Wisteria Sinensis (Chinese wisteria)
Wisteria Sinensis, or Chinese wisteria, blooms in April, May, and June. It produces a profusion of flowers. You won’t believe your eyes, as it has the most stunning purple-blue pendant flower cascades of some 30 centimetres in length. And as well as looking gorgeous, the plant is wonderfully fragrant. It’s a type of butterfly bush so, as you’ve already guessed, all types of butterflies will find their way to your garden or terrace. Wisteria Sinensis is a climbing plant and a really fast grower. And fortunately, it’s also winter hardy.
Wisteria Sinensis (Chinese Wisteria)
Chinese wisteria is an espalier plant that works hard. It can reach twenty metres in height and ten metres in width. It could use a helping hand from you, though. If you make a kind of wire and trellis frame, which needs to be very strong, it can creep and climb up this itself. It’s important that you realize that Wisteria Sinensis is a choking plant. It looks for support from trees, plants, downpipes, or anything that’s close by and wraps itself around these for support. When those branches become thicker, that ‘support’ will come under pressure and will break. And, of course, you don’t want that. So, make sure the plant has enough space.
Growing Chinese Wisteria
You’ve already guessed it – the plant originated in China. But these days you’ll come across Wisteria almost everywhere in the world.
Why choose Wisteria Sinensis?
- Chinese wisteria is really beautiful.
- The purple-blue cascades of flowers are superb and are also wonderfully fragrant.
- And there’s always a lot of activity around this plant, with butterflies finding it particularly attractive.
When should you plant your Chinese wisteria?
It’s best to plant your Chinese Wisteria in the ground in early spring. It prefers a fertile and a somewhat chalky soil, but the soil shouldn’t be too chalky.
Wisteria Sinensis is a climbing plant – some even call it a choking plant – which wraps itself around trees or other high objects. This enables it to climb higher and higher.
The plant blooms from early May to mid June. That usually only starts in the second or third year.
What’s the best way to plant your Wisteria Sinensis?
Be careful where you plant your Chinese wisteria. It needs a sturdy support. That’s really important. This could be a pergola, the side of your home, or your summerhouse. The plant will need more room as it grows and it will become increasingly heavy. Make sure you take this into account.
The plant grows well in humus-rich, moist soil.
Try to plant your wisteria root in the shade. The flowers, on the other hand, prefer full sun or partial shade.
The plant likes a lot of sun. Try to plant it in a spot that gets at least six hours of sun per day. For instance, against a sunny wall that retains heat for a long period and transmits this to the plant.
Make sure that the plant develops a good framework of stems, as it doesn’t like being pruned back to old wood.
Almost everything from Chinese wisteria is extremely toxic – the pods, seeds, roots, and twigs. Vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps will occur if a child or pet consumes just a small amount. So keep small children and pets away from Wisteria Sinensis.
As we mentioned earlier, Chinese wisteria can reach twenty metres in height and ten metres in width. Help the plant by creating a strong framework of wire and trellis.
The plant will need increasing amounts of space, and the wire and trellis will need to be strong enough to cope with the increasing weight.
It’s wise not to place the plant close to other plants or trees. It needs a lot of space.
Advice and Care
Water your Chinese wisteria regularly. It will need extra moisture, certainly in dry periods. It likes wet soil.
You don’t need to fertilize your Wisteria Sinensis, but if you do want to do this, buy an organic fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus. That will stimulate flowering.
The soil should not be too chalky otherwise the leaves will become yellow.
It’s not difficult to prune Chinese wisteria. Do this twice a year to encourage a profusion of flowers.
You can prune the plant prior to and after the spring flowering to within 40 centimetres of the main branches. Cut back the lateral shoots in February to two or three buds from the main branch. This will encourage spring flowering.
Chinese wisteria flowers on the lateral shoots that formed on the main branches the previous year.
Pruning ensures that the plant grows as many lateral shoots as possible. The cascading flowers will hang beautifully from these shoots.
Treating common problems
Wisteria Sinensis is not very sensitive to disease or pests.
If you spot yellowing leaves, this could be because the soil contains too much chalk. Some chalk is good but the plant doesn’t like too much. You can make the soil more acidic by adding humus-rich material.
Advantages and disadvantages of Wisteria Sinensis
- Chinese wisteria is not very sensitive to disease or pests.
- Pruning looks difficult, but it isn’t – as you’ll soon discover.
- The plant grows quickly and becomes very wide and high.
- Please note: the plant is extremely toxic for small children and pets. Make sure that they cannot come in contact with the plant.
- Wisteria Sinensis likes to wind itself around things, such as other nearby plants, trees, or downpipes. At a certain point, the weight of the plant will cause other plants or trees to die and downpipes to break.
Wisteria Sinensis, or Chinese wisteria, will look simply stunning in your garden against the façade of your home, summerhouse, or against a fence. It’s a beautiful and very distinctive plant with gorgeous purple-blue flowers. We highly recommend it. If Chinese wisteria is exactly what you’re looking for your garden or office building, order one today. If you have any questions, please contact us.