A high-climbing vine, wisteria blooms vigorously in spring with large, drooping clusters of lilac or bluish-purple flowers. Here’s how to plant, grow, and care for wisteria in your backyard!
Note: Two species of wisteria that are typically grown in home gardens are considered invasive species: Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria) and Wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria). The wisteria native to North America is Wisteria frutescens, or American wisteria. If you’re planting a new wisteria, we strongly suggest you avoid the Asian invasive wisteria species.
How do you tell the difference? The Asian species are aggressive growers with fuzzy seed pods, while the American wisteria is not an aggressive grower and has smooth seed pods, glabrous fruits, and more-or-less cylindrical, bean-shaped seeds. The native wisteria’s flowers appear after the plant has leafed out, a difference from the Asian species. The blooms only appear on new wood.
The vine is a fast and aggressive grower, and may grow 25 to 30 feet long! Wisteria is also beautifully fragrant, providing a feast for the senses. A brown, bean-like pod exists until winter.