Wisteria: How to Grow This Deliciously Fragrant and Gorgeous Flowering Vine

It’s not hard to see why wisteria is such a beloved plant. 

This high-climbing vine features large, droopy clusters of lilac and lavender-colored flowers that grows perfectly on a pergola or trellis.

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Learn how to grow wisteria in your yard with these simple tips!
Wisteria is a low-maintenance perennial. Low how to grow it in your own yard with these simple tips!

Wisteria isn’t just beautiful, however. It also produces some of the most fragrant blooms around. If you’re a gardener who loves sweet-smelling flowers, then you should consider growing wisteria vine in your garden. It’ll fill your yard with a fresh and sweet scent that you’ll enjoy season after season.

Luckily, wisteria isn’t very difficult to grow and it spreads out rather quickly. It will need moist soil, full sun, regular pruning, and plenty of support so that it can grow upwards and outwards.

Chinese wisteria aka Wisteria Sinensis is a rather aggressive and invasive variety, while American wisteria (which grows well in zones 5-9) is slower-growing and can be tamed more easily.

This is a vine you’ll want to watch carefully and prune accordingly if you don’t want it overtaking your entire property. Choose the American variety if you think you won’t have the time to prune regularly. 

Plant these fragrant flowers in your garden this year!

If you think you’re ready to grow your own wisteria, let’s delve into when, where, and how to plant and care for this striking vine!

How to Plant Wisteria

Since wisteria spreads out quickly, it’s best to plant this vine away from the structure of your house, as you don’t want it to cause any foundation problems. Consider picking out a beautiful pergola that it can grow and wrap around for support. It’ll add a decorative, peaceful quality to your front or backyard. 

If you feel your curb-appeal could use some improvement, wisteria can definitely help!

Wisteria branches can be rather heavy in weight, so you’ll need to provide it with as strong a structure as you can. Otherwise, the branches will break off from the weight and weaken your plant.

PLANTING

Wisteria transplants well, so you can purchase a potted wisteria from your local nursery or garden center; this will be the quickest way to grow this type of vine. Ask your local nursery for growing tips in your zone as they might have a few insider tricks to get your plants blooming optimally in your climate. 

Before you starting planting, make sure to pick out a spot in your yard that gets full sun, which means at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If you plant your wisteria in an area that gets partial shade throughout the day, the vine will likely fail to produce the generous blooms they’re famous for.

SOIL

You’ll need to provide your vine with soil that is moist, fertile, and well-drained. Make sure NOT to plant it near an area that is prone to puddles during watering or rainy weather.

Once you choose the ideal spot, dig a large hole a few inches deeper than the length of the pot so that the roots have space to stretch and grow. Plant each pot at least 10 feet apart. Remember: this plant is far-reaching and can quickly overtake an area. Water the plant generously to allow the roots to settle into their new home.

Since wisteria thrives in moist soil, you can add a layer of compost and mulch, which will provide the soil with nutrients and also keep it cool and moist on hot days.

TIP: If you want your wisteria to grow like a tree, then you’ll need a good sturdy stick and some wire. Place the wooden stick deep into the ground where you planted the vine, and tie the stem of the plant to the stick, using wire or garden clips. As the plant grows, make sure to keep tieing the main stem to the stick until it starts to grow like a tree.

Learn how to grow wisteria in your garden.

If you want your wisteria to grow as a vine, plant your wisteria pot underneath a pergola, and tie the vine around it using wire and/or garden clips. This will train the vine to grow upwards and within the pergola. 

WATERING

After you plant your wisteria, water the soil generously to help the roots establish themselves in their new home. After that, you don’t have to water too regularly. If you see that the soil has gone dry, go ahead and water. Wisteria is a hardy vine, so it won’t die if you forget to supply the soil with moisture- this is what makes this plant fairly low-maintenance. 

However, you’ll still want to check your soil regularly during mid-Summer and early Fall as the temperatures climb. Wisteria begins to form next year’s buds during this time, so it’ll require more water than normal.

PRUNING

Similar to other vines and plants like the lilac bush and the peony, wisteria benefits tremendously from pruning and deadheading.

Pruning is very important for the promotion of beautiful blooms because it’s flower clusters will only grow on new, healthy wood. Pruning in late Winter (February) and mid-Summer will keep your vine in good shape and help it produce those dropping blooms you’re looking for.

Grow wisteria on a pergola in your garden!

Pruning during late-Winter helps to encourage beautiful blooms for Spring while pruning in mid-Summer helps to inhibit the branches from becoming invasive and can also encourage flowering.

Make sure to deadhead old blooms and prune back old wood, stopping once you see new wood and healthy buds. 

TIP: Pruning, especially in the first few years, gives you the opportunity to “train” your wisteria on where and how it should grow. This is is your chance to inhibit it to one area! 

Once you get all of these growing tips down, you can count on enjoying your wisteria vine for years and years to come. It is, after all, a perennial! 

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I'm so glad you're here learning about your favorite plants. My hope is to encourage your love of succulents and help you understand how to care for them and make them a part of your home, too, via plant crafts and beautiful arrangements!

  1. 6.29.18
    Tammy said:

    Can you take a new green growth clipping in spring time and put in water to start rooting?

    • 7.3.18
      Natalie Linda said:

      Hi Tammy,

      it’s best to place your wisteria clippings in a pot with moist potting soil. Make sure your green wood cutting is a few inches long and has 2 different sets of leaves shooting from it. Your cuttings will be rooted in about 4 weeks. (place the pot in an area that gets indirect sunlight and water when the soil is dry to the touch).

  2. 7.1.18
    Anita Schwarz said:

    How does Wisteria deal with wind? I live on the Atlantic Coast and we have sometimes very heavy windy weather.

    • 7.3.18
      Natalie Linda said:

      Hi Anita,

      Wisteria vine should be fine in windy weather as long as it has strong support. If it gets windy during flowering time, then you might risk losing some blooms to the wind.

  3. 7.1.18
    Arlyce Grothe said:

    I have a wisteria thst i planted a couple of ueats ago. Didnt know anything about them. The first year they had s few flowers. In 2016 it was loaded and had grown on to the fence where i didntwant it. Igot my handyman to help and discovered it was taking the rotiron trellis right out of the along with the trunk. Got some farmers steel fence posts drove them down about 30 inches in the ground. Wired the post to the trellis with bailing wire. Now if it grows and pulls them out i think ill look for a new spot, also the seed pods if left out over the winter , you will new little plants to give to you friend. Thanks for listening to me . Arlyce Grothe @[email protected]

    • 7.3.18
      Natalie Linda said:

      Hi Arlyce,

      thank you so much for sharing how your wisteria has grown in your yard and what you did to contain it!

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