Wisteria (sometimes spelled Wistaria or Wysteria) is a genus of deciduous climbers native to Eastern United States, China, Korea and Japan. It is a member of the pea family.
Wisteria can climb to a height of 20 m (65 ft) above ground and spread up to 10 m (32 ft) across. Along with its climbing abilities, wisteria is valued for its beautiful clusters of flowers that come in purple, pink and white, with some of the species being fragrant. The flowering period is typically in the spring, but some species will bloom in mid to late summer.
Gardeners, especially those in China and Japan, love these fast-growing and vigorous plants! Wisterias are very versatile- you can can grow them along walls and fences, over arches and porches, and more! They will add beauty, colour, fragance and that “wow factor” to your landscape!
Plant in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Wherever you choose to grow them, make sure these woody vines have sufficient room to grow and a strong, steady support! They are vigorous growers that can weaken structural supports (i.e posts, walls) and have a tendency to overtake other plants. As well, in order for it to bloom, it is essential to give wisteria at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. That being said, newly established wisterias can take 6-10 years before it starts to bloom. But of course, those beautiful, fragrant flowers will be well worth your wait!
The vine can grow 10 feet or now in one year! So pruning of new plants is required to keep plants neat and manageable, while encouraging new blooms. Prune after its flowering period. Once they are established and mature, wisterias don’t require pruning.
Chinese Wisteria (W. sinensis) is the most cultivated variety. It produces the most spectacular display of fragrant lavender-blue flowers.
Climate Zones: 4-9
Fun Flower Facts about the Wisteria:
- The world’s largest known wisteria vine is in Sierra Madre, California, USA. It was planted in 1894 and measures more than 1 acre in size and weighs over 250 tons!
- Some varieties of wisteria are edible and can be used to make wine. On the other hand, other varieties are poisonous. So before consumption, make sure you identified the right plants.
- As beautiful as wisteria plants are, they are considered to be invasive weeds in many parts of the Southern United States.
- Wisteria has significance in both the Japanese and Chinese cultures.
- In the Victorian language of flowers, wisteria symbolizes “over passionate love or obsession,” referring to the choking nature of the vine.
- The Amazingly Beautiful Wisteria Tunnel in Japan (funflowerfacts.com)