5 Mysteries of Wisteria Solved

The wisteria plant is one of those plants we hear about, see on other people’s
houses but never really think of incorporating into our own gardens. But wisteria
needn’t be so mysterious, so here are our top 5 tips and facts about this attractive
plant.

What is wisteria?
This is not a silly question. If you have thinking about incorporating wisteria into your
garden then you need to know exactly what you’re buying. Wisteria is traditionally
known as a climbing plant, most ideally suited to climbing up walls and garden
structures. However, wisteria doesn’t have to be used in this way. It can also be
planted in a container or large pot with the help of a stout support.

What colour is the wisteria flower?
Wisteria comes in three main colours; white, pink and purple. Unsurprisingly there
are a number of wisteria varieties to choose from not only varying from pale white to
strong purple in colour, but also in the density and length of the trusses.

Where are the ideal conditions for growing wisteria?
Wisteria ideally thrives in sunny spots, so north-facing walls or structures are ideal.
However, they can grow in slightly shady places too. Either way, the soil should be
well-drained and fertile, and care should be taken to make sure the soil doesn’t dry
out.

Is wisteria hard to prune?
Whilst wisteria is not hard to prune, the job does need to be carried out twice a year
to ensure it does not grow out of control. During the plant’s summer pruning (July/
August), cut back the unnecessary or overcrowded shoots to 5 or 6 leaves after
flowering. Then during the plant’s winter pruning (January/February), cut back these
same shoots to about 2 or 3 buds from older wood, ready for spring growth.

Other people’s wisteria never seems to flower; why could that be?
There are various factors. If the plant has flowered before but has recently stopped,
it could be down to something as simple as poor pruning, lack of watering, being
damaged by wildlife or a fungus, or slightly more seriously, graft failure. If it has
never flowered, remember new plants from seedlings can take 20 years to flower for
the first time.