How to plant and care for wisteria

How to plant and care for wisteria

Plant traits
Common name Wisteria
You can live the life of the zoya Wisteria The prosecution.
family Fabaceae family
Plant type Perennial vine
Mature size 10-40 feet tall, 4-30 feet wide
Sun exposure Complete, partial
Soil type Well-drained, moist
Soil pH Slightly acidic
Bloom time spring
Flower color Purple, pink and white
Hardiness zones 5-9
Original area North America and Asia
Poisoning Toxic to pets, the seeds are toxic to humans

Wisteria care

Ready to plant a new wisteria vine? Cut off the bottom of a large plastic tree container, dig a hole large enough for the container, place it in the ground, and then plant the wisteria directly into it. The walls of the container will help control lateral root growth. Wisteria is not very fussy about soil, but it does need good drainage and is generally not demanding on fertilizer. Most of the maintenance of these climbers comes from training and pruning them.

The sight of colorful wisteria gracefully weeping down and across the porch is an iconic image of a Southern garden, but the reality is far different from the romance. This beautiful picture requires some strict maintenance to prevent the vines from overtaking your gutters and downpipes. Be careful about the type of wisteria you plant, which we'll discuss below.

a light

Wisteria blooms best in full sun. You'll need to place it away from buildings and trees, unless you want it to move around looking for more light. American wisteria (Wisteria fruit) and Chinese wisteria (W. sinensis) It can also grow in partial sun, or two to six hours of direct sun per day, but may produce fewer flowers.


In general, if you have moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil, wisteria will do well. Japanese wisteria (W. Floribunda) They will grow in almost any soil, whether wet or dry, loamy, loamy or sandy. This aggressive plant can form thickets almost anywhere in full sun, but prefers acidic soil with a pH of 6.0. The less aggressive American wisteria thrives in moist soil, especially well-drained, fertile, slightly acidic clay or loam soil.


Wisteria is fairly drought tolerant once established. Keep the soil moist the first growing season, and water when dry. In later years, your wisteria will appreciate a good soaking when the weather is hot and dry.

Temperature and humidity

American wisteria can grow in zones 5-9, which covers all regions except the tropical south. Japanese wisteria is cold hardy and also grows in zone 4. Chinese wisteria is said to do best in zones 5-8, but has been found growing in warmer areas such as Florida. These plants love moisture but can also grow in a dry climate with adequate irrigation.


Wisteria should grow well without fertilizer, especially if planted in the ground. Plants grown in containers may require fertilization. If you want to boost your flowers, choose a high-phosphorus fertilizer and apply it only once in the spring. Wisteria is a nitrogen-fixing plant, and applying too much nitrogen fertilizer will reduce flowering.

Wisteria species

Two of the most common types of wisteria, Japanese wisteria and Chinese wisteria, both feature drooping vines with clusters of fragrant blue, purple, pink or white pea-shaped flowers in early spring. It grows quickly, and if not controlled by regular pruning, it quickly consumes everything in its path. It looks a lot like kudzu. In fact, the plants cannot be sold in Maryland without signs declaring them invasive, and Chinese wisteria is banned in Delaware. Many countries recommend against planting Japanese and Chinese wisteria.

Instead of spending the season running around your garden with a clipper, you might want to give it a try.Amethyst Falls“,”A form of Native American wisteria. This is a vigorous grower that reaches 30 feet or more tall, but is not as invasive as its Asian cousins ​​and is ideally suited for growing in containers, trellis training, or even growing as a small stand-alone tree. 'Amethyst Falls' will bloom in its first season, and flowers arrive about two weeks later than Asian wisteria, so late winter frosts rarely affect blooms. Need more reasons to love this wisteria? It is deer resistant and drought tolerant.

Another species of wisteria that was once considered an American subspecies has since been classified as a separate species called Kentucky wisteria (W. Macrostachia). 'Blue Moon' is a popular cultivar in cooler climates as it is hardy to zone 4. 'Blue Moon' does not grow very vigorously, reaching 15-25 feet tall, and can bloom up to three times a year in late spring. And summer.


Wisteria should be pruned every year to keep the plant under control. Asian Wisteria blooms on one-year-old growth, while 'Amethyst Falls' blooms on new wood, so keep that in mind as you shape your vine.

After the plant flowers, remove any new growth that you don't want to keep. For Asian wisteria, prune the new shoots it keeps until they are about 6 inches tall, saving some of the buds so those branches can flower the second year. Saving some of those buds will result in a better flower display. If your vine gets out of control during the summer and fall, you can prune it again in the winter. Cut any suckers back to ground level when they appear in your garden.

'Amethyst Falls' can be pruned more aggressively in winter, as it will develop flower buds on new growth in spring. 'Blue Moon' can be pruned in winter, but severe pruning may cause the plant to grow too thick at the expense of flowers. Since 'Blue Moon' can bloom for a second or third time, prune lightly in summer to retain as many flower buds as possible.

Wisteria vines produce long seed pods that look much like a pea. If you are growing invasive wisteria, it is best to remove and dispose of it before it matures.

How to train wisteria to frame a balcony

To safely train wisteria along the top of your porch, heed this tip from Grumpy Gardner: Run a metal post from one porch post to another about 18 inches below the crossbar. Let only the branches and streams of the vine wrap around the pole. Once flowering has finished, you will need to prune the vine regularly if you want to maintain a clear view from your balcony.

How to train a wisteria tree

You can purchase an already trained wisteria tree, or you can train your own. Here's how: Remove all but one main stem and stake it securely. Using plastic tape, tie the log to the stake at intervals. When the plant reaches the height at which you want the head to form, pinch or prune the tip to force branching. Shorten the branches to enhance them, press the long strands back, and rub all the buds that form under the head.

Wisteria needs good support

Gnarled wooden wisteria trees will overpower flimsy wooden arbors, so choose one with a sturdy metal frame. Let the vine climb an angle pole to the top, and tie it to the tree. Train it so that most of its branches and runners fall above the tree and wrap around themselves rather than around poles and rafters.

Propagation of wisteria

Wisteria can be propagated from softwood cuttings. This method is often preferred over starting plants from seed, as new seedlings can take up to 15 or 20 years to mature and flourish. To propagate your wisteria, you will need to use soft green growth from the current year, preferably towards the top of the plant:

  1. Cut the end of the stem to a length of about 3-6 inches. Remove leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.
  2. Place the bottom of the cutting in a pot filled with a moist, sterilized mixture made of half peat and half perlite or half peat and half sand. Make sure at least a third of the trunk is buried.
  3. Water well and cover the stem and pot with clear plastic. Place it in bright, indirect light and keep it moist.
  4. Once the cutting has developed a good root system, you can replant it in good soil. Growing the plant to a larger size in a pot and gradually acclimating it to garden conditions will increase the chances of your new vine's survival.

Potting and replanting wisteria

Wisteria can be grown in pots, but this is most suitable for vines trained to tree form (also called standard). The better-behaved native wisteria is a good choice for containers. Wisteria is a heavy plant and you may only want to plant it in a pot once. Choose a sturdy pot that is 18 inches in diameter or larger. Use well-drained soil and install the plant as above. Water regularly during the first growing season, providing 1 inch of water weekly in subsequent years (more water may be helpful during hot, dry spells). Fertilize once each spring with a low-nitrogen, flower-enhancing fertilizer.

Common plant pests and diseases

Wisteria plants have few serious problems. Japanese beetles, aphids, leaf miners, scale insects, and mealybugs can be attracted to the plant. If infestations become a problem, it may be helpful to spray the insects with a strong stream of water, pick them up and place them in a tray of soapy water, or use insecticidal soap.

In the case of leaf spots, simply cut off the affected leaves and dispose of them. Powdery mildew can cover the leaves with a grayish-white mold, but it usually doesn't cause a problem. You can spray the leaves with a fungicide if the plant's health is affected.

Sometimes wisteria develops crown gall, a mass of gnarled wood on the stem. Coronary gallbladder is basically a tumor caused by bacteria and cannot be treated. An established plant may remain infected with crown gall for years, but a newer plant should be pulled up and disposed of in the trash. If you prune your wisteria with crown gall, you will need to sterilize your pruning tools afterward with a 10% solution of household bleach.

Honey fungus can attack wisteria from the soil. Symptoms include cracking of the base of the stem, white fungal growth at the base, and gradual death of the upper branches. Sometimes a honey-colored mushroom appears at the base. Unfortunately, honey fungus cannot be stopped once infection has occurred.

How to make wisteria bloom

Lack of bloom is the most common problem home gardeners face with wisteria. If spring has passed you by without any sign of beautiful lavender flowers, consider the following:

  • New transplants usually take two or three years to become established in your garden before they begin to bloom.
  • A late frost may have killed off the flower buds in the spring.
  • Too much nitrogen fertilizer will prevent plants from flowering. Stick to flower-enhancing fertilizers that are high in phosphorus.
  • Wisteria does not bloom in full shade or even partial shade, depending on the species. Increase exposure to light if necessary.
  • Pruning practices can make a difference. Pruning is best done immediately after flowering and should be done every year. Japanese wisteria blooms best when new shoots are cut into three or four buds.

If all else fails and you have another flower-free year, you can try root pruning your plant in the fall to encourage it to flower the following spring. Take a sharp shovel or shovel and cut right through the roots surrounding the plant. Make a circle about 2 feet from the main trunk.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply