Care of Wisteria Plants


Gardeners who add the energetic vining wisteria plant to a home garden are wise to prepare for a prolific plant that will quickly cover its support structure. Because wisteria can grow to such sizes, the structure you use to support wisteria must be strong and sturdy. Wisteria falls under two varieties, Chinese and Japanese. The two varieties differ in both bloom colors and bloom times. With a sunny environment and rich soil, a wisteria plant will thrive.

Step 1

Prepare a planting area for the wisteria in the spring. Select a growing location that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day. Pound the structure 8 to 10 inches into the soil and secure it to a building for best results. Spread a tarp near your planting site and dig a hole for the wisteria plant that is approximately 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep. As you remove the soil from the hole, place it onto the tarp. Mix one part compost into two parts soil and combine the materials well.

Step 2

Place the wisteria plant into the prepared hole, planting it at the same depth as it was growing in its temporary container. Fill the hole around the wisteria roots with the soil and compost you mixed on the tarp. Firm the soil around the plant and water the wisteria generously to saturate the soil.

Step 3

Keep the wisteria evenly watered by providing water if less than 1 inch of rain falls within a one-week-period. Water when the soil dries to saturate the soil.

Step 4

Mix the fertilizer with water according to package recommendations for the size of the wisteria plant and fertilize the wisteria once in the spring while you are encouraging prolific growth and spread of the wisteria.

Step 5

Prune the wisteria plant one year after planting in the spring to control the growth and spread of the vines. Choose one central stem to be the main stem of the plant and tie this stem to the support structure with a plant tie. Trim away any lateral stems growing off the central stem. Allow new lateral stems to grow off the central stem throughout the growing season, keeping these lateral stems approximately 1 1/2 feet apart. Attach the newer lateral stems to the support structure with plant ties. Top off the central stem when it reaches the height you desire and keep it trimmed to this height.

Step 6

Repeat the pruning process every summer with annual pruning. Continue cutting back lateral shoots that grow from the central stem. When new growth appears on the existing lateral shoots, leave approximately six leaves on each shoot. When new shoots appear at the newest trim sites, cut these shoots off to leave two leaves per shoot. This will allow the lateral shoots to fill in with vegetation over time. Repeat this maintenance pruning each summer.

Step 7

Stop fertilizing the wisteria when it fills in and grows to the height and width you desire. When you stop fertilizing the wisteria, it will begin blooming.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden structure (arbor or trellis)
  • Garden spade
  • Compost
  • Wisteria plant
  • All-purpose fertilizer (water-soluble)
  • Pruning shears
  • Plant ties


  • Washington State University: Growing Wisteria
Keywords: vining wisteria plant, support wisteria, care of wisteria

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.