How to Take Care of a Wisteria Plant

Overview

Belonging to the Fabaceae (pea) family, the wisteria is a vigorous twining vine that can grow more than 10 feet in a single year. The wisteria plant is prized for its fragrant flower clusters that bloom during spring. Wisteria flowers can be lavender, red, white or blue, depending on the cultivated variety. The most popular wisteria type is the Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis), which grows up to 25 feet tall and blooms in 6- to 12-inch-long flower clusters. The Japanese wisteria (W. floribunda) has 12- to 18-inch-long, bluish-violet flower clusters that appear in late spring.

Step 1

Water your wisteria deeply once or twice per week during the summer months to soak the soil around the roots. Water the wisteria only when rainfall is less than 1 inch in a week.

Step 2

Spread a 1-inch-thick layer of organic compost on the ground around the wisteria plant once every year in early spring. Spread on top of the compost a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch to control weed growth and preserve soil moisture.

Step 3

Prune your wisteria in early summer after it finishes blooming to control its size and growth. Cut back the side shoots that grow from the main stems to about 6 inches in length.

Step 4

Prune your wisteria again in fall to shorten the pruned side shoots back to about two to four buds. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, prune away any shoots that grow from the base of the wisteria plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't hesitate to perform heavier pruning to keep the wisteria vines within their boundaries, because these plants can grow vigorously and easily take over other nearby plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Organic compost
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears

References

  • National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides -- Wisteria

Who Can Help

  • Ohio State University Extension: Fact Sheet -- Growing Wisteria
Keywords: wisteria plant care, grow wisteria vine, maintain wisteria

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.