How to Plant a Wisteria Tree


A wisteria that is well cared for can be the envy of any neighborhood in the springtime. Wisteria are often seen draping elegant fountains of blooms down from fences, arbors and pergolas, but few gardeners choose to grow wisteria as a tree and allow it stand out as a focal point in the garden rather than a backdrop. To plant a wisteria tree, you'll want to be sure to get your potted wisteria into the ground and water it well as it begins to root in its new home.

Step 1

Choose a site for your wisteria tree where it can grow in full sun, receiving at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

Step 2

Dig a hole 18 to 24 inches deep by 2 to 3 feet wide and replace a third of the loosened soil from the hole with compost, well-rotted manure or peat moss. If you choose to test the pH of your soil, wisteria prefers a range between 6.0 and 7.0.

Step 3

Plant your wisteria into the hole and fill in around the stem with soil, making sure the wisteria is in the ground only as deep as it was planted in its container. Press the soil around the stem and root ball without packing it too firmly so the roots have space to grow.

Step 4

Drive a garden stake a foot deep into the soil as close to the wisteria as you can safely get without piercing roots. Use torn strips of pantyhose to tie the wisteria to the stake for support. A new tie can be placed every foot as the tree grows upward. As the diameter of the tree changes over time, cut free old, tight pieces of hose and replace with new ones.

Step 5

Water the new wisteria enough to saturate the soil. As the plant adapts to its new surroundings, you will need to keep the soil well-watered with an inch of rainfall each week for the first two months. After the plant is established, water only when the leaves appear to be wilting.

Step 6

Clip the top of the wisteria's main stem just after a leaf set once it reaches the top of your garden stake. Allow side shoots to grow along the main stem on the upper third of the wisteria, but clip back any that form along the bottom two-thirds to the base. This will encourage the tree shape you want.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wisteria are not hardy below zone 7, so check with a local greenhouse to see if wisteria will thrive in your area year-round.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost, well-rotted manure or peat moss
  • Test kit for pH, if desired
  • Wisteria
  • Garden stake 2-by-2-inch thickness, 6 feet long
  • Rubber mallet
  • Old pantyhose
  • Water
  • Hand pruners


  • "Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening"; Carroll C. Calkins; 1993
  • Ohio State University: Growing Wisteria
Keywords: planting wisteria, growing wisteria trees, planting wisteria trees

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.