Posted: 29/05/2013 at 18:14
On training and pruning, I'm sure others on this board are more expert than me but here is what I think you need to do.
Wisteria forms two sorts of shoots: shoots that turn into long leafy branches, and shoots that turn into short stumpy spurs off the long branches. It is the short stumpy spurs that form the flowers, so you want lots of them. You can persuade it to form the sort of shoot you want by pruning - wisteria is a very obliging plant which will generally try to do what you want it to do (hee hee, famous last words).
The other thing you need to bear in mind is that wisteria gets energy from its leaves drinking up the sunlight; and that it flowers best when its woody stems have been allowed to bake in the sun during the summer. So you need to strike a balance between forcing it into your desired shape and allowing it to grow enough leaves to feed itself and grow strong; but not too many leaves such that they cast all the woody stems into deep shade.
So...if your plant is a real baby, I would suggest you identify its main 'upright' and tie it in nicely to form the beginning of the main 'trunk'. For its first year or so, I'd let it form a few side branches wherever it wants, just so it has a chance to get some leaves on it. Once it has formed a pair of branches at the level you really want (above your windows), train those branches firmly along in the direction you want them to go. From then on, it is a regular pruning job twice a year, as follows:
In summer, tie in the growing main stem and its main branches (until they are long enough for you!); but prune all the side-shoots that form on the branches (hope that makes sense) to about 18 inches. The idea is to let them put a few leaves on over the summer but at the same time encourage them to become the short stumpy spurs rather than just growing in length. At this stage you could prune all the lower-down shoots that you don't really want back to a few inches too - its lovely when it puts on flowers low down on its stem.
In winter, prune all those sideshoots - the ones you took back to 18 inches - back even further - to just three or four inches, pruning to just above a bud. This reinforces your message to the plant that these are meant to be the flowering spurs!
Eventually you are aiming to end up with a clear framework of horizontal branches off the main upright trunk, with every branch covered with short flowering spurs. It takes a few years but it's very rewarding because you can really see progress every year....and it is SO worth it in the end!
Does that make sense? Hope so. I'm sure you'll get a much better set of instructions in any gardening book - or google for it online. Best of luck - wisteria is a wonderful plant, enjoy it!!