Does Wisteria Grow In Southern California

Getting out with the holiday mall crowd or staying in on a December Saturday to trim the wisteria—I’m not sure which is worse. You should hang out with the wisteria. You can give the gift of perennial weeping flowers with just a few thoughtful cuts.

Any blooming shrub, vine, or fruiting tree requires some knowledge when it comes to pruning because an untrained gardener can easily remove the buds that create the blossoms. The key is to tell the plump flower buds from the thin leaf buds.

A good book on photo-based trimming is helpful. Before you prune, visit the library to acquire a book that makes sense to you if you are the parent of a wisteria that has been obstinate and hasn’t blossomed since you planted it. You’ll become an expert at pruning after a few seasons.

Leguminosae, which means pea family, includes wisteria. Other members of the tribe, notably sweet pea, garden pea, and lupine, also have the well-known pea-like petals.

The two widely used varieties are Japanese and Chinese wisteria. Japanese wisteria blooms when the vine begins to leaf out; the highly-fragrant flowers emerge from the vine’s base and progress upward.

The most popular variety of wisteria planted in Southern California is Chinese wisteria. Before the leaves arrive a few weeks later, Chinese wisteria blooms all at once on bare branches in clusters of light fragrance.

Wisteria can take eight to ten years to blossom after being started from seed (I’ve done this once). It is preferable to choose a mature plant that will bloom in the first year or so with proper pruning.

In the early seasons, concentrate your pruning efforts on creating a structure that appeals to you. Strong wisteria can grow into a tangled jumble of branches and streamers extending in every direction if left to their own ways.

Forego the blooms at first, and pinch and trim to create a sturdy center trunk instead. Select and train the streamers that will one day act as blooming branches. Disconnect from anything else.

Keep this in mind once your vine has grown (this takes a year or two).

Too much green growth will drain the plant’s energy and prevent it from producing blossoms. Think high and tight for the greatest flowers. Remember that stems trained horizontally will blossom more successfully than those trained vertically.

Ideally, the plant should be heavily pruned in the summer. Reduce the gangly streamers even further in the winter to just two or three flowering buds per stem. Each flowering shoot should be pruned three to six inches from the support structure.

In case you were wondering, if a wisteria doesn’t want to bloom, feeding won’t make it do so. Actually, mature wisteria thrives when given a little extra care.

By cutting back the roots in the winter, you can further harm wisteria plants that have never blossomed. Cut the roots 4 feet from the plant’s base to 18 inches deep using a very sharp shovel. Next, wish for springtime blooms like you would with any gardening project.

Wisteria is able to grow in California.

I left Omaha, Nebraska, where I was an enthusiastic gardener, and relocated to the desert near Palm Springs, California. Wisteria will grow in this area, when summertime temperatures might reach 120 for several weeks. When might I be able to anticipate seeing it blossom here if it grows? I appreciate your support.


The only wisteria native to North America, Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria), is not a native to California. It is indigenous to the Eastern United States, in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8, and as far west as east Texas. Zone 9b through 10a appears to encompass your location in Riverside County.

Growing Conditions

moderate use of water Light Sun, part-shade, and shaded soil are requirements. Moist Soil: Moisture Circumneutral (pH 6.8), Acidic (pH 6.8-7.2) CaCO3 Low Drought Tolerance Moderate Tolerance Soil Rich, wet to mesic soils that are neutral to slightly acidic Clay, Clay Loam, Medium Clay, and Sandy. Conditions Comments: It prefers a healthy loamy soil in a sunny south or southwest position, protected from chilly breezes and the early morning sun on frosty mornings. Alkaline soils can cause chlorosis in plants. like a rich soil, although other gardeners believe that a soil that is excessively rich leads to excessive leaf growth. accepts yearly flooding.

Where in Southern California can I locate wisteria?

At numerous locations across the San Marino gardens, the vibrant purple favorite is in the midst of a lovely peak.

  • San Marino’s Botanical Gardens, Art Museum, and Huntington Library.
  • Weekends and holidays require reservations (in addition to a ticket)

Where does wisteria grow?

It is well known that wisteria take a very long time to bloom. For two to three years after planting, don’t anticipate blossoms. Some readers swear by the following technique to encourage blooming:

  • To cut into part of the roots, take a shovel and drive it 8 to 10 inches into the ground approximately a foot and a half away from the main trunk of the wisteria.
  • Approximately half of the roots should be damaged for the shrub to be shocked into reproduction (flowering).
  • Don’t worry—impossible it’s to harm this unchecked, unwieldy, frequently invasive shrub!
  • The flowers of wisteria can also be impacted by chilly winter temperatures.

Native Wisteria

Consider growing a wisteria species that is indigenous to North America if you live there, such as:

  • Wisteria frutescens, also known as American wisteria, thrives in zones 5 through 9. Its original states span from Virginia to Texas, the southeast to Florida, and up into New York, Iowa, and Michigan in the north. The vine is 25 to 30 feet long, has glossy, dark-green leaves, and after the plant has begun to leaf out, develops huge, drooping clusters of lilac or purple-blue flowers. Only new wood will display the blossoms. Notably, the blossoms are typically less aromatic than those of Asian wisterias.
  • In zones 4 to 9, Kentucky wisteria (Wisteria macrostachya) flourishes. Similar to American wisteria, this late-bloomer is a native of the Southeast of the United States (it is sometimes considered a variety or subspecies of American wisteria). The Kentucky wisteria is the quickest to blossom, bearing faintly fragrant bluish-purple flowers after only two to three years of growth.
  • A gorgeous, silvery-blue cultivar of the native Kentucky wisteria called “Blue Moon” is particularly hardy. In late spring or early summer, it blooms. It can go as chilly as -40F. (-40C).

Non-Native Wisteria

  • Despite the fact that they are frequently marketed at nurseries and garden centers, Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) are non-native, invasive species, hence we do not suggest them for North American gardens. They can reach lengths of 30 to 60 feet and are hardy in Zones 5 to 9. (and beyond in the Southern U.S.). Japanese wisteria comes in two popular kinds, including:
  • Popular plant known as “Honbeni” displays clusters of pink flowers in the late spring.
  • “Alba” (also known as “Shiro Noda”) yields beautiful clusters of snow-white flowers in the late spring.

Are Wisteria Toxic to Pets and Humans?

Yes, the wisteria plant contains lectin and wisterin, which are poisonous to people, animals, and even pets. If taken in significant quantities, these poisons can result in anything from nausea and diarrhea to death.

If pets or young children frequent the area, it is a good idea to remove the seedpods after the plant has flowered because the material is particularly concentrated in the seeds and seedpods. Unaware children or animals won’t think twice about eating as many seedpods as they can because they are not unpleasant to taste or have an instant effect. In case of ingestion, contact your neighborhood poison control center.

What distinguishes a wisteria tree from a wisteria vine?

Do wisteria vines and trees differ from one another? I’ve been looking for a place to buy a tree because I’ve seen photographs. I’m always being pointed toward the vine, though. Any information would be helpful.

“Wisteria is a deciduous twining climber native to China, Japan, and eastern United States; there is no botanical distinction between a Wisteria vine and a Wisteria tree. British Royal Horticultural Society The training and trimming make a difference. The tree form is a wonderful choice for planting Wisteria in a smaller garden because it has a 30-foot growth potential and may be rather aggressive. These two websites demonstrate how to shape a wisteria vine into either the traditional or tree form. There is also a link to instructions on growing wisteria.

Can wisteria survive a hot climate?

Wisteria sinensis is a noxious, invasive plant that shouldn’t be grown in gardens since it flourishes in the warm climates of the United States. Plant Wisteria frutescens if you want to cultivate a wisteria vine and live in a warm climate. This natural vine to America can reach heights of up to 40 feet while remaining non-invasive and hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9. In the middle of April, right after the leaves start to grow, the fragrant, lilac-purple blooms of the vine appear in 6-inch racemes.

Grow Millettia reticulata instead. The wisteria-like vine Millettia reticulata, also known as evergreen wisteria, is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10 but is not invasive. Evergreen wisteria has leathery, glossy leaves and tiny, fragrant summer blossoms that grow to a height of around 16 feet. Plant Hardiness Zone 10 experiences winter temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees F.

The ideal places for wisteria to grow.

According to Kirsten Coffen, a landscape architect and designer based in Maryland, “its gorgeous spring-blooming cascade of purple (or white) scented flowers is best observed when trained on a structure, such as a robust pergola.”

Such a lush, floral canopy offers delightful shade throughout the sweltering summer months. According to Irene Kalina-Jones, a landscape designer at Outside Space NYC (opens in new tab), “We plant it on rooftops in the city, training it to cover pergolas to create shade.” “But I enjoy it grown against buildings, too,” you say.

Wisteria grows best in full sun in a protected location, such as a south or west-facing facade. When planting, work in a lot of organic matter (such as compost) to ensure that the soil is rich and well-drained.

If you want to grow wisteria up a wall or the front of a house, put some effort into building a strong structure that it can climb over many years. A tensioning system of wires is possibly preferable to a wooden trellis because wood can rot. The wires must either automatically tighten as the plant gains weight or be simple for you to tighten (via turnbuckles, for instance).

Canines are wisteria poisonous?

Because wisteria doesn’t have a bad taste, dogs may eat deadly amounts of it.

Wisterias are absolutely gorgeous, with cascades of flowing purple blossoms. However, their leaves and blooms can also be dangerous in excessive numbers, and their seeds (and seed pods) are extremely poisonous to dogs.

Even worse, the results take time to manifest. Wisteria also doesn’t taste unpleasant, making it simple for dogs to consume excessive amounts before you realize there is a problem.