Wisteria All Grown Up!

Wisteria the double agent.  It pretends to be a vine, but it’s really a tree.  This one is growing in my friend Lory’s garden and is quite spectacular as it winds its way up a Western Red Cedar.  She said this wisteria has been growing here for about 17 years.

Wisteria making itself at home in a Western Red Cedar

Natural Trellis

Base of Wisteria and Cedar

Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) is the most popular form.  It twists in a counterclockwise direction and blooms with long racemes of purple flowers in May, before the leaves have arrived.  The flowers have a sweet scent that is delicious as it drifts through the air.  Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) twists clockwise and the blooms are longer than Chinese wisteria, opening slowly from the base towards the tip of the raceme.  These plants are in a hurry.  They can grow 25 feet in one year which means they will need a lot of pruning to keep them in check.  Not a plant for wimps!

Wisteria on Arbor at the Gray Barn Nursery

Wisteria  Trained into a  Tree

Wisteria reaching and invading the neighborhood

Giant Wisteria Vine at the Arboretum

6 thoughts on “Wisteria All Grown Up!

  1. eliano

    I love that cedar/wisteria combination…I have a huge red cedar in my yard, and am inspired to bring in a wisteria. I know how aggressively they grow, however, indeed “not for wimps”! Which brings me to the question that perhaps your friend Lory knows more about: what if any maintenance should/can be done, and more importantly, is there any long term danger of the wisteria overtaking or even taking down the cedar? Any comments or thoughts appreciated!

    Reply
    1. rainyleaf Post author

      Hi, I will check with my friend, but she did say the wisteria was planted almost 20 years ago. You can see the picture of the base and it doesn’t seem to be strangling it, but who knows? My guess is that it will reduce the lifespan of the tree to some degree. I wonder if it has tried to go into other trees and how far reaching can one wisteria vine travel?

      Reply
    2. rainyleaf Post author

      I talked with Lory today and she has never had to do anything to the tree. She noted that in the winter when the wisteria has lost it’s leaves, the tree appears to be in the same shape as it’s neighboring cedars. She said the vine doesn’t twine around, but only goes up and out onto all the branches. However, she said maintenance of the wisteria is another story. It sends out hundreds of vines from the base that she must prune off each year. She said they turn up all around the tree and she even mows them down when they are on the lawn. I hope that helps!
      Elaine

      Reply

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