The Japanese wisteria is woody, deciduous twining climber growing to 9 m (30 ft) and over 30m long over many supports via powerful clockwise-twining stems,
sporting the longest flower racemes of any wisteria, reaching nearly half a meter in length, which burst into great trails of clustered white, pink, violet, or blue flowers in early- to mid-spring. The foliage consists of shiny, dark-green, pinnately compound leaves 10–30 cm in length, with 9-13 oblong leaflets.
One of the most highly romanticized flowering garden plants, and also a common subject for bonsai, along with its Chinese cousin, Wisteria sinensis, it is commercially available with many cultivars, such as 'Shiro Noda', 'Snow Showers' or 'Longissima Alba' - with long white flower clusters, ‘Kuchibeni' or 'Carnea' - with pink flowers or 'Macrobotrys' or 'Longissima' - with reddish-violet flower clusters one meter or longer.
Sowing & planting
800 - 1000
Identify my japanese wisteria
There are a dozen species of cultivated wisterias, and one hybrid — among the most common are Wisteria floribuna, the "Japanese wisteria", Wisteria sinensis, the "Chinese wisteria", Wisteria brachybotrys and Wisteria x formosa.
They're all deciduous, climbing plants with bunches of hanging, butterfly-shaped flowers that measure from 10 to 40 cm in length. They have 15 to 40 cm pinnate leaves — W. Brachybotrys leaves are covered in soft hairs.
W. sinensis flowers are blue or white. W. x formosa has more oval shaped folioles, while the three other species have spear-shaped leaves.
Plant my japanese wisteria
Plant preferably in late autumn or winter but avoid frost days, in a rich and well drained soil, in the sun or in partial shade. Plant in a hole at least twice as big as the root ball. Bathing the roots before planting could greatly improve the chances of recovery. Do not bury the collar of the plant. You can form a bowl around the foot, which will be used for watering during the first months. Tamp the soil around the roots - do not hesitate to use all the weight of your body! Water until filling the planting bowl (at least two watering cans). Use a prop to guide your green wisteria.
Prune my japanese wisteria
Carry out maintenance pruning to reduce the weight of the wisteria branches on the main stems. You should also prune if you need to limit the size of a wisteria that has grown too large. From August to September, cut all secondary sprouts back to 15 cm (less than six leaves). Prune these branches back to three buds again in January.
Wisterias can be trained to grow on a dead or dying tree, in which case, don't prune them. In order to direct the plant, cut back the main stem to 1 m after planting (or more, depending on the desired height). The main stem and it's branches much be trained in the first year. Principal branches should be cut back 2/3, and only 3 buds should be left on secondary branches. Keep doing this for a number of years until your wisteria has a solid and harmonious shape.
Water my japanese wisteria
Water regularly for the first year, as your wisteria hasn't fully developed it's natural root system. Water normally for then on, primarily in summer as excess moisture can cause the plant to waste away. It's better to water copiously but infrequently to encourage the root system to seek water deep underground.
Trellise my japanese wisteria
Wisteria will wrap around whatever is available... And then slowly crush it into pieces over time, so don't bother investing in something expensive. The side of a wall, simple wires or a trellis are perfect.
Mulch my japanese wisteria
Mulch the base of your wisteria in order to limit competition with weeds and the chore of watering! A 3-5 cm layer of bark or wood mulck is recommended, but you can use whatever you have on hand as long as it's a thin layer.
Fertilize my japanese wisteria
If you find you wisteria is developing more and more slowly, mulch with compost or well-decomposed manure in November, before spring growth. Gently dig up the top layer of earth with a spade and mix the fertilizer in, the closer to the roots the better. Avoid excess nitrates in your fertilizer, as they favour leaf growth to the detriment of the flowers.