Learn to the many different ways that you can landscape with wisteria.
Are you looking for a beautiful flowering plant to help fill in some space in your garden? Or do you have a fence that you’d love to beautify by growing a flowering vine along with it? In four-season climates, a wisteria is an excellent option. It has show-stopping blue, white, pink, or purple cascades of flower clusters that really captivate.
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If you do not live in a four-season climate, you’ll want to make sure you stay on top of pruning. In states such as California and Florida, wisteria is considered invasive.
It is a vigorous climber and can climb up into big healthy trees and kill them. Do not plant wisteria anywhere near your house as it can cause structural damage.
In states like Massachusetts, however, the shorter growing season makes it the perfect plant to fill in extra places. I bought three on eBay for $15 total. These were very young plants and took a few years to flower.
If you want flowers sooner, you’ll want to purchase a more mature plant (typically about $15-20 per plant). These are often sold at garden centers or Home Depot or Lowe’s.
Wisteria is a very versatile plant and can be grown many ways. After you decide what color wisteria you’d like to grow, you’ll want to decide how to grow it. I keep my wisteria small and grow them in tree form. Since I don’t want them to spread, I deadhead them, removing seed pods.
I also trim any new shoots coming up from the base. I trim the limbs to the height that I want them so that the trunk and branches can get thicker and fill up with more flowers. I’ve seen neighbors grow wisteria this same way.
Some use structures to support the plants until they are strong enough to stand on their own. I did not use structures and though one of my trees leans a little, it holds itself up well. If you want a specific you may want to consider using a couple of posts to help you out.
If you are using wisteria in its vine form, you can grow it along the expanse of a fence, in circular templates, or using trellises. I’ve seen many New England fences bursting with wisteria flowers and it is truly beautiful to behold.
If you choose this option, plant several plants about ten feet apart and be prepared to prune heavily if the plant becomes too vigorous and starts to take over areas that you don’t want it to take over.
The rich and famous love to plant wisteria in a grape arbor structure but you don’t necessarily have to be rich to grow it this way. You just need enough space and a bit of help from a landscape artist. Wisteria flowers do well filling in an arbor, creating a lovely back yard garden or patio area shaded by the plants and vines.
If you are not handy, you may want to have a landscape artist help you with building the structure for the vines or get some free advice from a garden center. Home Depot even offers free classes for a number of building activities.
Wisteria also grows wild in many areas. I noticed recently that in my neighborhood it grows in the ditches. Had I known this, I could have harvested a couple of these wild plants.
There are many options for growing this lovely plant. The most important thing is to make sure you really love it as wisteria is tenacious and can be difficult to get rid of.