How To Germinate Chinese Wisteria Seeds

Wisteria seeds are best sown in the late winter or early spring and stored at a temperature between 13 and 18 Celsius because they have little to no natural dormancy (55-65F) To start, soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours, then let them cool to room temperature.

Small pots or trays should be filled with high-quality compost before being set in water to drain.

Plant the seeds about 2 cm (0.8 inch) deep, cover with compost, then mist the top of the compost with water.

Put the pots in a cold frame, greenhouse, or just lay them on a windowsill out of direct sunlight. To retain the humidity, place the pots inside a plastic bag or cover with a plastic lid. Make sure the compost is consistently moist but not soggy.

Although seedlings may not appear for up to 8 weeks or more, germination typically takes place in 3 to 4 weeks. Remove the container from the plastic bag as soon as the first seedlings show, along with any covering materials. Don’t overwater the compost, but make sure it stays moist. Introduce the seedlings to a location with more sunlight gradually.

Plant the seedlings singly in pots after they have a set of genuine leaves. After a few weeks, when they are established, they can be placed outside in a semi-shaded area and gradually brought into full sunlight. They are often prepared to be permanently planted during the second year,

If grown on fertile soil that is rich in nitrates and manure, wisteria has a propensity to become dominated by its foliage and stem. For this reason, only use organic matter, such leaf mold, to amend the soil before planting.

Wisteria plants grown from seeds often need at least 3 years before they start to bloom.

Why won’t my wisteria seeds sprout?

Wisteria seeds don’t need to germinate in extremely hot conditions like many other seeds need. Keep daytime temperatures around 75 F and nighttime temperatures above 55 F. Every day, check the growing mixture’s moisture content, and spritz the soil with water if it appears to be mostly dry. Keep the soil moist but not soggy so that the seeds don’t rot. Don’t let the soil entirely dry up. When the wisteria seeds have sprouted, which usually takes a month or more, relocate the pots near a window with lots of sunlight to promote development.


Chinese wisteria has aromatic panicles that look like grapes. However, wisteria, like kudzu, honeysuckle, and other blossoming beauties, can be a complete nightmare, as most of the nation has come to discover. Plant with great caution as the vine has been referred to as invasive in at least 19 states, from Illinois to Texas.

A deciduous climber with quick growth that is hardy to zone 5, Wisteria sinensis. The aggressive plant known as Chinese wisteria has the ability to take over a section of the yard. So take this as a warning: Chinese wisteria can be maintained, but to keep the growth under control, it will need to be pruned at least once a month.

Step 1: Prepare the Seeds

The hulls of wisteria seeds are robust. Start by either nicking the hull with a sharp blade or scratching it with a nail file to aid in the seeds sprouting. After that, let the seeds soak for 24 hours in warm water.

Step 2: Prepare the Pots

Wisteria should be seeded in big containers, such as three-inch pots with drainage holes. Put potting soil or seed starting medium (like coir) in the containers. Make sure the soil or sprouting media is completely moist.

Step 4: Water and Wait

While you wait for the seeds to sprout, water the soil frequently to keep it moist. Between 10 and 30 days are needed for wisteria seeds to sprout. Make sure your seedlings receive adequate sunlight. Germination is best at room temperature.

Step 5: Harden Off and Transplant Seedlings

It’s time to transplant your seedlings so they have more room to grow once they have two sets of genuine leaves and are around five inches tall. In order for them to receive the nutrients they require to continue growing, if you put them in a seed starting medium, they would also need to be transferred to soil.

Your seedlings can be moved into larger pots with potting soil or into the garden. Pick a location that will allow your seedlings to grow and receive lots of sunlight if you’re putting them outside at this stage. Seedlings should be spaced at least six inches apart (you’ll thin them out further later).

Make sure to harden off your seedlings before planting them outside. On a mild, wind-free day, start by bringing the seedlings outside for about an hour. Increase outdoor exposure gradually until your seedlings are accustomed to spending the entire day outside and being exposed to wind and direct sunlight.

Taking Wisteria Cuttings

Obtaining the cuttings is the first step in growing wisteria from seed. Wisteria pruning, as previously indicated, can be an excellent source of cuttings, but you can also collect wisteria cuttings from the plant expressly for wisteria plant germination.

It is necessary to cut wisteria from the softwood. The wood in question is still green and lacks a woody bark. There should be at least two sets of leaves on the cutting, which should be 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 cm) long.

Preparing Wisteria Cuttings for Rooting

Remove any sets of leaves discovered on the lower half of the wisteria cutting once you have it. These will be the principal locations where new roots form. The cutting should be trimmed so that the lowest node, which is where the leaves you just removed were, is 1/2 to 1/4 inch (1 to 6 ml) from the bottom. You can remove any flower buds that may be present on the cutting.

Rooting Wisteria Plants

Fill a pot with potting soil that drains properly and has been sufficiently watered. Rooting hormone should be applied to the cutting’s rooting end. Create a hole in the potting soil with a stick or your finger, then insert the wisteria cutting, carefully pressing the earth down around it.

Put some plastic wrap on top of the pot or put the entire pot in a plastic bag to completely enclose it. You might wish to use sticks to prop the plastic away from the cuttings because it is crucial that it not touch the cuts. The plastic aids in retaining humidity, which raises the likelihood that wisteria cuttings will grow successfully.

Put the wisteria cuttings in their pot somewhere where they will get enough of bright, indirect light. When the soil feels dry to the touch, check it periodically and water. Within four to six weeks, the cuttings ought grow have roots.

Knowing how to propagate wisteria properly will make it simple to grow wisteria from cuttings.

When should wisteria seeds be sown?

Wisterias thrive in full light, fertile soil, and both. Of the 10 species, three are grown the most frequently: Wisteria brachybotrys, Wisteria sinensis, and Wisteria floribunda, which are native to China, Japan, and the eastern United States (silky wisteria). All three species have significant growth rates and can extend out to a maximum of 20 meters (66 feet) against a wall or around 10 meters (33 feet) in trees. Wisteria can also be trained to grow as a free-standing standard in a big container or border.

Wisterias for pergolas and arches

The Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) is best exhibited hanging down from a garden structure like a pergola or arch since it has the longest flower sprays (or racemes) of all the species. They entwine in a clockwise motion while simultaneously bearing blooms and leaves. Lilac blue blooms and racemes as long as 1.2 meters (4 feet) are produced by Wisteria floribunda f. multijuga AGM in the early summer.

Wisterias for walls

Wisteria sinensis, often known as Chinese wisteria, blooms in the springtime before the leaves do. For example, Wisteria sinensis ‘Amethyst’ AGM has violet blue blooms with a reddish flush produced in dense racemes to 30cm (1ft) long in late spring or early summer. They twine anticlockwise and the racemes are shorter so they are best presented against a wall.

Silky wisteria (Wisteria brachybotrys), which can be grown against walls or on pergolas, with downy leaves and small racemes of 10-15cm (4-6in). White flowers with center yellow markings, a strong perfume, and 10-15 cm tall sprays of wisteria brachybotrys f. albiflora ‘Shiro-kapitan’ AGM bloom in the spring and early summer.

If you want to cultivate a wisteria in a big container

It is best to choose Wisteria fructens ‘Amethyst Falls’ because of its compact habit and rich clusters of lilac-blue blooms.

Always choose a wisteria that has been developed from cuttings or by grafting when purchasing one because seed-raised wisterias flower less consistently and take longer to bloom. The graft union should be seen as a swelling close to the stem’s base. Unlike species, named cultivars are virtually always grafted. Purchase your wisteria in flower or go with a specific cultivar to avoid disappointment.

Wisterias are offered for sale as container-grown plants at garden centers and online, and you can use the RHS Find a Plant tool to locate particular cultivars.

Wisteria should ideally be planted between October and April. Wisterias grown in containers can be planted at any time of the year, but fall and winter are the easiest times to maintain. Give them healthy, well-drained soil to plant in.

Wisterias bloom best in full sun, so pick a wall or pergola that faces south or west. Although blossoming will be diminished, they will still grow in light shade.

Wisterias are robust climbers that can grow to a height and width of more than 10 meters (33 feet). You’ll need to give support in the form of wires, trellises, or outside buildings like pergolas or arches against a wall. Wisteria can also be grown up a support or taught up a tree to create a standard. A wisteria can be grown in a border or container by being trained into a standard, which reduces its vigor.

If you want to grow your wisteria in a container, you’ll need a sizable one that is at least 45 cm (18 in) in diameter and is filled with potting soil with a loam basis, like John Innes No. 3.


Use Growmore or Fish, Blood and Bone on your wisteria in the spring at the suggested rate listed on the packet. Additionally, apply sulphate of potash at a rate of 20g per sq m (1/2 oz per sq yard) on sandy soils (which have low potassium levels). Fertilizers for flowering shrubs or roses are another option.

Feed wisteria in containers using Miracle-Gro, Phostrogen, or another comparable flowering plant food. A different option is to add controlled-release fertilizer to the compost.

Although wisteria has a reputation for being challenging to prune, this is untrue. Once you’ve made it a habit to prune your wisteria twice a year, you should be rewarded with a pleasing flower show.

When you prune regularly, you reduce the excessive, whippy growth from July and August to five to six leaves, or roughly 30 cm (1ft). This increases the possibility of blossom buds budding and permits the wood to ripen. Then, in February, trim these shoots even more to two or three buds, or around 10 cm (4 in), to tidy up the plant before the growing season starts and make it possible to observe the new flowers.

When your juvenile wisteria has completely covered a wall or other garden structure, start the routine pruning to promote flowering.

Small gardens benefit greatly from the training of wisteria as a free-standing standard in a border or container.

Wisteria can be trained to ascend into a tiny tree’s canopy, however doing so could eventually harm the tree. Pruning will be challenging if the plant develops into a huge tree, and a dense leaf canopy will affect flowering.

Increase your wisteria stocks by layering in the summer, taking softwood cuttings in the spring to mid-summer, or taking hardwood cuttings in the winter since seed-raised wisteria can take up to 20 years to flower.

Wisteria is typically propagated via grafting in professional nurseries, however layering is the simplest and most dependable technique for home gardeners.

Established wisteria can produce hanging, bean-like seedpods after a lengthy summer. While wisteria plants grown from seeds are typically of inferior quality, you might want to try growing wisteria yourself.

  • After the leaves have fallen, gather the seedpods and let them ripen in an open tray.
  • When the seed is ready, twist open the pod and sow it 2 cm (3/4 in) deep in seed compost.
  • Before planting if the seed is dry, soak it for 24 hours.

See our commonly asked questions page for a summary of wisteria issues.

Poor flowering

Poor flowering is the most frequent issue for backyard gardeners, and it can be brought on by a variety of factors, such as:

  • Young plants can take up to 20 years to flower, so acquire a plant that is already in bloom or go with a certain cultivar because they are typically grafted to avoid disappointment.
  • Examine your pruning methods and timing because early and midsummer trimming will prevent the growth of flowers the next year.
  • Wisteria flowers best in broad light; deep shadow produces few, if any, flowers.
  • Water your wisteria during periods of drought from July to September because a lack of water during this time will influence the development of flower buds the next year.
  • Flower buds may drop before opening as a result of spring frosts, which can harm or deform growing flowers.
  • Applying sulphate of potash in the spring will encourage bloom production for the next year in soils that may lack potassium.
  • The damage caused by pigeons or mice can be identified by torn petals or distinctive teeth marks.

Other problems

A mature, seemingly robust wisteria will occasionally pass away and be replaced by a new, healthy branch emerging from the ground. Failure of the wisteria graft may be the reason of this.

Wisteria is sensitive to both of the fungi that cause phytophthora root rot and honey fungus, which are less frequent causes of failure.

Unusual brown blotches and marks on the leaves, typically with a yellow edge, may be a sign that a fungus has infected them. Viruses can also harm wisteria and powdery mildew.

Infestations of scale and, less frequently, wisteria scale can affect wisterias.

While we hope this information may be useful to you, we always advise reading the labels on your plants that provide care instructions.