Background In 1916, Chinese wisteria was first made available as an ornamental plant. Despite being weedy and disruptive, it has been widely planted, grown, and is still highly popular in the nursery industry.
Availability and Habitat Chinese wisteria, which is widely distributed in the eastern United States, has been found to be invasive in at least 19 states, ranging from Massachusetts to Texas south to Illinois. Although established vines will survive and propagate in moderate shade, wisteria likes full sun. Vines cling to trees, bushes, and man-made objects. Although it can tolerate a wide range of soil types and moisture levels, it likes deep, loamy soils with good drainage. Common locations for infestations include the edges of forests, the sides of highways, ditches, and right-of-ways.
Ecological Danger The tough, woody vines firmly entwine themselves around the trunks and branches of the host trees and sever the bark, causing death by girdling. On the ground, new vines that grow from seeds or rootstocks produce thickets that smother and shade out native plants and obstruct the growth of natural plant communities. Canopy gaps that result from dying girdled trees allow more light to reach the forest floor. While this might momentarily benefit certain local species, it also encourages wisteria to grow and spread vigorously.
- Plant: a clockwise-climbing, deciduous, woody twining vine with strong, smooth, gray-brown stems that are dusted with tiny white hairs. The diameter of older plants can reach 15 inches or more.
- The leaves are complex, alternating, and have 9–11–7–13 leaflets that are egg-shaped with wavy borders and sharply tapering points.
- Flowers, fruits, and seeds: Prior to the development of leaves, flowering takes place in April. The flowers are lavender to purple, appear in pendulous racemes or clusters 6-8 (up to 12) in long, and mostly open at once. Individual flowers are 0.8-0.9 in. long on 0.6-0.8 in. long stalks (pedicels). The fruits are green to brown velvety seedpods 4-6 in. long, narrowed toward the base with constrictions between the 1-3 flat,
- Spreads vegetatively by creating stolons, which are above-ground stems that develop shoots and roots at irregular intervals, as well as via seed, which in riparian environments can be transported by water.
- Look-alikes include the Japanese and American wisterias (Wisteria frutescens), which have leaves that are 7 to 12 inches long, 9 to 15 leaflets that are all the same size, plane margins, tips that are acute to slightly tapering, smooth bright green above, and slightly milky undersides. They bloom in May after the leaves have expanded, with flower clusters that are 4-6 inches long and not particularly pendulous, and individual flowers that are about 3/4 inches long and
Control and Prevention Cut vines to free trees from the weight and girdling caused by modest infestations. Use a systemic pesticide containing glyphosate or triclopyr on the lower cut stem sections. From a seed, new plants may sprout. Long-term planning is necessary (see Control Options).
Exists a wisteria that doesn’t spread aggressively?
If you want to add floral vines to your yard, choose a nursery that can suggest non-invasive plants to protect your landscaping and the environment. The EDIS publication “Flowering Vines for Florida,” which offers images, details on growth conditions, and flowering dates on a number of flowering vines suitable for Florida settings, is another excellent resource.
The “Amethyst Falls” In the teaching gardens at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, American Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’) is growing.
Wisteria frutescens, also known as American wisteria, and millettia reticulata, also known as evergreen wisteria, are both gorgeous, non-invasive alternatives for your home’s landscape. The vivid blue/purple blossoms of the native American wisteria cultivar “Amethyst Falls” bloom in the spring and summer. The blossoms won’t require the frequent pruning and vigilance associated with Chinese or Japanese wisterias, even though they might not be quite as fragrant.
A plus is that American wisteria serves as a host plant for the larvae of both the long-tailed skipper and silver-spotted skipper butterflies. Only USDA zones 5 to 9 are suitable for American wisteria, therefore it won’t thrive everywhere in Florida.
Fortunately, the fragrant flowering vine evergreen wisteria, also known as summer wisteria, can take the place of invasive wisteria in gardens around the state. A non-native, non-invasive vine with small, fragrant flowers that bloom in the summer, evergreen wisteria has glossy, leathery green leaves. Evergreen wisteria, which isn’t really a wisteria, can grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 10, preferring full sun, though it can also tolerate some shade.
Both of these vines are better suited for cultivation in your home landscaping because they are more fragile and grow less quickly than invasive wisteria.
Why does Chinese wisteria spread so quickly?
With 15-inch trunks, this vine can grow up to 70 feet quickly. Native canopy trees, understory trees, and shrubs may be suffocated or destroyed by this invasive vine’s heavy weight due to its quick growth and intense shade.
This is a particular issue in the warmer Southern states, where this aggressive and quickly proliferating invasive species is destroying native habitats.
As it climbs, the vine tightly wraps around the trees and bushes, eventually girdling and killing them.
Because native ecosystems have been destroyed, the habitat for many insects, birds, butterflies, and other animals has also been destroyed, leaving them without a place to live.
How big can a Chinese blue wisteria tree grow?
A non-native cultivar that develops as a single stem accent tree is the blue Chinese wisteria tree. The blue wisteria has a broad, rounded canopy and numerous lavender, blue, and purple blossoms. The hanging foot-long (30 cm) flower clusters start to bloom in the middle of spring and last for many weeks.
The 10- to 15-foot (34.5-m) blue Chinese wisteria tree matures quickly. The miniature tree has densely packed green leaves all summer long, which turn golden yellow in the fall. The ornamental tree also adapts well to different soil conditions.
The blue Chinese wisteria is useful in a variety of landscape settings. The magnificent tree is suitable for use as a yard tree or specimen. The blossoming dwarf tree can also be used to spruce up a container garden, decorate a patio, or be planted in a container.
What makes wisteria invasive, exactly?
Nonnative invasive species of southern forests: a field guide for identification and control, James H. Miller, 2003. SRS62, General Technical Rep. Asheville, NC: Southern Research Station, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 93 p.
Plant: up to 70 feet (20 meters) long deciduous high climbing, twining, or trailing leguminous woody vines (or cultivated as bushes). Due to probable hybridization, it is challenging to identify between Chinese and Japanese wisteria.
Stem. Woody vines with sporadic alternate branching and a diameter of 10 inches (25 cm). Twigs with short, thick hair. Compared to Japanese wisteria’s white bark, the older Chinese wisteria’s bark is tight and dark gray with light spots (lenticels).
Leaves. With 7 to 13 leaflets (Chinese) or 13 to 19 leaflets (Japanese) and stalks with swelling bases, these alternate, unusual pinnately complex plants range in size from 4 to 16 inches (10 to 40 cm). Oval to elliptic leaflets with tapering, pointy ends 1 to 1.4 inches (2.5 to 3.5 cm) width and 1.6 to 3 inches (4 to 8 cm) length. At adulthood, the hair ranges from being completely hairless to being short and smooth. entire and wavy margins. short petioled or sessile.
Flowers. April to May. When leaves first appear, dangling and spectacular stalked clusters (racemes) measuring 4 to 20 inches (10 to 50 cm) long and 3 to 3.5 inches (7 to 9 cm) wide appear.
9 cm) across. Chinese flowering all around the same time, or gradually from the base (Japanese). Pea-like flowers with purple to violet corollas (to pink to white). Fragrant.
seeds and fruit. June to November. Flattened legume pod, 0.8 to 1.2 inches (2 to 3 cm) broad, 2.5 to 6 inches (6 to 15 cm) long, and irregularly oblong to oblanceolate. One to eight flat, round, brown seeds, each measuring 0.5 to 1 inch (1.2 to 2.5 cm) in diameter, are released when the velvety hairy, greenish brown to golden, fruit splits on two sides.
Ecology. Where plants were once planted, create extensive infestations. occur in damp to dry environments. Colonize by runners roots at nodes while vines are coated in leaf litter, as well as by vines twining and covering shrubs and trees. Along riparian zones, seeds are distributed by water. Large seeds are less likely to be dispersed by animals.
W. frutescens (L.) Poir., which resembles native or naturalized American wisteria and does not produce significant infestations, grows in moist forests, blooms in June to August after leaves have emerged, and has slender old vines, 6-inch (15-cm) flower clusters, 9 to 15 leaflets, and hairless pods. Additionally, Campsis radicans (L.) Seem. ex Bureau, which has leaflets with coarsely toothed margins, may resemble trumpet creeper.
usage and history. introduced in the early 1800s from Asia. traditional porch vines in the South.
Recommendation for control measures:
Wet all leaves completely (till runoff) with one of the herbicides listed below in water with a surfactant:
- every year from July to October, when regrowth begins Tordon 101* at 3% (12 ounces per 3-gallon mixture), Tordon K* at 2% (8 ounces per 3-gallon mixture), or Garlon 4 at 4% (15 ounces per 3-gallon mix)
- every year from July to September, when regrowth starts to appear
- To protect nearby vegetation, use Transline* as a 0.5 percent solution in water (2 ounces per 3-gallon mixture).
- repeated applications of a 2-percent glyphosate pesticide from September to October (8 ounces per 3-gallon mix)
* Root uptake may cause harm or death to non-target plants. Transline has limited power over different plant species. Rainfall must occur within six days of the application of Tordon herbicides in order to activate the soil. Herbicides made with tordon are restricted use pesticides.
Are the roots of wisteria trees invasive?
In order to support the massive vine, the wisteria’s root system extends out widely and dives deep. Do wisteria roots exhibit aggression? Yes, wisteria’s root system is highly aggressive. Avoid planting wisteria next to walls or walkways because of its extensive and strong root system. These are easily harmed by a wisteria’s root system.
Experts advise inserting a corrugated panel about 6 feet (1.8 m) long and several feet (1 m) broad beside the plant to redirect the roots if you find a wisteria close to a building or pathway.
Which wisteria is preferable, Chinese or Japanese?
One of the most well-known and eye-catching flowering garden plants, wisteria lends a magnificent impact to any garden or landscape. It puts on quite a show in the late spring, producing spectacular racemes (hanging clusters) of fragrant blue-violet blooms. Any garden can look exotic and enchanted thanks to wisteria blossoms.
Wisteria is a member of the Fabaceae or Pea family (formerly Leguminoseae). Ten species of deciduous climbing vines make up the genus, two of which are indigenous to the southern United States and the others to eastern Asia.
The wisteria plant is vibrant, adaptable, quick-growing, durable, and low-maintenance. It can be raised as a shrub, a tree, or a vine. Wisteria plants grow quickly and twine; they require lots of space and a sturdy structure to climb on. It may be grown on a wooden pergola, arbor, trellis, or entrance. Wisteria can reach heights of 40 to 75 feet. When flowering and the early stages of growth are occurring, wisteria plants need full light, good drainage, and consistent watering. In order to ensure spring blooms and compact growth, it does require seasonal pruning.
In the spring, wisteria blooms stunning cascading petals that last 4 to 5 weeks and fill the air with their fragrant fragrance. After planting, flowers may start to bloom after 4 years, but it may also take up to 15 years. The blossoms, which resemble bunches of grapes hanging from the wisteria shrub, are pendulous clusters of fragrant, delicate petals. Each Wisteria flower is small and fragrant, resembling a pea. Violet, purple, bluish-purple, pink, blue, and white are the colors of wisteria blooms.
Wisteria commonly grows in two species in backyard gardens:
- Floribunda Wisteria (the Japanese one)
- Sinensis Wisteria (the Chinese one)
Large 12 to 18 inch bloom clusters can be found on Japanese wisteria. Usually, the flowering occurs as the leaves are growing. White, pink, blue, and violet Japanese Wisteria blooms are incredibly fragrant.
Chinese wisteria blooms prior to turning into leaves. Chinese Wisteria blooms in white, violet, lilac-blue, and blue flower clusters that are 6 to 9 inches long and have a light pleasant aroma. After planting, Chinese Wisteria typically blooms four years later.
The primary distinction between Japanese and Chinese wisteria is that the former twines around the host plant in a clockwise direction, while the latter twines in a counterclockwise direction. Additionally, compared to Chinese Wisteria flowers, Japanese Wisteria flowers are more pronounced and fragrant.
How is Chinese wisteria managed?
So how can you get rid of wisteria after it has grown too much? Wisteria removal might be difficult, but there are various methods you can try. Start by manually picking or digging up any sproutlings. To stop the wisteria from resprouting, cut it to the ground. All wisteria branches (and seed pods) should be bagged up and disposed of to prevent the possibility of new sprouts appearing elsewhere. Then, for permanent wisteria eradication, apply a properly formulated herbicide, such as a non-selective kind.
To the stump, paint or immediately apply the pesticide. You might wish to re-treat them if more sprouts appear in the future. Spraying the foliage should only be done as a last option to protect surrounding plants.
Before cutting and removing the wisteria vine, some people instead opt to soak the leaves or as much of the vine’s tip as possible in a herbicide solution for around 48 hours. Although the majority of herbicides are intended to target certain plants without damaging other vegetation, you should still exercise caution when using them.
For the correct application, please follow the instructions. The optimum time to apply herbicides to eradicate wisteria is in the late summer or early fall. But removing wisteria is probably simplest in the cold.
You shouldn’t encounter too many issues as long as you know how to prune wisteria on a regular basis to keep it under control. Cutting it down and soaking what’s left in an appropriate herbicide may be your only option if your wisteria has grown out of control or if you simply don’t want it.
Recall that organic methods of control are more environmentally friendly and should only be employed as a last option.
How can the roots of wisteria be stopped from growing?
Pruning wisteria twice a year is the best approach to prevent it from growing out of control. After the flowers have faded in the early to mid-summer and when the shoots from this year’s growth begin to look untidy, the first pruning should be done. The goal is to remove undesired shoots or suckers and to keep new development close to the main vine as follows:
- Trim fresh growth shoots to a length of 6 inches.
- Suckers at the roots should be removed.
- Cut off any sprouts that the vine’s main support structure doesn’t require.
Since flowers only appear on one-year-old growth, this pruning strategy not only keeps the vine in a tight shape but also enables the blooms to be seen the following year.