What Does Wisteria Seeds Look Like

The gorgeous, blue-purple flower clusters that decorate the yard each spring are unquestionably the highlight of cultivating wisteria, but the seed pods are very entertaining! A few weeks after the vine has done blooming, these pods begin to appear. They contain seeds that, if left unattended, will erupt to self-seed as they dry. The Wisteria vines start to produce the long, dangling pods in the late summer or early fall.

Wisteria is a member of the legume family, and its seed pods, which are green or brown and resemble giant bean or pea pods, are NOT edible. In late autumn, when the pods have dried up, they explode, dispersing seeds that will help the next generation of wisteria grow.

While some gardeners remove the seed pods from their wisteria, others prefer the appearance. Allowing the seed pods to grow and finally explode has advantages and disadvantages. You can learn all there is to know about these odd-looking pods by continuing to read.

How are Wisteria seeds obtained?

The optimum time to collect the seed pods you need is in the fall. When the mature plant has lost all of its leaves, you can select your pods. Pick the pods up before they open, and then put them somewhere warm and dry. You must let them dry all the way through until they are very brittle. Twist them to release the seeds once you are certain they are completely dry.

Simply place your seeds in a sealed container and wait until spring to start them. The seeds should be soaked in warm water overnight before you plant them. Give one or two seeds per pot while filling sterile starter pots with well-draining sterile soil. Soak the soil for as long as it takes for it to completely drain out of the pots.

Place the pots where they will get at least 65 degrees F and plant the seeds no deeper than one inch (2.5 cm) (18 C.). As soon as the soil’s top begins to dry, water the tiny pots. Until sprouts appear, you can cover the pots with plastic. One to two months may pass before germination occurs.

How long does it take for Wisteria to mature from a seed?

Depending on the cultivar, these flowering vines can grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Wisteria seeds don’t always grow true to the parent plant, even when they are viable, and it can take the plant 15 or more years to reach flowering maturity.

Wisteria reproduces by seed, right?

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).

Do wisteria in general produce seed pods?

Although wisterias have lovely flowers, Peter Valder observed that some individuals appear astonished to find the plant’s seed pods. When Peter Valder recently visited some Mt Wilson gardens, he took a closer look at these plants.

Ornamental pods

Like peas and beans, wisteria is a legume that develops seed pods after flowering. The Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda), in contrast to the Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis), produces clusters of long, elongated pods that resemble bean pods and are numerous. Another benefit of the Japanese wisteria is its stunning autumn butter-yellow leaves.

Pruning

Using a pair of secateurs, get rid of the pods if you’re sick of them and wish to clean up the wisteria before it blooms in the spring.

Don’t cut the stems back too much, as there may be buds that may bloom in the spring. Leave a few centimeters at the top at all times.

Grow your own

Gather the pods and allow them to dry if you want to attempt producing your own wisterias from seed. Gather the pods after the leaves have fallen in the autumn and set them onto a tray to dry because the seeds usually explode from the pods. Twist the pods open, then plant the seeds 2 cm (almost 1) deep in a mix that is readily permeable.

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.

Feeding

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.