Wisteria is a hardy vine that can live to a great age. It is most widely grown as a wall climber and can be obtained in blue or white colours.
Planting wisteria is not to be recommended for those who are impatient or contemplate moving house frequently. These plants take many years to establish but the results are worth the wait.
If you fancy a real challenge, the wisteria can be grown as a standard tree. To achieve this will require a sturdy support structure that will need to stay in place for many years until the trunk and main branches get strong enough to support themselves.
I have covered the care and pruning of this plant in more detail in the separate section of this site devoted to gardening tasks.
This plant is a vigorous grower once established and requires a lot of maintenance. Unlike most plants, the wisteria requires a lot of planning and preparation before planting. There are no short cuts here as the plant will get extremely heavy and the supports must be adequate to carry the weight. Good access equipment will be required as well as dedication to its care.
Failing to prune this plant properly will result in the biggest tangle of branches imaginable, but if looked after, it will reward you year after year and become admired by the entire neighborhood.
The plant produces deep and long reaching roots that will find water and minerals out of reach of most other garden plants and in this respect, the plant can safely be left to look after itself.
Maintenance consists of a major pruning session twice a year plus regular cutting back of the new growths during the summer months.
The first of these sessions is the Winter prune. This is best carried out in February/March before the flower buds swell too much and become vulnerable to damage. The primary objective here is to remove the excessive tangle that has developed during the previous Summer.
The second session is the Summer prune. This is best done about July/August and here the idea is to remove the main excess of young green shoots and tying in any that are required to extend the plant's coverage.
No toxic, culinary or medicinal properties known.
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