Wisteria is a fabulous climbing vine with abundant and deliciously fragrant blooms.
Wisteria key facts
Name – Wisteria
Family – Fabaceae
Type – climbing vine
Height – 16 to 50 feet (5 to 15 meters)
Exposure – Full sun
Soil – ordinary
Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – depending on exposure, they bloom from April to June.
Care, pruning and watering help enhance blooming. Try this plant and you will never regret it…
It is recommended to plant them in spring or in fall in a mix of garden soil and soil mix together with soil conditioner such as manure and seaweed.
You may also plant in summer if you’re able to water regularly and avoid heat waves.
- Wisteria require a lot of sunlight to bloom abundantly.
- No need to add fertilizer, Wisteria don’t need any; it might actually favor leaves over flowers.
- Follow our guidance for planting.
- Preparing cuttings is easy for Wisteria, you can multiply them easily!
- Layering techniques are also easy to perform with Wisteria.
Sowing Wisteria seeds collected from pods may produce seedlings, but you must know that this technique results in a long waiting period before the first flowers appear: it can take 10 to 15 years…
Pruning and caring for Wisteria
This can take place anytime during the plant’s dormant state, when leaves have fallen off until the end of winter.
Do not prune during frost spells.
- Flowers grow on the previous year’s growth, so it is important to only remove new growth to enable flowering.
- In winter, prune lateral shoots, removing all but one or two buds.
This means to keep the main branch, and cut back all stems that shoot out from it.
- Remove wilted flowers regularly (deadheading) because their fruits are toxic.
Here is our video guidance to correctly prune Wisteria
Training Wisteria like a tree
When purchased, Wisteria usually has a single long stem, that branches out several times.
To train Wisteria into a tree-shape, you must stake this long stem with a sturdy stake. If you wish your Wisteria to be 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall, choose a 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall stake, but don’t make it any taller than 6 to 8 feet (2 to 2.5 m).
- Attach the main stem to this stake, as close as possible with “figure eight” ties sold in horticulture stores. Avoid strings and wires that would dig into the trunk.
- Remove all side shoots up to the very tip of the trunk.
- Renew this step as often as needed, every time a new shoot appears.
- Let the remaining top branches grow and develop.
- The top branches risk breaking under their own weight. To avoid this, cut them after 2 or 3 buds (just above a bud facing out and up).
- This will lead to new branches appearing, and you can prune these back to 2 or 3 buds whenever needed.
- You have thus prepared the structure of your Wisteria.
Yellowing Wisteria leaves
Although Wisteria are rarely subject to diseases, leaves frequently turn yellow.
If this happens in fall, don’t worry, it is normal because Wisteria lose their leaves in winter.
But if leaves turn yellow or lose their color in summer, the soil is probably responsible and leads to chlorosis.
- Wisteria doesn’t do well in excessively chalky, heavy and clay soil.
- Add iron sulfate to the soil.
All there is to know about Wisteria
Wisteria produce very beautiful flowers in violet blue bunches 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) long.
Perfect climbing vine for pergolas and gazebos, you’ll be amazed at their abundant bloom and the cool air under their shade during the hot summer heat…
- Another major advantage of Wisteria is that they are very fragrant.
Smart tip about Wisteria
Don’t amend and fertilize the soil too much, since this could stimulate leaf growth instead of flowers on Wisteria.
- Avoid adding fertilizer if you want to have flowers.
Observant gardeners also share that you should not go against the direction of growth that your Wisteria have chosen, unless you train them with wires for instance.
- Let them grow as they wish but attach stems to the lattice with string because they don’t hang to things on their own.
Read also on the topic of climbing plants:
Wisteria on social media
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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Wisteria-covered pergola (also on social media) by Vũ Đỗ under Pixabay license
Budding wisteria by T.Kiya under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Fabulous hanging wisteria by Christian Bossu, Nature & Garden contributor