Wisteria: An Elegant Flowering Vine

Wisteria is considered by many to be the most elegant flowering vine which has been in cultivation for over 1000 years in Japan and China. The long pendulous flowers perfume the late Spring air with its unmistakable, sweet fragrance. The flowers come in a wide variety of colors ranging from the palest violet to deep lavender to pinks to the purest white.

Wisteria vines are quite easy to grow. They prefer a sunny location with deep, slightly acidic, well-drained organic soil. However, they are tolerant of many different soils. 

Hardy from zone 5-9.

Because of its tendency to twining aggressive growth, careful consideration should be taken when selecting a place for it and what your intentions for it may be. Examples of its uses may be to cover an arbor, pergola, arch, trellis or trained to be a stand-alone, specimen topiary-tree. Here on eastern Long Island we find it best for wisteria to receive a very hard pruning with the possibly up to 80% removal in mid to late March. This is also the time to inspect for any winter damage and to prune the shoots back to 3-4 buds to promote flowering spurs and to select the strongest leaders. This is then followed up throughout the growing season with regular pruning back of the small growth shoots to 6 buds. In late October-November the shoots are to be pruned back to about one foot and secured against the cold winds and snow. 


There's no reason to be hesitant about growing this beautiful flowering vine. With a little effort and a diligent pruning schedule wisteria will be a long lived, faithful show stopper every Spring.

An interesting fact about wisteria is that the Chinese wisteria will twine counter clock-wise while the Japanese wisteria will twine clock-wise. 

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