There are three different species of wisteria relative to where they originated. Two species of wisteria that are occasionally grown in home gardens are considered invasive species in North America: Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria) and Wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria). The wisteria native to North America is Wisteria frutescens, or American wisteria. If you’re planning on adding a new wisteria to your garden, we strongly suggest you avoid the Asian invasive wisteria species and plant the native one instead.
How To Grow And Care For Wisteria
1. Location and soil
Wisteria will grow well in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. It loves the sun so much that it might not bloom without it, so make sure to plant your wisteria in a bright, sunny location. Feed the soil around your wisteria with 2 inches of compost each spring. Scratch some bone meal in with the compost. In the fall, amend some phosphate rock into the soil around your wisteria.
Plant in the spring or fall. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. Space between plants should be 10 to 15 feet apart, if you are planting wisteria vine. Right after planting, cut the vine back severely. Then, the next year, cut the main stem or stems back to 3 feet of the previous season’s growth. Once the framework is full size, shorten further extension growth in midsummer to where growth began for that season.
Wisteria plants require a lot of water, so for drought prone regions, be prepared to provide your shrub with plenty to drink. They will need an inch of water each week.
Pruning is the secret to good flowering, as wisteria only blooms on new wood. Prune wisteria in late winter. Remove at least half of the prior year’s growth, leaving just a few buds per stem. If you want a more formal appearance, prune again during summer, after traditional flowering. For more blooms, try cutting back the rampant shoots every two weeks during the summer. This will help the plant focus energy on blooming rather than on foliage and trailing vines. Wisteria can grow to en enormous size. Left unchecked, it can grow to a height 15 feet or more. The older it gets, the better it blooms.
5. Pests and Problems
The wisteria is a strong plant, but it is susceptible to several different insect pests. If an infestation occurs, it is best to treat your wisteria with an insecticide.
Supports for Wisteria plants
This climber, prefers to twine around the supports. Wisteria vines require a very sturdy structure to climb on, such as a trellis or pergola. Mature plants have been known to get so heavy that they break their supports, so plan with care and build your structure with strong materials. Reliance may be another tree, a gazebo, fence or a wall of the building.