theGardenPages:  Care and Growth of Flowering Wisteria Vines

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Care and Growth of Pretty Purple Flowering Wisteria Vines


The wisteria is blooming over the patio, here's a nice shot for you. The purple, violet flowers are about two feet long. They have a very light scent, a little creamy to me.

Wisteria is a vine that looks great over a trellis or the side of a house where the long flowers can hang down in spring when they bloom.

Mine looks so beautiful, I almost forget how high maintenance it is the rest of the year. Wisteria can survive on low water and poor soils, so they're a nice choice for drought tolerant gardens.

In spring it is always exciting to see the little buds forming on the bare branches. In a few weeks the vine is covered in purple flowers. The leaves don't start to sprout until after the blooms open.  So, you have a dramatic plant dripping in purple flowers and nothing else. Very pretty.

The wisteria blossoms cover the ground in a violet blanket after they are finished. Luckily the blossoms are not sticky. I let them blow into the flower beds where they decompose quickly. After wisteria blooms it goes into a growth spurt. You'll need to keep an eye on it if you are training it. Better yet, keep both eyes on this vine - it will send out a 10 foot runner seemingly overnight.

In the fall, the seed pods dry, forming long, thin dangling pods which look interesting against the fading foliage. BUT, when the pods dry they explode - sending the seeds flying. You do not want to be under a wisteria when the seed pods are going off! I try to cut them off before they get too dry. But I always miss a few. I'll be sitting under the trellis and hear a pod go off and duck before the seeds hit me!

But back to the reason people love this plant. Look at those blossoms!

Wisteria Seed Pods


These are the seed pods that form on wisteria vines after they
bloom.  As I've said before, I love my wisteria. 

Actually, I grew to love my wisteria that was on my patio arbor before I moved in.

They have the most beautiful blooms and that's what makes the rest of the year worth it for me.  They look dramatic draped over the patio arbor and creating a stunning purple canopy in the spring.  So dramatic, that I think there should be a wedding going on every time I go out there!

My wisteria is so enchanting I forgive it for all the drama it puts me through the rest of the year.  My vine is fairly drought tolerant, so that's another thing going for it.  I can't really take out something that puts up with my slipshod watering schedule just because it has a few 'issues' can I?  

Anyone thinking of planting one of these enchanting bloomers should know what they're getting into beforehand.  Here's what we're into today.  These are the gianormous pods that form from the 8 to 12 inch blooms.  The pods start out about the same size, then dry into dramatic twisting, bumpy pods.  They're hanging in bunches from my arbor right now.   Aren't they striking?

Actually the 'striking' comes later, but I degrees…  So, eh, as I said they dry out.  That means the pods are actually dripping moisture.  They dry fastest during the heat of the day, so if you're out there you won't need to turn on your misting system.  Luckily the drips aren't sticky, otherwise it would be a disaster out there (and time for me to get out the axe.)

Anyway, if you have a wisteria this would be a good time to cut off as many of these pods as you can reach.  I use a pair of long tree pruning shears because the stems are thick.  Not having to spend energy on forming seeds, it will be good for the plant.  And not having drips will be good too.  The next phase is the most interactive -and exciting; the pods explode and send seeds and the pods flying!

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