can clear to keep it out of your roof, rather than have to be cutting it off as soon as it starts growing.
Another reason for having this structure is that getting them to flower abundantly involves a pruning program of summer pruning (July/August) and winter pruning (Feb). In summer you reduce shoots you aren't training to extend about 7 buds. Then in Feb to 2 buds. It is easier to follow this if you have a clear structure you are working to.
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echinosum


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furnerc wrote:

Wisteria will grow into a big heavy vine. It is not self supporting and will not cling to a brick wall so you have to supply a substantial trellis that it can twine around that will hold the weight in years to come, otherwise it will keep falling down and unless the leaves get good exposure to the sun it will not grow well. I would be gentle with it for a while just lightly tying leaders to the trellis in the general direction you want them to go.
D
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Roger that. I had one over the back porch roof that did get really large. Yes, the flowers were beautiful, but came a time...
HB
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On 9/10/12 8:28 AM, furnerc wrote:

I'm not sure growing a wisteria against a house is a good idea. See the PDF file (2 pages) at <http://www.sierramadrechamber.com/wistaria/history.pdf .
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David E. Ross
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On Mon, 10 Sep 2012 15:28:29 +0000, furnerc

The secret to wisteria is proper pruning. http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/flower/growing-wisteria-proper-wisteria-vine-care.htm
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Thanks all for your help, it's been very useful. I'll be training it straight up the house and will have my secateurs at the ready for copious trimming in the years to come.
--
furnerc


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