We have wisteria hysteria! Fragrant, cascading flowers are currently adding a ‘Monet-esque’ quality & lilac haze to cities and towns in Australia.
A mix between a vine and a shrub, the wisteria’s dripping, fragrant clusters of flowers provide lovely cool shade over a pergola, or privacy, cascading down to create a screen of delicate, fragrant blooms.
Want to add value to your property? Wisteria Hysteria could be for you! Who wouldn’t be swept away viewing a property with dripping tendrils of lilac, blue, white and pink.
Getting Started (That is, Be Patient)
Although wisteria are vigorous climbers, often growing 4.5 metres ore more in a year, it can take at least six years for a newly established wisteria to start flowering. So best get cracking now!
Wisteria enjoy a full sun position. If planted in partial shade they will grow, but most likely won’t flower. If your soil is not in good condition, add compost, otherwise it will grow in most soil types. They do like well drained soil and reliable moisture, particularly during flowering and the initial growth period.
When to Plant
In spring or autumn.
How to Plant
Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and about two to three times as wide. Space plants 3 to 4.5 metres apart. If training over a pergola, plant either in the ground or in pots and ensure the pergola is high enough so you can walk underneath without brushing the flowers.
Caring for Wisteria
In spring apply a layer of compost under the plant and a layer of mulch to help retain moisture and control weeds. If you have a week with little or no rain ensure they get a good drink. Pruning is the secret to good flowering. Prune in late winter – remove at least half of the prior year’s growth, leaving just a few buds per stem.
Wisteria still not blooming? Check out this tip – Take a shovel and drive it eight to ten inches into the ground about a foot and a half out from the trunk to slice into some of the roots. Damage about 1/2 of the roots and the bush will be shocked into reproduction. (2)
Popular Wisteria Varieties
Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) in its blue form is commonly planted in Australia, however according to Don, two other widely cultivated Japanese species are also popular amongst gardeners: W. brachybotrys and W. floribunda.
The best known of the Japanese wisterias, it is differentiated from the Chinese wisteria as it has a lot more flowers. Its dozens of cultivars include a spectrum of colours, including ‘Honbeni’ (soft delicate pink flowers with a lavender tinge) and ‘Kuchibeni’ (white flowers with a tinge of pink at the end of the petals and clear yellow autumn foliage).
Plants in this group have very large individual flowers on long stalks and a beautiful fragrance, and include varieties such as:
‘Shiro Kapitan’ or ‘Alba’ (strongly scented, pure white flowers appear with the leaves)
‘Murasaki Kapitan’ (mauve, strongly scented flowers). This cultivar is unusual in that it twines clockwise.
‘Okayama’ (resembles Shiro Kapitan except it has faintly scented dark mauve flowers).
‘Showa Beni’ (similar to Shiro Kapitan except it has faintly scented pink flowers).
Have you caught the Wisteria Hysteria yet? If you are still not convinced you want to wait six years for your wisteria plant to start flowering, maybe take a look at some of these amazing pictures to get inspired…
Photo Credits: See http://www.pinterest.com/ffeaus/wysteria-lilac-purple-haze/