How to Care for a Wisteria Plant

Overview

Wisteria is a genus of woody flowering perennial vines consisting of 10 species native to North America and Asia. Wisteria can grow up to 60 feet in length and produces hanging flowers that can be up to 30 inches in length. The flowers bloom during spring and are purple or lavender in color. Wisteria plants require only minimal care after the first few years of growth, but may become invasive without proper care.

Step 1

Plant wisteria during early winter in a location that receives 4-6 hours of sunlight each day and has a support structure nearby. Spread 2 inches of peat moss over the planting site and use a gardening spade to incorporate it into the soil prior to planting to increase drainage and fertility.

Step 2

Spread the wisteria vines over the structure to provide support. Use twine to secure wisteria to the structure if necessary. Tie the twine loose enough to allow wisteria to grow, but tight enough to prevent slipping.

Step 3

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding wisteria. Begin the layer at least 3 inches away from the base of the plant to allow room for growth and air circulation. Add more mulch as needed to keep the layer 2 inches thick all year.

Step 4

Water wisteria once per day during the first month of growth. Reduce frequency to once per week after the plant has become established. Do not water wisteria on weeks that have received more than 3 inches of rainfall.

Step 5

Feed your wisteria plant one month after planting using a balanced 6-6-6 NPK fertilizer. Apply fertilizer in March, May and September during the first two years of growth. Reduce frequency to once in March and once in September henceforth. Follow the manufacturer's directions for proper dosage and application.

Step 6

Prune wisteria plants in late summer after flowering to keep them in bounds. Use pruning shears to snip off any vines or branches that have grown excessively. Without pruning, wisteria will become invasive and may take over the garden or damage other nearby plants.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use a tree or shrub as support, as wisteria can cause significant damage or death to the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Gardening spade
  • Twine
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • Floridata: Wisteria sinensis
  • University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Chinese Wisteria
  • Florida Gardener's Guide; Tom MacCubbin and Georgia Tasker; 2002
Keywords: wisteria, wisteria plant, wisteria plants

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.