Wisterias is a vigorous, delicately climber and one of the most spectacular spring-blooming perennials. Their fragrant purple flowers provide scent and color to the garden in springtime.
Wisteria is absolutely stunning when in bloom! Plant this deciduous climber near to entrances, doorways or paths. They look spectacular hanging from a pergola or archway in early summer.
Choosing a Wisteria
The fragrant wisterias are native to China, Japan and eastern United States. The three most commonly grown are: Wisteria floribunda (Japanese Wisteria), Wisteria Sinensis (Chinese wisteria), Wisteria Brachybotrys (Silky Wisteria).
These species are strong-growing and can reach around 10 m (33ft) in trees. Once they are established in your garden, whisterias are drought-tolerant, but you might still have to water them every week if it does not rain enough.
Wisteria Floribunda 'Royal Purple' - Japanese Wisteria
Wisteria floribunda, also known as Japanese wisteria, is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to Japan. This variety has the longest flower racemes of all the species and the flowers are sweetly scented.
Blooming in late spring or early summer, Wisteria Floribunda thrives in full sun or part shade, is drought tolerant and prefers moist but well drained soil.
Best displayed hanging down from a garden structure like a pergola or arch, Wisteria Black Dragon can grow to 10 x 4 metres in 20 years. Japanese wisteria is a reliable choice for gardeners in northern climates.
Wisteria Sinensis 'Prolific' - Chinese wisteria
Chinese wisteria's blooms appear before its foliage in late spring to early summer, making a spectacular display in spring.
Prolific' bears flowers are much fuller and much more abundant, and they are best displayed against a wall. Thrives in full sun or part shade and they are drought tolerant.
Wisteria Brachybotrys - Silky Wisteria
What makes Wisteria brachybotrys different compared to other wisterias are its silky leaves, that are creamy white with a yellowish spot in the centre.
Fragrant flowers are sweeter smelling than Floribunda or Sinensis Wisterias, blooming in late spring or early summer.
How to Plant Wisteria
Wisteria is best planted between October and April, in fertile and well-drained soil. To flower well, wisterias need to be planted in a location that gets at least six hours of sunlight on a daily basis.
They usually bloom within three to five years of planting.
You can help speed up the blooming process by feeding wisteria plants every spring using compost and mulch to help retain moisture and control weeds. Also, feed with sulphate of potash in summer.
Too much fertilizer may result in a bushy plant with no blooms. Fertilizers with too much nitrogen also limit blooming.
Wisteria needs to be pruned twice a year - once in summer and once in winter, to keep the growth and size under control. June is a good time to start pruning wisteria.
Growing Wisteria in a Pot
Image Credit: Courtesy of Sarah White
Wisteria offers so much ornamental value and growing them in pots is also possible. Dwarf Purple Wisteria is perfect for those with less space.
Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' is an ultra-compact variety from America that is perfectly suited to growing in a large container.
The pot should be at least 3 to 4 times the size of your plant’s root ball, and should have a good drainage.
Checking the container daily during warm weather is important. Wisteria is relatively drought-tolerant, but you should not allow the potting mixture to dry out completely.
The Most Beautiful Wisteria in the World
The largest wisteria in Japan blossoms at Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi, Japan. At 150 years old, this great wisteria plant is stunning when in full bloom.
The most beautiful wisteria, cover approximately 1,990 square metres (21,400 sq ft) and because of its age and the number of blooms, the tree branches are supported by gridded beams and form a stunning flower umbrella.
Photo @ Pinterest
With its ethereal presence and fairytale feel, it’s no wonder that the tree has been a muse for landscape photographers around the world.