Wisteria Trees

Well, perhaps not really trees. Bushes isn’t quite right, either, since we are talking about vines with ambition that have grown into waist to chest high plants with twisting trunks and twining stems that thicken into curving tangles of branches.

How many wisteria grow. Creative Commons Fair use. Source: https://www.dobies.co.uk/flowers/shrubs/all/wisteria-tree-standard_mh7475

Others are grown over doorways, although I have yet to see a wisteria around here as, let us say enthusiastic, as the one below.
All you need is mild weather, acid soil, and lots of water . . . Source: https://www.southernliving.com/garden/flowers/wisteria-tree-vine-plant-flower

Wisteria species plants are found in Asia and in North America. The Asian varieties tend to be more aggressive than native species, but both bloom and tend to be comparatively low pollen producers. Both can be trained up things, or can grow into “trees.” Around here, the tree form is more common. This isn’t really prime wisteria territory because it is so dry and we get such capricious freezes. Last year, and the nasty hard cold snap in April 2020, really did a number on the wisteria around RedQuarters. I thought the across-the-way neighbors had lost their small wisteria tree, because it lost both blooms and leaves. The thing struggled on, and is doing well this year.

This is what most of the local wisteria look like, but darker and much shorter. http://painterplace.blogspot.com/2010/04/wisteria-tree.html

All the wisteria around here are Asian varieties. I suspect the greater hardiness and faster growth is more important than “taking over the place” the way the plants do in gentler climes. The order of spring bloom tends to be daffodils, Bradford Pear, Prunus trees, redbuds, then the wisteria and forsythia. If you are going to plant a wisteria, ideally you do it when it is dormant. The flowers only come on new growth, so do not prune it in spring! No, resist the urge to “tidy it up for Easter.” Wait until later. They can get top-heavy, so a support of some kind is often recommended. If you grow it over a doorway, you will probably need to water it more often, especially if your house faces west because the plant will bake in the summer afternoons. Keep the roots well shaded with mulch, and be a little generous with the water – occasional longer soakings are better than daily quick drinks. (This is also true for other plants, including yard grass. Water less often, but longer, and let the grass grow longer to shade the roots. You garden and water bills will thank you.)

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6 thoughts on “Wisteria Trees

  1. I have a wisteria vine growing over the back porch – it has regenerated a couple of times, but alas, it only blooms for about a week in spring. The rest of the time it’s an undistinguished green vine, or a bunch of bare twigs.

  2. We had a wisteria vine that grew up a pine tree in the back of our house in Louisiana. Sucker was 4 inches around at the base, and climbed up perhaps 30 feet into the pine. Bloomed well, and grew constantly. It usually began blooming about the same time as the crepe myrtle tree did. Dad tried killing it several times, but it never worked.

  3. Absolutely HATE Bradford pears… They will kill any producing pear tree within a couple of miles, and they are useless for anything other than ‘decoration’ and dumping flowers all over everything!

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