While searching for my first apartment in Brooklyn, I was shown a one bedroom on a quiet, tree-lined street. The apartment itself wasn’t memorable, but the building was: The entire brownstone was encased by an impenetrable mass of wisteria, windows and all. Covering a three-story building is no challenge for some vigorous wisteria vines, which are able to grow 10 feet or more in a single season. Yet for all its rampant behavior, a wisteria in full bloom is one of the loveliest sights.
Wisteria can live a long, healthy life with no pruning at all, happily twining, climbing, and sprawling over everything in its path. But for the gardener who has limited space and wants to enjoy more visible and abundant wisteria flowers, a pruning routine becomes a necessary chore. For optimal results, plan for at least a biannual (once in summer, once in winter) pruning regimen. Knowing how the vine grows will also aid in your success.
Living without windows is not for everybody, but with some initial planning and a commitment to regular pruning, no one has to.