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Planting a Wisteria – a long term plan

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe


Wisteria is a beautiful climbing vine that produces masses of scented blue,purple and white blooms in late spring and summer. They are commonly used to grow over pergolas and around door frames.


Wisteria is best grown from grafted plants you should be able to check this by looking for a bulbous join on the lower stem. Plants from seed are unreliable and may have you waiting 15 years for a flower. Always buy your plants from a reputable seller.


Once you decide where to grow your Wisteria preparation is very important. Your plant will be in place for a long time so it is important to ensure that you prepare the ground well. Wisteria enjoys a ph of 6.0-7.0  so if you have an acid soil a little lime will help raise the PH. To give your plant the best start add as much well rotted manure as you can to improve water retention, soil structure and also release nutrients.


Wisteria is a very fast growing heavy plant and will need to be supported as it grows, it is best to get all your supports in place before planting, as you may cause damage to the plant once it  is in the ground Galvanised steel wires will be required to support the weight when growing against walls, also check your structure will be sturdy enough to support your plant.


You will need a sunny position for your plant . but if you can give a little shade to the roots this will help mimic their natural environment where they would grow up trees from the shady forest floor.


Spring and Autumn are the best times to plant.

Plant pot grown plants at the same level as they are in the pot, if they are bare root plant them with nursery line( a line of soil at the base of the stem, this is the level it was planted at in the nursery) 10cm above the ground. Firm in well water and mulch. It is important to keep the plant well watered and not allowed to dry out. When feeding choose a fertilizer high in Potassium as too much nitrogen will result in a plant full of foliage and no flowers.


Newly planted young plants can take a couple of years to flower so be patient, keep your plants well watered and prune twice a year Cut back the long whippy growth to 5 or six leaves  after flowering in July/August then in winter January/February cut these stems back to 2-3 buds.


With the correct preparation and care your wisteria will reward you with spectacular flower displays year after year.


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