08 March 2024

Winter Wisteria pruning at Palace Green

The Park and Gardens team have been working hard recently on the large-scale, winter pruning of our Wisteria which adorns the ancient walls of the Old Palace and surrounding Palace Green. It is pruned twice yearly, in the winter in February and again in the summer, during July or August.

The correct pruning of Wisteria is important for two main reasons, firstly to keep its vigorous growth and size under control, and secondly to ensure the display of the stunning purple blossoms are at their very best during the flowering season, usually between April and June, with sometimes a second flush in August.

Whilst Wisterias can be left to grow unchecked, they will usually flower more freely and regularly if they are carefully cultivated and regularly pruned twice each year.

The Wisterias at Hatfield Park are a highlight for the thousands of visitors we welcome to Hatfield Park each season, providing a stunningly beautiful backdrop of vibrant purple blooms and a wonderful perfume which scents the surrounding air.

Winter pruning, when the plant is dormant and leafless, requires cutting back the shoots which were pruned in summer to just two or three buds, in order to tidy up the plant prior to the growing season beginning. This will ensure that the highlight of the plant, the flowers, will not be obscured by its leaves.

The Wisterias at Hatfield Park are a collection of plants of different ages, some are aged, having been planted some 150 years ago, whilst some are as young as five years old, therefore the management of each plant needs careful consideration. As an example, some of the older plants may require more severe pruning to remove old, worn-out growths and to rejuvenate the plant.

It is worth remembering that hard pruning in February will stimulate strong, new growth, therefore additional feeding of the plant should not be required in the spring after hard pruning.

To see our Wisterias in blossom and in their full glory, plan your visit during April and June. As you walk from the visitor car park through to Palace Green you will be greeted by the sight and scent of the flowers – a stunning backdrop for the perfect photo opportunity.

References: Royal Horticultural Society

Winter Wisteria pruning at Palace Green - Hatfield Park