How to Care for your Wisteria Plant

Wisteria is a beautiful addition to your landscape. The large cluster of purple flowers is very pretty and has a wonderful fragrance. The downside to this bush is it will spread and can be invasive. Wisteria also comes in white and pink.

In the winter when the plant is dormant use pruning snips and cut back all the over growth. These above ground shoots can travel surprising distances from the parent plant in a very short period of time and be quite destructive. Wisteria plants can grow over 10 feet in one year-be aggressive in your pruning.  Wisteria also spread by their root system. In fact, they can spread underground over 50 feet from the parent plant. Using your spade cut a circle deep into ground approximately 10 feet from the plant trunk. This will aid in severing any underground shoots. You can mow closely around the plant to control shoots that stay on the lawn surface and seek new homes. Monthly trimming is recommended.  This should be done to maintain a certain shape or size.

After the beautiful blooms are spent, a cluster of pea-like pods form. These will dry up and pop open with quite a bid of force shooting their 4 to 5 seeds each pod over 20 feet from the parent bush. Trimming after blooms can cut back the amount of seed pods that are produced. Clean up under your wisteria, raking seeds or pods out, removing these from the area. Do not compost, they will sprout and grow.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plan well when planting wisteria. This beautiful flowering plant is hardy and has a long lifetime.
  • Underground shoots of wisteria are strong enough to crack sidewalks if they get under them. Vines and branches are also very strong and if they climb under siding or shingles of a building they can easily pull them off.
  • Wisteria attracts bumblebees while in bloom-they should not be planted where persons allergic are at risk.
  • Uncontrolled wisteria will strangle large trees in one season.

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.

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