Chinese Wisteria Vine – Cascading Violet-Blue Flowers
Chinese Wisteria, also known as Wisteria
, is a tropical climbing vine that can grow up to
thirty feet (9 m) tall and produces flower clusters that measure six
inches to one foot in length.
The stems twine counter-clockwise. It is native to China and attracts
bees, butterflies, and birds.
Wisteria flowers are violet-blue in color, slightly fragrant, and open
all at once before the foliage has expanded. The fruit is a long, green
The vine climbs by means of twining stems and has alternate, pinnately
compound leaves that are smooth-textured. The flowers put on the most
breathtaking display from early to mid-May.
is best grown with some type of support, such as wires, trellises,
arbors and pergolas. Solid, vertical surfaces can be used if proper
supports are added, such as rows of sturdy, rust-resistant wire
attached four to six inches from the wall.
Wisteria can also be grown as a tree-form by staking the vine in an
upright position. Cut off the top when it reaches the desired height
(typically four to five feet tall). Allow side shoots to develop on the
upper part of the wisteria tree, continually removing shoots from the
In winter, prune the side shoots to a length of six inches to one foot
- until the top reaches the desired size.
Wisteria Vine - Growing Information and Plant Care Tips
USDA Hardiness Zone
USDA Zone 7 - 11
In order to bloom well, Wisteria Vines require full sun, at least six
or more hours of direct sun per day.
Water newly planted Wisteria daily during the warmer months to aid
establishment. Established vines are extremely hardy, and watering
schedule can be reduced to twice a week.
Apply a balanced fertilizer annually in the spring, or a slow-release
fertilizer in spring and autumn.
can be propagated from seeds, stem cuttings, and
Seeds should be soaked in water for twenty-four hours before it in
soil. Be aware that seeds can take ten or more years to bloom.
The best time to take stem cuttings is in late spring to mid-summer.
Stem cuttings will take 2 -3 years to bloom.
Layering is done by covering part of a stem that with soil, leaving the
tip above the soil line. This method can take up to a year to produce a
new plant. The stem can be transplanted when it has developed new roots.
Chinese Wisteria prefer moist, well-draining soil that does not dry out
Prune Wisteria to maintain vine shape and quality. If not pruned, vine
can overtake surrounding plants and structures. Pruning is necessary to
train vines and promote flowering.
Cultivars / Varieties
'Wisteria sinensis alba' – This white flowering wisteria is faintly
scented and has good autumn foliage color.
'Wisteria sinensis Jako' – Features flowers that are white to off white
in color. Scent is stronger that Wisteria sinensis alba.
How to Plant Chinese Wisteria
The best time to plant Wisteria is in the fall or spring – before or
after summer blooms appear.
- Select a location that receives full sun – a minimum of six
hours a day. Wisterias grow best in a moist, well-draining soil.
- Grow wisteria vines near vertical supports, such as
pergolas, arbors and fences. You can also attach rows of wire, wood or
tubing to a building, leaving 4 to 6 inches between the wires and the
wall. Wire, wood and tubing are the best materials to use because they
will not rust. Wood should be pressure treated.
- Dig a hole the depth of the root ball, three times as wide.
Place the root ball into the hole.
Note: Wisteria vines
should be spaced ten feet apart.
- Fill the hole halfway with soil. Get rid of air pockets by
watering thoroughly. After the soil absorbs the water, finish filling
in the hole. Water the soil once more.
- The vines need to be trained to grow on the support system.
Choose a strong stem to be attached to the support. Attach it with a
twist tie or gardening wire. You can also tuck it into the support
system. Prune the side shoots because this will promote more vigorous
growth. Train the main leader as it grows, weaving the vine around the
- Fertilizer Chinese Wisteria annually in the spring. Add a
layer of compost to the base of the vine. Cover the base of the plant
mulch to control weed growth and retain the soil's moisture.
- Prune wisteria after it flowers in early summer. Cut all of
the side shoots branching from the main stems back to 6 inches. Trim
shoots growing from the vine's base to avoid weakening of the vine.