When To Harvest Wisteria Seed Pods

The first step in growing wisteria from seed is to gather some seeds. Seed pods should ideally be harvested before they explode. If not, you will need to search the ground for individual seeds.

When the wisteria seed pods have dried out and become brown, they are ready to be harvested. This typically occurs about the time the Wisteria’s autumn leaves start to drop.

The seeds will be contained in the container when the seed pods explode if you keep them in a closed paper bag or cardboard box after you’ve collected all of your seed pods. So that the seed pods can finish drying out and pop, keep them warm and dry. Although you can also break the seeds off of the pods, the seeds are usually ready when they explode.

How are wisteria seed pods harvested?

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.

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.

Should I remove the wisteria’s seed pods?

You can decide whether to take the seed pods off your wisteria or leave them there. On the one hand, leaving the seed pods in place saves time and is more aesthetically pleasing. The seeds, which are deadly, might try to be eaten by children or animals, and they might sprout all over your yard.

Wisteria seed pods are left on the vine by some gardeners because they give aesthetic interest in the late summer, fall, and winter. However, in the spring, the pods could obstruct your view of the blossoms, so you might want to get rid of them before the flowers open. When you perform your winter pruning, I advise taking out the seed pods in that situation (learn more about pruning Wisteria here).

It could be a challenge to get rid of every seed pod on your wisteria vine if your vine is big. You’ll probably need to use the ladder to reach all of the seed pods and cut them off, much like when trimming or deadheading. Therefore, leaving the pods on your Wisteria can save you time.

Although some individuals find the exploding seed pods bothersome, I find them to be distinctive and entertaining. If the wisteria is growing above a porch, patio, or sidewalk, the seeds can cause a mess underfoot and bounce against surrounding windows and walls. The time it takes for all of the pods to pop, though, is not very lengthy. You might miss it if you’re not at home on the warm afternoon when the explosion begins.

You might see a lot of Wisteria seedlings emerge from all of those seeds, depending on the variety of Wisteria you have and the environmental factors in your yard. In some settings, Asian wisteria variants can be very invasive. Preventing self-seeding is a good reason to remove the seed pods before they burst, unless you desire a Wisteria forest. However, some people don’t have wisteria germination in their yards, so it could not be a problem for you.

It’s a good idea to get rid of your Wisteria’s seed pods if you have small children or animals of any kind in your yard so that no one tries to eat one. The wisteria plant is poisonous throughout, but the pods and seeds are the most dangerous components, and children and animals can occasionally get sick after eating them.

Keep in mind that if you deadhead your wisteria after it blooms, you won’t obtain seed pods. Deadheading is a fantastic option if you don’t want the pods because it stops the plant from growing them in the first place.

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.

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.