Wisteria is vigorous, beautiful climber, bearing clusters of stunning pea-like flowers in early summer. The flowers of wisteria vary in colour from white, pink, purple to bluish-lilac.
Most varieties derive from the Chinese Wisteria sinensis and from the Japanese Wisteria floribunda.
Wisteria floribunda ‘Rosea’
Wisteria floribunda ‘Rosea’ produces racemes up to 45cm with fragrant, pale pink flowers. Give it plenty of room. Expect a height of 6-8m and a spread of 2-4m.
Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’
Similar in size is white-flowering Wisteria f. ‘Alba’.
Wisteria floribunda ‘Multijuja’
Or consider Wisteria f. Multijuja’ which can produce spectacular long trusses up to 1m. with mauve flowers.
For those who want bluish-lilac flowers try Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria). Cooler schemes can be created with the pure white Wisteria sinensis ‘Alba’. Both varieties bear its flowers before the leaves open.
How to prune wisteria. A mature wisteria needs to be pruned twice a year to keep the growth under control and to promote flowers.
Summer pruning wisteria
Cut back the current season’s long soft growth to about 15-20cm from the main branches in late summer (July-August) or to within five to six leaves.
Winter pruning wisteria
Cut back all the summer-pruned sideshoots to two or three buds in mid-winter.
New growth of Wisteria Seed-pots of Wisteria
After flowering, a wisteria can produce green bean-like seed-pots. Cut them off, or leave the seed-pots on for winter interest.
How to grow
Add plenty of compost to the planting hole before planting a wisteria. Compost keeps the moisture in the soil.
Support. Wisteria is a very strong grower and a mature plant will develop a lot of weight. Choose sturdy support that is capable of supporting the mass of the woody stems.