Wisteria: A Beautiful Climbing Plant

Wisteria is a large plant that can live for more than one hundred years. It's ideal for large gardens, as it provides shade and a lovely scent.
Wisteria: A Beautiful Climbing Plant

Last update: 11 September, 2021

Wisteria is a climbing plant that attracts attention thanks to its color and splendor. It can reach 20 meters in height, which is why it’s often used to adorn large outdoor gardens.

In fact, it’s commonly used to cover walls and pergolas. In this article, we’ll tell you more about its characteristics, care, and risks for pests and diseases.

Wisteria characteristics

Know the characteristics of Wisteria.

Wisteria is also known as the feather flower. This beautiful climbing plant has two special characteristics that are enchanting to the naked eye: its scent and color. In addition, it’s a leafy plant that grows more towards the sides and this makes it a perfect ally for the shade.

Among the most popular types of wisteria is the Chinese wisteria–very resistant and with small, oval leaves. It has a peculiarity and that is that for its size it grows very quickly, especially after the second year of its plantation.

The flowers of this plant are mauve or purple in color. They attract attention because they grow in clusters, so they’re showy from a long distance. Wisteria blooms in late spring and its flowers last up to a month.

According to some reports, wisteria produces fruit in the form of a flat legume with seeds inside, (not suitable for consumption). This, because it’s been identified that they’re toxic and can generate gastrointestinal disorders.

Types of wisteria

Wisteria can live for more than one hundred years and there are several species, although they’re very similar to each other. These are the best known:

  • Japanese wisteria or Wisteria Floribunda: stands out for blooming colors such as blue, pink, and white.
  • China or Wisteria Sinensis: it has flowers of similar colors to the Japanese one, but they’re distinguished because they’re smaller in size.
  • North American species: Wisteria Venustas, Wisteria Kentacky, and Wisteria Frutencens.

Wisteria care

Japanese wisteria.

For its size and quantity of flowers, it’s a very easy plant to grow. Although it can be grown from seed, it’s best to plant the tree already in bloom and appreciate its bloom each spring. The reason is that this plant can take up to ten years to flower for the first time.

The plant will require a corner in the garden to develop where it can get at least four hours of sun a day. The rest of the time it must be in the shade. In this way, it’ll learn to live in optimal conditions in semi-shady situations.

Watering should be regular, especially while the plant is young and in seasons such as summer. This doesn’t mean that irrigation shouldn’t be taken care of; the plant needs water, but drenching should be avoided, as this can seriously affect the root.

Pruning

Pruning is very important for wisteria. It should be done once when the winter frosts pass and every 15-20 days during the summer. This is how you’ll get a lush and strong plant.

The day you prune the flowers, you should also do a clean. Eliminate any dry and criss-cross branches.

More common diseases

Aphids

Although wisteria is a very strong plant, paradoxically it’s very sensitive to diseases and pests such as powdery mildew, which is produced by excess humidity. If your wisteria develops this disease, it’s best to reduce the risks and apply a treatment to eradicate it as soon as possible.

Another of the problems that most affect it are spots on the leaves, in which case the affected leaves must be removed. This will prevent the disease from spreading to healthy leaves. For everything else, aphids and mealybugs are common.

Take care of your wisteria and enjoy it for years

For your plant to last more than one hundred years, it’s necessary to fertilize it and take care of it. From time to time it’s necessary to use nutrients and fertilizers that contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The time when the compost needs to be strengthened the most is during flowering, so you’ll have wisteria to rival the pages of a magazine.

If you want to encourage it to multiply, you can do this in autumn through the layering method, cuttings, or seeds. Remember that the latter takes the longest, but it’s a satisfactory method as you’ll be able to see how your plant grows and develops over the years.

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  • Díez, B., Asensi, R. Plantas tóxicas en la flora ornamental de Málaga. Boletín de la Academia Malagueña de Ciencias. ISSN 1885-1495, Nº. 13, 2011, págs. 59-73.