Buds On Wisteria Not Opening: Why Wisteria Blooms Don’t Open


By: Kristi Waterworth

Among the most powerful sights in nature is a huge wisteria in full bloom, but making this happen in the home garden can be more of a trick than it seems since many things can affect the willingness of wisteria buds to open into blooms. When your wisteria won’t bloom, you may be frustrated and confused, especially if you’ve dedicated years of care to your plant. Read on to better understand what causes bud blast in wisteria.

Why Does My Wisteria Not Flower?

There are a few common reasons why wisteria blooms don’t open, but they all point to the same thing — bud injury at critical development points. Severely damaged flower buds won’t open; instead, they usually dry up and fall off the plant. Damage can be caused by a variety of environmental problems or very tiny pests called thrips.

If your wisteria has bloomed successfully in years past, thrips or uncontrollable weather patterns are most likely causing bud blast and your plant may perform just fine in future seasons. Once you’ve checked for signs of thrips, including black spots of feces on plant materials, deformed buds, or brown streaks on the petals of any flowers that did manage to open, resuming normal care may be all that it takes to induce blooming next season.

How to Get Wisteria Flowers to Open Up

When you have buds on wisteria not opening, there’s very little you can do to force them open. This year’s flowers are probably going to be a loss, but you can do more to ensure that the future buds produce beautiful blooms.

If your plant has never successfully bloomed, look at the conditions where it’s growing — wisteria needs full sun, good drainage, and a light application of fertilizer in the fall, as well as heavy pruning in the spring after the other wisteria plants have finished blooming.

Late frosts and improper summer watering can interfere with proper bud formation. Frozen flower buds will fall off as spring approaches. Late summer is the time when flower buds are initiated by wisteria; if you skimp on the watering during this season, you may be inadvertently hindering the proper development of future flowers.

Above all else, watch the use of nitrogen fertilizers. Nitrogen has its place, but in flowering plants it often produces aggressive vegetative growth at the expense of flowers and buds. The addition of phosphorus, like bone meal, can normally help offset this.

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A high-climbing vine, wisteria blooms vigorously in spring with large, drooping clusters of lilac or bluish-purple flowers. Here’s how to plant, grow, and care for wisteria in your garden!

About Wisteria

Wisteria is a long-lived vining plant with cascades of blue to purple flowers that look spectacular hanging from a pergola or archway in spring and early summer. However, this vine is a fast and aggressive grower—often reaching 30+ feet long—and is known to grow quite heavy. Wisteria vines will work their way into any crook or cranny they can reach, so it’s advised to not plant them too near to your home.

Wisteria flowers are beautifully fragrant, providing a feast for the senses. After flowering, a brown, bean-like pod stays on the plant until winter. Blooms only appear on new growth.

Note: Plant wisteria with caution! All parts of the wisteria plant contain substances called lectin and wisterin, which are toxic to pets, livestock, and humans. These toxins can cause anything from nausea and diarrhea to death if consumed in large amounts.

Is Wisteria an Invasive Plant?

Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) are not native to North America and are considered invasive species in some states. The native wisteria species, American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) and Kentucky wisteria (Wisteria macrostachya), are great alternatives to the Asian species, so if you’re planning on adding a new wisteria to your garden, we suggest that you go with one of the North American species.

Wondering how to tell the difference between the Asian and North American species?
Asian wisteria are aggressive growers with fuzzy seed pods, while North American wisteria are not quite as aggressive in their growing habits and have smooth seed pods and fruits, as well as more-or-less cylindrical, bean-shaped seeds. Another difference is that American and Kentucky wisteria’s flowers appear after the plant has leafed out in the late spring, whereas the Chinese wisteria’s blooms appear before its foliage.

Planting

When to Plant Wisteria

  • Plant in the spring or fall, while the plant is dormant.
  • Wisteria can be grown from seed, but those grown from seed often take quite a few years to reach maturity and produce flowers. It’s recommended to purchase established wisteria plants or start from a cutting.

Where to Plant Wisteria

  • Plant in full sun. Though wisteria will grow in partial shade, it probably won’t flower. Sunlight is essential.
  • Plant wisteria in fertile, moist, but well-draining soil.
  • If your soil is in poor condition, add compost otherwise, wisteria will grow in most soils. Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting.
  • Choose a site away from other plants, as wisteria grows quickly and can easily overtake its neighbors.
  • Wisteria is also known for growing onto (and into) nearby structures, such as houses, garages, sheds, and so on. We strongly recommend not planting wisteria too close to your home!
  • Wisteria vines require a very sturdy structure to climb on, such as a metal or wooden 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 hefty materials.


Wisteria looks lovely climbing up the side of a home, but plant with caution wisteria vines are very powerful and will find their way into any crack or crevice!

How to Plant Wisteria

  • Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide.
  • Space plants 10 to 15 feet apart.

Caring for Wisteria

  • Each spring, apply a layer of compost under the plant and a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds.
  • Some gardeners swear by phosphorus to aid with flowering. Scratch a couple of cups of bone meal into the soil in the spring and then add some rock phosphate in the fall. Read more about soil amendments.
  • Water your plants if you receive less than one inch of rain each week. (To know how much rain you are getting, you can place an empty food can outside and measure the depth of water with a measuring stick.)

Pruning Wisteria

Pruning is the secret to good flowering, as wisteria only bloom 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.
  • Do you have a new wisteria? Cut the vine back severely right after planting. 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.
  • Informally grown, mature plants need little or no subsequent pruning.
  • For a formally trained plant, cut side shoots back to 6 inches in summer, then shorten them again in winter to 3 buds.
  • Wisteria will resprout with vigor if cut back severely, but this pruning should be avoided, if possible, because new shoots may take some years before they flower.
  • Get more tips for pruning wisteria.

When Your Wisteria Won’t Bloom

Wisteria are notorious for taking a long time to bloom. Don’t expect flowers for 2 to 3 years after planting. Some readers have sworn by this method to spur on blooming:

  • Take a shovel and drive it 8 to 10 inches into the ground about a foot and a half away from the wisteria’s main trunk to slice into some of the roots.
  • Damage about half of the roots and the bush will be shocked into reproduction (flowering).
  • Don’t worry—it’s difficult to hurt this rampantly-growing, unrestrained, often-invasive plant!
  • Frigid winter temperatures can also affect wisteria’s blooms.

Pests/Diseases

  • Dieback
  • Crown gall
  • Leaf spots
  • Viral diseases
  • Japanese beetles
  • Aphids
  • Leaf miners
  • Scale insects
  • Mealybugs

Recommended Varieties

Native Wisteria

If you are located in North America, consider planting a species of wisteria native to the continent, such as:

  • American wisteria(Wisteria frutescens), which grows in Zones 5 to 9. It’s native to a range of states covering Virginia to Texas, southeast to Florida and north up through New York, Iowa, and Michigan. The vine grows 25 to 30-feet long with shiny, dark-green leaves and large, drooping lilac or purple-blue flower clusters which appear after the plant has leafed out. The blooms will only appear on new wood. However, note that the flowers tend to be more lightly fragrant than the Asian wisterias’ flowers.
  • Kentucky wisteria(Wisteria macrostachya), which grows in Zones 4 to 9. This late-season bloomer is native to the southeastern U.S. and is similar to American wisteria (it is sometimes considered a variety or subspecies of American wisteria). Kentucky wisteria bears mildly fragrant bluish-purple flowers after growing only two to three years, making it the quickest wisteria to bloom.
    • ‘Blue Moon’ is an extra-hardy cultivar of native Kentucky wisteria, with showy, silvery-blue clusters. It blooms in late spring or early summer. It’s cold hardy to -40°F (-40°C).

Non-Native Wisteria

  • Chinese wisteria(Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria(Wisteria floribunda) are non-native, invasive species, so we do not recommend them for North American gardens, despite the fact that they are regularly sold at nurseries and garden centers. They are hardy in Zones 5 to 9 and are capable of growing 30 to 60 feet in length (and beyond in the Southern U.S. ). Two common varieties of Japanese wisteria include:
    • ‘Honbeni’ (syn. ‘Honko’): popular, bears clusters of pink flowers in late spring
    • ‘Alba’ (syn. ‘Shiro Noda’): bears lovely clusters of pure-white flowers in late spring

Wit & Wisdom

Are Wisteria Toxic to Pets and Humans?

Yes, all parts of the wisteria plant contain substances called lectin and wisterin, which are toxic to pets, livestock, and humans. These toxins can cause anything from nausea and diarrhea to death if consumed in large amounts.

The substance is especially concentrated in the plant’s seeds and seedpods, so removing the seedpods after the plant has flowered is a good idea if pets or children are often nearby. The seedpods do not have a foul flavor or an immediate effect, so an unknowing child or pet won’t hesitate to eat as much as possible! Call your local poison control center in case of ingestion.


Time to Prune Wisteria

Here's how to do it and still get blooms.

There are relatively few plants you absolutely have to prune. Wisteria is one of them. If you ignore this rampant vine, it will eventually strangle your trees, bushes, house, and passing clouds. But how do you prune it and when? Will a pruned plant still bloom in spring? As always, Grumpy has the answers.

Wisteria is kind of weird for a woody vine, because it blooms on both old and new growth. Flowers appear in abundance in spring and then sporadically throughout the summertime. That's why it seems counterintuitive to say prune it now. Won't that remove most of the flower buds it made last year and ruin the spring bloom? Not if you follow Grumpy's advice.

Depending on the size and height of the vine, you'll need sharp hand pruners and maybe loppers and a ladder. Now look at that Medusa-like tangle of branches, twigs, and runners you call wisteria. You're going to give a very precise haircut.

WATCH: Why We Love Wisteria

Long side branches called canes grow from the wisteria's main trunk. Most people attach these canes to some sort of structure, such as an arbor or pergola, as they would for a climbing rose. Slender, twiggy shoots then grow from the main canes. It's these shoots you need to trim now.

Shorten each shoot to 6 to 8 buds. These buds will still bear flowers. Keep pruning like this every February and short, spur-like branches will develop loaded with flower buds.

When about later on in the summer? Any pruning needed then? Yep, but not as much. Pinch out the tips of any long, twining runners searching for something to climb. This stops them in their tracks. If the vine grows too vigorously, feel free to give it another haircut, though not as short as the winter one. Don't be surprised to see a few flowers open afterward. Watch out for suckers growing near the base of the trunk. They like to slither along the ground like snakes until they find something to grab. Cut them off at the trunk.


Japan's Wisteria Tunnels Are Even More Magical Than Its Cherry Blossoms — Here's Where to See the Best Blooms (Video)

Every spring, travelers from around the world visit Japan to see the country’s cherry blossoms, but the season also brings several other stunning blooms to admire.

Wisteria, known as fuji in Japanese, may only be the country’s second most famous flowers, but thanks to their ability to bend, wisteria can be turned into large tunnels of blue, pink, purple, and white to make for a kaledescopic stroll.

While peak blooming periods can vary depending on the temperature, lucky visitors may be able to catch Japan's cherry blossoms and wisteria blooms in one trip.

Wisteria typically bloom around late April and early May, with slight variations depending on the type of wisteria in bloom.

For example, pale red wisteria typically reach full bloom around mid to late April, while white wisteria reach full bloom around early May and Kibana wisteria reach full bloom around early to mid May.

The Ashikaga Flower Park is the only location in Japan with a Kibana wisteria tunnel visitors can walk underneath. It's also home to more than 350 different wisteria trees that bloom in colors ranging from light violets and pinks to purples, whites, and bright yellows.

The park also has a 150-year-old wisteria tree and more than 5,000 azalea bushes that can be admired around the same time.

The wisteria festival runs from April 13 through May 19, with admission ranging from 900 to 1,800 yen (about $8 to $16) for adults and between 500 and 900 yen (about $4 to $8) for children depending on the day of the visit.

From April 19 through May 12, visitors can also head to the park in the evening to see the wisteria lit up at night, making for a striking view. They can even sample wisteria-themed soft serve and goodies while at the park.

Another popular tunnel is at the Kawachi Wisteria Garden in Kitakyushu. The park is home to 22 different kinds of wisteria that start to bloom and peak from the end of April through mid-May. Passes are required to visit the private gardens.

Its two tunnels meet to form a large dome, creating a sea of colors to walk beneath.

Visitors should reserve advance tickets to enter the popular park between April 20 and May 6. Prices start at 500 yen (about $4) per person and may include an additional charge based on the flowering conditions on the day of the visit.

The park is also popular in the fall, when maple trees and autumn leaves create magnificent foliage on its grounds.

There are a variety of parks that make for prime viewing locations, including Tennogawa Park and Shirai Omachi Fuji Park, which sits on the slope of a mountain in the Hyōgo prefecture of Japan’s Kansai region.

At Shirai Omachi Fuji Park, some of the wisteria clusters can grow to be almost five feet in length, making for a wonderful scene as they sway with the wind.

Even the country’s temples and shrines debut the colorful displays in the spring.

Tokyo’s Kameido Tenjin Shrine is a popular stop for wisteria viewing, thanks to its lavender-colored wisteria that hang in bunches from trellises overlooking a pond that reflects the colorful scene.

The wisteria here were planted during the Edo period (1603 through 1867) and continue to attract locals and visitors today during the Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival, which runs from April 14 through May 6.

Wisteria are also popular within the Kyoto Prefecture at locations such as the Byodoin Temple. Located in Uji, the temple has multiple wisteria trellises, some of which are said to be 280 years old. Some of its longest clusters have grown more than three feet in length, creating the appearance of a cascading purple waterfall.

There's another popular location for wisteria viewing in Kyoto that may come as a surprise.

For several days each year, the Kamitoba Sewage Treatment Plant offers public viewings of the wisteria. The location is popular thanks to a 120-meter-long tunnel of wisteria visitors can walk through. This year, it will be open from April 26 through 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Japan isn’t the only location to witness wisteria blooms, however. The flowers bloom in various locations, including within the U.S. at Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens and New York City’s Central Park.

The Argory estate in Northern Ireland and the gardens of the Great Fosters Hotel in Surrey, England, are also known to offer lovely wisteria views.

If you do happen to be in Japan to catch the wisteria blooms during the time of the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, make sure to take a look.

From mid-April to the end of May, the foot of Mount Fuji is adorned with roughly 800,000 shibazakura (a type of flowering moss) that bloom in various colors.


Before we get into the details, you should understand that killing or eliminating the wisteria entirely is only the last resort.

1. Remove Sprouts or Plants by Hand

Sprouts: If the wisteria is still not too spread out, then you can try to pull out the new sprouts by hand. Make sure that you dig it out entirely so that it does not re-sprout. You should dispose-off all the branches and seed pods carefully so that no new sprouts come up in some other place.

Small plants: if the wisteria is slightly bigger, then you must cut it as close to the ground as possible. Put all the cuttings in a bag to dispose-off as far away as possible. Now put the herbicide on he exposed part left in the ground. If you notice any new sprouts after a few days, get rid of them immediately.

Big Plants: consistent pruning is the only way you can control wisteria. Regular pruning throughout the summer season to remove excess shoots is necessary. Extensive pruning during fall and winter can keep your wisteria under your control.

2. Use Herbicide

Prepare the Mix: use a disposable bowl to prepare the required amount of the mixture. It is even better to have a garden hose sprayer. You can find pre-mixed solutions like triclopyr and glyphosate, which are quite useful. You won’t have to worry about proportions and to mix. Add vegetable oil or diesel fuel for the herbicide to penetrate better.

Make the Cuts: the next thing to do is to make an open cut to your wisteria. Cut it a few inches from the ground. The cut should be fresh. It is better if the cut is deep because only then the herbicide can reach the inside portions of the plant.

Peel Off the Bark: look at the bark located near the stump of the wisteria. Peel off the bark until it is about an inch beneath the stump. This will ensure that the herbicide penetrates the wisteria completely. You can use the pocketknife to peel off the bark.

Apply herbicide: take the paintbrush and use it to apply the herbicide on the upper portion of the stump. Use enough herbicide to cover the exposed area completely.

Second Coat: after applying once, leave it for 24 hours or one day. During this time, the herbicide will seep into the interior parts. The next day, paint another layer of herbicide on the stump.

Kill Wisteria: after these steps, wait for a week to ten days for the wisteria to die. It also depends on how big your wisteria is and how strong the herbicide is? You will notice that the plant is wilting and dying. Now, it is time for you to cut the stump and finish off the wisteria completely. Make sure that you remove the roots and all signs of the plant fully.

3. Spraying Herbicide

Foliage:spray the foliage with herbicide only as a last resort. It may affect nearby plants.

Dipping:place the leaves or vine tips in herbicide solution for about 48 hours before cutting and removing the wisteria vine.

Important Points

Some herbicides are specific to particular plants, while some are generic. It would help if you always used caution while using herbicides. Excess use can harm the surrounding areas, other plants and trees, and the environment in general. Follow the directions thoroughly and properly. Always try to minimize the use of chemicals.


How to Grow Wisteria

Last Updated: February 12, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Katie Gohmann. Katherine Gohmann is a Professional Gardener in Texas. She has been a home gardener and professional gardener since 2008.

There are 21 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 89% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

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Wisteria is a hearty woody vine that’s native to parts of North America and Asia. It’s recognized for its beautiful and scented hanging flower clusters, but the plant itself can grow very large and will even survive winter, frost, and snow. Wisteria needs lots of sun, water, and physical support to thrive, but as long as it has these things, it will grow well in many locations throughout the world. You can grow wisteria from seeds or from cuttings, but it’s possible that plants grown from seeds will take longer to bloom.


Wisteria Species, Chinese Wisteria

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Wisteria (wis-TEER-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: sinensis (sy-NEN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Glycine sinensis
Synonym:Millettia chinensis
Synonym:Rehsonia sinensis
Synonym:Wisteria chinensis
Synonym:Wisteria praecox

Category:

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

Where to Grow:

Danger:

Seed is poisonous if ingested

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Self-sows freely deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds

Seed does not store well sow as soon as possible

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

San Diego, California(2 reports)

Jacksonville, Florida(2 reports)

Indianapolis, Indiana(2 reports)

Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Statesville, North Carolina

Wilsons Mills, North Carolina

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

North Augusta, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina(2 reports)

Falling Waters, West Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:

On May 24, 2020, TheCzaress from Rolla, MO wrote:

Although we’ve both always loved wisteria, buying this home just 6 months ago, my boyfriend and I are now new caregivers to one and we are green. And now that our Wisteria’s beautifully pleasant blooms have gone, her tendrils are running wild. She is very mature. I haven’t measured her root base but if I were to guess, probably 18 inch circumference. From the root base at the driveway, along with foliage, runs along the average-length walkway and support/fence, over an arbor, back down to a very short portion of support and ends. There is a pergola that was built above the front door that may have been intended for the Wisteria but I can only guess. We need help taming this beauty without killing her or stunting her growth. The tendrils are out into the walkway and we don’t know what to do. read more to get her on her way to the pergola. Please help. I have photos if you need to see.

Thanks,
Mary and Derek,
Missouri, USA

On May 17, 2016, Aleco from Onsшy,
Norway (Zone 7a) wrote:

Beautiful foliage and beautiful flowers with interesting growing. I absolutely adore this plant, and I keep thinking of new ways to use it in my yard. It's been easy to control, but took about five years to flower from the summer it was planted. Looks a lot like a blue, viny version of a Laburnum - a killer combination as they bloom at slightly different times.

On Jun 14, 2011, wynswid from Garland, TX wrote:

My neighbor's kept invading my backyard and killed my plum tree. I'll never plant it.

On Aug 18, 2010, Intolerable from Anacortes, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have 3 Wisteria's in my backyard. I believe 2 are them same type, one different according to the blooms & leaves.
This year for the first time the two same type plants both gave me some extra blooms! Nothing like the first bloom of the season, but appreciated just as well.

On Aug 16, 2010, PiBall from Milford, NH wrote:

We now live in a home that was built in 1963, and I suspect the Wysteria in the backyard was planted at the time of construction. It is conveniently in the MIDDLE of the yard, in full sun and exposed to high winds. It has been pruned over the years to be a huge ball, rather than as a climber, and has an incredible trunk several inches in diameter. It is a Japanese variety, I believe, because it flowers BEFORE the leaves unfurl. This year it sent out several crawlers that I will cut back to the trunk this fall, after the leaf drop, when I can see better under it. It does, however, create a spectacular display in early spring! Fragrant and lovely, masses upon masses of hanging clusters of lilac/blue flowers. Fuzzy seed pods are of interest all summer into the winter. I put a shepard's. read more hook by it with a bird feeder because the little birds love the massive "shrub" for cover, but alas, the pole is being swallowed by the vine. Overall, high maintenance but worth it. BTW: the leaves have been deep, rich green in spite of the New England drought this summer. No watering needed for this plant.

On Jul 24, 2010, GreenThumbMD09 from Gaithersburg, MD wrote:

Our neighbors have this on their adjoining fence, and it's a real pest. Highly aggressive. Not surprising considering it's not native to North America. Stick with American Wisteria.

On Jul 20, 2010, garden4wildlife from Pinehurst, NC wrote:

If you are considering aquiring this plant, first check to see if it is invasive in your part of the country. There is much information about invasive species on the internet or from your native plant society. Much expense is incurred in attempts to remove it from roadsides, parks and other natural areas. It kills trees and all native undergrowth thus affecting the entire ecosystem. You may feel you can control it in your yard, but you don't see what happens in all the natural areas where the birds deposit its seeds.
There are native wisterias, frutescens and macrostachya, that are not invasive or such strong growers that they can kill large trees and are very attractive.

On Jun 11, 2010, SabraKhan from Tiverton, RI (Zone 6b) wrote:

I bought my Wisteria sinensis vine at a local garden center. The particular cultivar was unspecified but I bought it because it already had a bloom on it and it was a very young plant in a small pot and smelled wonderful. My vine has the distinction of huge full blooms packed tightly on the vine before any sign of leaves are present. The leaves sprout only after the flowers are fading providing an unobstructed view of the numerous flowers.

On Oct 2, 2009, mswestover from Yulee, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

When I purchased this property five years ago this plant had grown over everything it could reach. I trimmed it back to within 15 feet of the mother plant. I put some landscape timbers in the ground and cross hatched them with fishing pole bamboo in a circular shape, about 15 wide and 50 feet long and 8 feet high to form a little walkway under the flowers. Now the Wisteria has grown and intertwined with the bamboo and mostly supports itself. It is a show stopper in full bloom in March. You can walk under the flowers and watch the yellow bumble bees feasting for about a month before they fade. You have to keep on top of it by constantly trimming or it will grow, grow, grow everywhere you do not want it.

On Apr 14, 2009, purplesun from Krapets,
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

I grow Chinese Wisteria in Sofia, Bulgaria. It's a humble plant in terms of ornamentality, with sparse foliage, smallish flower clusters and rampant growth. It does not seed itself at all here.
I got my plant as a 10 cm twig at the beginning of spring. When I planted it, the soil around it almost came loose and there were hardly any roots, but despite that, it established very well.
My Chinese Wisteria flowered approximately 2 years after being put in the soil, which is highly unusual, I think. I don't know what caused this rapid maturation. A very easy plant, overall.

On Oct 2, 2008, Strazil from Seattle, WA wrote:

Originally bought this chinese wisteria (9 years ago) to climb and cover an unattractive but useful woodshed in the far corner of our backyard. Though I've heard they can grow quite large, this one gets a lot of shade from a very large cherry tree, so the size can easily be controlled if you are vigilant about new shoots. I don't get a profusion of blooms, but a decent amount each year. BUT if I had to choose again, I think I would have gone with Virginia Creeper, a much more attractive display throughout the seasons.

On Jun 24, 2008, tlmiller39 from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

We purchased my mother-in-law's home about 10 years ago, she planted wisteria to cover a hole from a dead tree about 20 years ago,

Wow. the bush is about 40 feet across and about 10 feet high, we have only pruned it once and has grown back plus. it is beautiful when/if it blooms. Wasn't sure what to do with it, husband wants to cut it down, i am against that, blooms are way to pretty.

On May 1, 2008, blufour from Cantril, IA wrote:

I'm not sure I can say neutral is my experience with Wisteria. I tryed for years to grow different ones I bought. Finally I got one from Earl May here in Iowa and it survived. After probably 2 years it had enough growth to actually put on a couple or three blooms. I also, in the meantime, purchased a Wisteria tree which became established more quickly and bloomed I think the first year. Then I moved! Had to begin all over and so far I've had probably 3 Wisteria vines, lost the first 2, and looks like I'm losing the third one. What has happened each time is those late freezes or just a hard winter. If I could get them through a few winters in order to get good woody growth I think they'd be established enough to take the extreme cold. We live on a "bottom" ground area and we get fr. read more ost and freezes when others don't. When I did get growth out of my Wisterias they gave me no trouble with spreading here in Zone 5 of Iowa.

On Jun 30, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I shared in 2003 - No flowers just vine. Still no flowers just vine and other vines growing on it. Air potato, creeping dogwood, purple passion.
That works. I just trim it when it reaches out to grab something else.

On Mar 16, 2007, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've one of the Chinese Wisteria, planted one year on my old property. When I moved (the vine was probably 2 year-old), the taproot was deep that I needed a water lancer (spl.?) to help dug it out the ground. Good thing I did, for there were no wild growth has been sighted at the old stumping ground.

Since then, this once a toddler, now 6-7 year-old-vine being kept confined in a whiskey-barel is rewarding us with beautiful, prolific flower buds. (It's prunned into a small tree form), for the first time. In general, vigorous pruning, and use No nitrogen, or Potash, but strickly tripple Phosphate fertilizer to encourage blooming. It worked for me.

As far as help to identify which variety we have. Once can see when the various vines timing of blooms, and i. read more ts unique habits.

1. Chinese varities, blosoms begins after the leaves unfurl. in the Spring, then sporadically when the weather cools down in the early Falls. Vigorous grower.

2. Japanese varities blosoms BEFORE the leave erupted. Most frequently used in "Bonsai"? Vigorous grower.

3. American varities Bloom well after the leave are out, in mid springs, and sporadically all through the growing seasons. Less vigorous grower.

On Dec 15, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Chinese Wisteria Wisteria sinensis is Naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

On Jun 25, 2006, Junebug62 from Swansea, SC wrote:

This vine has to be pruned not only on top but also at the roots, it will send feeder roots up to forty feet from the original roots. Treat this vine poorly, don't water alot put it in poor soil, will grow in sand, be aggressive about pruning both above and below ground and you will be rewarded with the beautiful blooms.

On May 4, 2006, xwabbit from West Orange, NJ wrote:

It has been exciting trying to ID all the stuff that are sprouting up and peeking about. It's my first spring at his house and most discoveries have been happy surprises.

I had no clue what was the mass of branches and stems, which runs around the entire width of the lot of my house (68), and up on trees about 20ft tall when I moved in here last October. When they finally started to show their true colors a week ago, I spent a lot of time crawling around, doing impossible Yoga maneuvers and trying to trace back to where the monstrosity is rooted.

It has spiraled up a few of my neighbor's 20ft trees and on top of my Lilac, crushed and killed a few of what look like remains of smaller shrubs, and the killer tendrils are all around my Lilac branches.

/> Had I known that I already own this plant and will be spending a good season or two exterminating it, I wouldn't have bought another 3 of these from eBay .

Good thing I planted them in a container. I will train these and braid them into a tree, while I pray for the monster vines to go bye-bye in a different part of my yard.

On Mar 23, 2006, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I'm told that there is a similar vine, a relative (same genus, different species) that is less vigorous and native to the US. As I write, the Chinese wisterias are in bloom here, all along the old railroad cut and in various disturbed areas: it's the spring equinox more or less. They're pretty. They're ubiquitous. They're impractical to get rid of. They're crowding out a mess of native species. Just don't plant them. I see from the reviews that few people will agree with me.

On Mar 19, 2006, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

All too often people admire the blooms, plant Wisteria and then regret having done so.

Homework, you must do your homework!

If you simply take the time to learn what you are planting, how it behaves and what to expect, the Wisteria can not be topped for a gorgeous and very bold statement in the garden. I repeat, in the garden. Not next to a house.

Not for couch potatoes, the Wisteria will need pruning and a bit of cleanup to keep it looking it's best. We have Wisteria in several colors and quite frankly, I'm not giving mine up any time soon.

The multitude of seeds can be shared with friends, and the pods make great kindling for the fireplace.

On Feb 13, 2006, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I do not grow this plant. Though it is beautiful when blooming, this is an extremely invasive plant. It will uproot the foundation of your house or completely smother a tree. My recommendation is to not plant it.

On Feb 12, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I've always admired the characteristics of this plant. But, I am quick to point out it is not for the 'faint of heart', or those who don't like a lot of pruning. This plant is pruned to about 7-8' and has a main trunk of about 1.5" diameter. I try to keep it at minimum height to encourage bloom and keep lateral growth under control. It first bloomed for me in spring 2005 after severe pruning and copious feedings of Triple Super Phosphate. I give it a positive rating because of its beautiful clusters of lavender blue flowers, and I like the foliage after bloom.

On Nov 14, 2005, rondaross from Deer Park, TX wrote:

My husband and I have a Purple Wisteria trained up a poll in our backyard. We keep it trimmed along the trunk up to about midway the height of the vine (13') and it puts out tons of flowers around March-April with no fail. It does receive full sun with the exception of early morning due to a neighbors Pecan tree. But we've had no troubles and really after the blooms are gone, we do a drastic trim on branches and new trailers and keep it short during the rest of the year. It fills out quickly with leaves once the blooms drop. We do get occassional blooms throughout the year because of our constant trimming back.

On Jul 9, 2005, RRRupert123 from Solon, IA wrote:

I LOVE THIS PLANT. it is so beautiful. and i think it is kind of neat how it makes so many runners and takes over things. atleast it isn't like kudzu!
I have a chinese wisteria tree, purple, and 2 chinese wisteria vines, i think. i got them in south carolina. they grow wild every where down there! i think when they set out seed pods it's cool too, cuz they hang there and it's almost as pretty as the flowers.
I'm trying to layer them into pots, I--__--__- ( tried to do a picture of the vine) w/ a vine off of the side, down into the ground, up and then down again into the ground and then up again. if anyone has had luck layering them like this, tell me.

On Jun 14, 2005, theresamendoza from Hesperia, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I planted my chinese wisteria three years ago and no blooms so far.
This year has been cooler than normal so maybe that has something
to do with it. I'm in zone 8a, high desert. I have seen maybe 3 wisterias blooming in our tri-cities communty. It is a rare plant here.

On Jun 12, 2005, teatimer from Lavrica,
Slovenia (Zone 7a) wrote:

Ours has started blooming in its second year. We prune it quite severely. To avoid being strangled we take good care not to fall asleep next to it.

On Apr 26, 2005, PlantmanPatric from Statesville, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Chinese Wisteria grows in North Carolina with the same rambunctiousness and voracity that kudzu does, but at least Wisteria is pretty and smells good.

I have recently purchased a tree wisteria. It has only been in the ground about a month, but I have my first leaves budding out. I have a cousin that has a wisteria vine that her grandmother trained into tree form. This one is over 100 years old. She has to constantly trim and train it to keep it looking like an ornamental tree, but it is beautiful this time of year.

Here's to hoping I can repost into a positive later on.

Nasty plant. It's great in the open outdoors and on telephone lines (those things need all the sprucing up nature can give them!) but not in my garden! Geez I've got at least two weeks worth of cutting, digging and wheezing to even get the darn thing under control. Whoever lived here before me must have given up! Can't blame 'em though! Those runners they send out are tricky. Just when you think you've won a battle - lo and behold you trip over another runner! Wish me luck! And to think, I almost felt guilty for wanting to kill it!

On Mar 16, 2005, tiffcrum from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

I planted two Wisteria Sinesis about 3 years ago over an arbor. They are filling in quite nicely but are not overpowering whatsoever. I am in zone 5 and the cold seems to keep the Wisteria from being so invasive. The blooms are gorgeous and very fragrant. This is my absolute favorite plant. I prune it several times a year. I have heard that the more distress you cause to the plant helps it flower more.

On Oct 28, 2004, DDYE from Mer Rouge, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

it will take over the world. I go about 5 feet from the main plant and chop with an ax to keep it from going everywhere. I like the carolina wisteria that is not invasive but it is hard to find and the only way that we have been able to propagate is by laying down a vine and covering with dirt for 6 mos or so.
all of my friends want a piece of it and so far I haven't been able to supply all of them with a cutting. The flowers are a very dark purple and smell so sweet, it blooms twice a year. mine is 6 or 7 years old and has never put out a runner.

On Oct 27, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Yes, this is an invasive little critter, but when it blooms, it's absolutely beautiful. I started 2 here back in 1997 that were supposed to be about 4 years old. I waited and waited for them to bloom - nothing! But boy, did they grow! I had one planted next to my house and made a trellis for it, but I couldn't keep it contained. After 5 years with no blooms, and it growing like wildfire, I decided to move it to an area where it could grow along our fence and not get in the way. Well. the main trunk died! But meanwhile, back where I had taken it out volunteers were coming up everywhere! I dug and transplanted several of these to the fence and they have now taken off - but I keep finding more volunteers that have now grown around both corners of the house - will this thing ever stop. read more ? I keep cutting and digging and they keep coming. If it weren't so funny, I'd be really mad.

Meanwhile - the second wisteria still wasn't blooming either. I have it growing on a 3 sided lattice trellis that surrounds our propane tank to hide it. It has now filled all three sides and we have to continually cut back on top and inside the screen so the guy can fill the tank. In 2001, in frustration that it didn't bloom I read up on how to make it bloom. the answer - PHOSPORUS!

HOW TO MAKE IT BLOOM:
In late fall, dig a shallow trench around the main trunk, pour superphosphate along the trench, shovel over and water thoroughly. Next spring (unless late frost kills the buds), you should have beautiful blossoms! It worked for me and it bloomed well the first year, and less so in 2002. The blooms were killed off by late frost in 2003 and I didn't have any blossoms this year, so this fall I'm going to do the phosphorus again.

On Sep 17, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra,
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

A very vigorous climber producing pretty blue or white flowers in Spring. Wisteria is deciduous. Mine, after 20 years of growth has a huge base and spreads rapidly. Good for a pergola or patio that needs to have winter sun and summer shade. Exteremly vigorous. pokerboy.

On Jul 15, 2004, conniecola from Lincoln, NE wrote:

I LOVE this plant! Mine is fairly new(3 years old). It had beautiful purple clusters last year, but this year nothing yet. I heard that you can train it to be a tree or a vine. I am trying to train it by having it go along the length of my wooden fence. Are you supposed to prune it in the fall? and how far down do I cut it back? I think we have one on our chain length fence also. It was here when we moved in. My husband has tried to get rid of it, but can't. It is twining through the fence, but this summer, I saw these totally beautiful purple clusters that smelled wonderful, and told him not to get rid of it. I love to look at the older more established ones when they are in full bloom!

On Jul 14, 2004, Khyssa from Inverness, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Established wisteria vines do tend to be extremely invasive but to me the blooms and their fragrance make them worth the trouble of maintaining them. I have my wisteria growing along a 4 ft high chain link fence where it is competeing with honesuckle vines. When containing the vines I find the best way is to heavily trim it back several times a year after it blooms in the spring. If the plant won't bloom try putting used coffee grounds, tea bags, and banana peels around the vines base. I found that this really boasts the plants overall health and will work with a wide range of plants. Also, in my experience wisteria seems to grow best in acidic soil, particularly around large pine trees. If you try to grow wisteria from seed you will have to wait years before it will bloom. Propagat. read more ion from cuttings or by air rooting is probably best.

On May 18, 2004, uofagirl from Orrville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Have a 10+ old wisteria chinensis w/o flowers in part sun already, but bought this blooming 4 year old baby and put it in full sun in hopes to continue its flowers next season.

On May 14, 2004, AliceinCT from Northfield, CT wrote:

This is not a plant for sissies. We bought our "Alba" (white) tree wisteria (basically a regular one trained to stand on it's own) from WFF in 1999. We live in Litchfield, CT (zone 5).

It took 3 years for the tree to bloom - 2002 and the next day a hail storm destroyed all the flowers. Last year nothing - now this spring we have 30 buds! I read that a harsh pruning of wisterias can "encourage some leaf buds to change to flower buds"

So now I'm on a mission to figure this out. I'll prune the tendrils throughout the summer and maybe even do a root pruning. Then in the fall, a hard pruning back to 5-6 buds on each 6" stub. If I'm right and it's all in the pruning - we should have blooms again next year.

The wait is worth it. I live in central Pennsylvania (not quite sure what zone it is.) I planted a Chinese wisteria 9 years ago and it took 7 years to bloom. The first year it only had a few flowers but last year was magnificent. The entire plant was nothing but clusters of blue-purple flowers. Neighbors would stop and comment on it and let me know that in a slight breeze, they could smell it several houses away.

The base is now about 5" in diameter and I have it growing on a 6' privacy fence on the side of my yard in full sun.I want to trim it but after seeing it bloom last year, I'm afraid I'll inhibit its flowering.

On Mar 1, 2004, HarryNJ from Jackson, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

2'' is nothing, I've seen the stems reach 4-5" in diameter growing in trees. I've also seen these same vines crush a garage when a storm brought the vines tumbling down. Along with greenbriar, Hall's honeysuckle, and multiflora rose probably the most obnoxious plant I can think of. They are nice when in bloom, but don't even do that consistently, putting on a great dispaly some years and not flowering at all others. I wouldn't recommend planting this unless you have the time and energy to devote to keeping it under control. I've been battling it for years here. It even seems to throw out runnerlike like vines from the base of its trunk that travel over the soil surface (until they hit something they can grow up and smother) and can reach 30-40 feet in a single year.

On Feb 25, 2004, jesup from Malvern, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:

While it's pretty when/if it blooms.

It's very invasive! At the house I bought it's taken over most of the sunny slope (45 deg.) below house. It's strangling azaleas, dogwoods, firebushes. One magnolia tree (6-8" trunk) had this twining up it with a 2" vine that was at least 1/2-3/4" embedded into the trunk. There are hundreds and hundreds of vines everywhere, criss-crossing, twining around each other, etc. Probably covers at least 1/2-3/4 acre.

I'm fighting to try to at least limit the spread and damage to the shrubs and trees. I have no illusions that I'll ever be able to fully control it and plant the slope the way I'd like.

On Feb 23, 2004, crazyplantlover from Pineville, MO wrote:

I just bought 2 rooted stems from Walmart and am looking forward to getting em to grow i plan on planting them along side a 60-70 yr old all oak chicken barn does anyone live in zone 6 not sure if its A or B i live in Missouri on the Mo Ark line the soil around the barn is fairly rich and is a combonation of soil and 60-70 yr old chicken manure , hay, and grass clippings ,any extra informatipon about the plant would be greatly appreciated

On Nov 24, 2003, Greenknee from Chantilly, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have 3 wisterias, and have had the same problems with getting them to bloom. They are very strong growers, and generally need to be pruned very hard to induce blossoming in plants less than 10 years old. I suggest letting them grow to get a little size then begin cutting back all side shoots to only 3 to 5 buds where you want flowers, otherwise cut back to main stem(s).

If planted in rich soil (a mistake!) you may also have to root prune to induce stress, as they bloom best when stressed, as by pruning, etc. Those on display, as on the National Mall in DC, have trunks 6" to 8" in dia, and are pruned ruthlessly at leat twice a year, August and agin in February. Likewise the fabulous collection at Dumbarton Oaks, as well as those at Filoli, in CA.

On Nov 23, 2003, emfarley from Houston, TX wrote:

I have now owned 3 wisterias(don't know which varieties)and the 2 previous ones have bloomed the 1st year planted. Now I have had one planted for 4 years - not a single bloom , but unbelievable foliage. Have been told some take as long as 9 years to produce. I'm too OLD to wait.

On Oct 11, 2003, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted mine in front of the garage and now it's runners all over the place. In the alley, on the patio, growing on my neighbors trees. Mine blooms in the spring and then sporadicaly for the rest of the season. I live in the zone 8 area. It has gone through several trellises, cement blocks and through the garage. But it is one of the first bloomers of the spring and the smell is spectacular.

On Oct 10, 2003, seniorgotit from North Charleston, SC wrote:

I have trained and cut mine to be a small bush. I was given a cutting already rooted and it bloomed that year. My cousin planted seed and in two years it has not bloomed, so if I wanted another one, I sure wouldn't want to wait on the seed plant to bloom.

On Jun 30, 2003, koimiss from Allegan, MI wrote:

I am in Zone 5. I can't remember which Wisteria I have, and I certainly can't tell from the flowers because it isn't blooming!

It is a nice size vine, though only about 12 ft tall right now. I have one on either side of an arbor 9ft tall and 4 ft across. I am beginning to have nightmares about what will happen back there when this thing really takes off. I have only had it two years. I haven't pruned it much yet, and I understand it isn't quite as fast growing in our zone. I sure would like to see it flower though. The ones where I bought it from bloomed the first year and every year since. I am holding my opinion to neutral for now!

On Jun 30, 2003, purplehbee from Deer Park, TX wrote:

My plant bloomed for a couple of years and has not bloomed again, but the vine keeps on growing and growing. Its in full sun. I want some beautiful flowers!!

On Apr 20, 2003, Stonebec from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I am not sure if I have the Japanese or Chinese wisteria. I understand it has something to do with whether it coils to the right or left. I braided 5 main stems together to form a tree-like structure with mine but it still needs a trellis to grow on because it is fast! Mine has it's first bloom before it gets any leaves, about early March here in Fort Worth. It goes through about 5 bloom cycles a year. We trim it when it reaches the peak of the roof of the house. Our trellis is over the air conditioning unit and it really does keep our electric bill down. I love the smell and don't bother the bees. We planted one of our wisterias next to our pine tree last winter and it has started up it. It will look so marvelous with blooms hanging from the pine. We are constantly catching it sending ten. read more drils across the driveway. Very easy to break. Flowers do not hold their scent if cut and brought in the house - darn it! I love it, faults and all.

I purchased a house about three years ago that had this tree in a corner of my back deck (about 15 ft away from the house). This entire area was was covered only with 2X2 strips spaced about 8 inches apart and this tree tangled around these strips of wood. It was winter when I bought the house but I began getting information on this tree because I was really excited about having it.

As soon as it started warming up, I noticed the blooms, then the beautiful grape-life clusters. This lasted no more than a week. Then as it continued to get warmer, bees were everywhere! It was so bad, you could not go around it sometimes. It is so invasive, that it is gets around the siding on my house, it will grow under it and pull it off.

I usually have to cut it back . read more at least every 30 days or it covers up a sky light and begins growing into the siding at the other end of my deck. I am constantly nailing back down the wooden strips it grows around. This tree is simply unbelievable. It is definately a high-maintenance tree because of the pruning. The blooms do not last anytime at all and the bees are a nightmare (I forgot to say anything about all the birds that love it too.)

So why do I keep this tree? It is very amusing to me. I never know where it will grow next. At one time, I thought my neighbor had one also. IT WAS MINE! She never said anything and until the first time I pruned it, I did had no idea. It had grown over and through the fence and started making its way to her house. It also amazes me how much they grow in the wintertime. Even when they are all brown, the stems will begin creeping toward my skylight.

As far as my overall experience with this tree, I am not sure. You can definately see some negatives but it really is entertaining and beautiful at the same time. I'll let other readers be the judge, based on my experiences.

On Mar 19, 2003, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

In my area, Chinese Wisteria blooms from late winter to mid spring. Overall my experience with it has been positive, but it is a vigorous plant that needs to be kept under control. One of my pictures shows the plant along the edge of the roof and it is planted in the back of the house, giving it a length of probably 50 feet. We have to keep it out of the shutters or it would pull them apart. The plant will self-sow. The seed pods are interesting. I like how they feel. If I didn't know the name of the plant, I would call it velvet bean. The seeds ripen in the fall. One half of the seed pod pops off and the seeds are flung for many feet in all directions. This is audible. The flowers are slightly fragrant, making this a plant for the senses of sight, hearing, touch, and smell.



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