In the lush gardens of the Southeast of the United States, wisteria has grown to be rather iconic. Since the flowers bloom in fragrant clusters of light purple to white along roadside and up the sides of houses in the spring, it is simple to find. However, wisteria doesn’t always look as it does.
: Wisteria is in the pea/bean family.
About five to seven species of woody, deciduous vines belonging to the Fabaceae (pea/bean) family make up the genus Wisteria. The third-largest family of flowering plants, Fabaceae contains over 19,500 species.
: Many wisteria plants you see are invasive in Florida.
Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda), two Asian species that were brought to American horticulture in the early 19th century and are now considered invasive, have escaped into natural areas. The most popular variety of wisteria grown in Florida and other Southeastern states is Chinese wisteria, while Japanese wisteria is also present.
Many of the invasive plants resemble Wisteriaformosa, a hybrid of Chinese and Japanese wisteria.
Chinese and Japanese wisteria are both invasive and not advised in any part of Florida, according to the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas.
: There is a native species of wisteria.
A Florida-friendly substitute is American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens). Individual blooms on stalks less than 1 cm tall, shorter (5–10 cm long), denser flower clusters, and hairless pods are characteristics of American wisteria.
In contrast, Chinese and Japanese wisteria often have pods that are densely hairy, individual blooms that are carried on stalks 1.5 to 2 cm tall, and longer flower clusters (up to 50 cm long). While Japanese and American wisteria bloom from April to June in northern Florida, Chinese wisteria often blooms in late March to early April (before the leaves have fully opened).
: American wisteria is a host plant to native butterflies and moths.
Native plants promote regional biodiversity, which is another justification for picking American wisteria. Wisteria frutescens serves as a host plant for several species of butterflies and moths, including:
- Skipper with a long tail (Urbanus proteus)
- Skipper with a silver spot (Epargyreus clarus)
- navy blue (Leptotes marina)
- Dusky zarucco wing (Erynnis zarucco)
- Moth Cuphodes wisteriae
- Moth Io (Automeris io)
- enduring bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis)
- Canine borer moth (Synanthedon scitula)
- Moth of Limacodid (Acharia stimulea)
- a licorice twig borer moth (Ecdytolopha insiticiana)
- The duskywing of Horace (Erynnis horatius)
- Monarch moth (Hyalophora cecropia)
- Sphinx moth with blinders (Paonias excaecatus)
- Black-and-white tussock moth (Orgya leucostigma)
- Autumn webworm (Hyphantria cunea)
: Wisteria is a toxic plant.
Although wisteria blooms can be eaten in moderation, the rest of the plant is thought to be poisonous to both people and animals and contains a number of chemicals that can seriously upset the stomach. The seeds and pods contain the highest concentration of poisons.
This serves as a reminder that you should *never* eat a plant unless you are confident of its identify and that it is safe to eat.
Large flower clusters are found on longer stems on Chinese wisteria, or Wisteria sinensis.
Florida is home to an invasive species called Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis), which blooms from April to June.
An acceptable substitute for the invasive species of wisteria in Florida is American wisteria.
Flowers on the Chinese and Japanese wisteria range in color from purple to white to pink.
Does Florida have evergreen wisteria?
With its petite, fragrant blossoms and glossy, leathery green leaves, this woody vine adds a delicate texture to the environment. Evergreen wisteria can grow up to 30 feet tall, although it can be pruned to stay smaller. It produces a burst of wisteria-like deep mauve, pea-shaped blooms in the summer (and occasionally into the fall). Some people claim that the fragrant blossoms have a cedar or camphor scent.
It is evergreen in South Florida, as suggested by its common name, and semi-evergreen in some areas of North and Central Florida, depending on the local winter temperatures. Evergreen wisteria grows well in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 10, preferring full sun, though it may also tolerate some shade.
Where shouldn’t wisteria be grown?
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.
Where should a wisteria be planted?
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 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.
Can you plant a blue wisteria tree in Florida?
I spent several years living in Greece, where my home was covered in bluish wisteria. It was lovely. Will it grow here?
Yes, to answer briefly. especially the bluish wisteria, also known as Wisteria sinensis or Chinese wisteria. This particular kind of wisteria is difficult to control in growth because it is not native to Florida and cannot be grown there. Although gorgeous, the Chinese wisteria that covered your house is regrettably regarded as invasive. Plants that are native to Florida may be quickly disrupted or suffocated by it when it flees for other regions. In reality, to find Chinese wisteria, you probably need to travel outside of our region. If you do manage to locate the plant, bear in mind that it grows swiftly and isn’t picky about where it grows or whose plants it tramples on on the route to maturity. In a container, grow it. Keep a constant check on it, and if it starts to grow outside the planned area, cut it back. It can change natural runoff pathways, displace wildlife, and remove native plants.
Other climbing vines that are native to Florida exist. amiable and simple to grow Please visit edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg097. The first step is to choose the plant that will thrive in the location where you want it to grow. You can pick from a wide range of colors and lighting requirements. What area do you want it to expand? On a trellis, over a fence, or on a wall? Do you prefer planting in the sun or the shade? How would you describe your soil? All things to think about. Campsis radicans, a stunning reddish-pink vine with clinging rootlets, is known as the trumpet creeper. In your yard, trumpet creepers will cling to a wall and create a canvas for an artist.
Confederate jasmine can be planted if you want to draw pollinators. This plant thrives on a trellis and draws bees, butterflies, and passersby’s oohs and ahhs. One guideline applies to every plant you add to your landscape: Right Plant/Right Place. Please visit edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep416.
My Satsuma orange tree is being eaten by something external to me. I speculated that it might be birds or insects. I have sat and looked for hours hoping to see some birds, but I never do. The fruit first develops a little prickly hole before starting to decay.
Well, to start with, it is bad that not all of the rewards of your labor go to you. It appears most likely that you will be competing with some early birds with outstanding taste because the hole starts off as a tiny prick. Even birds can observe things. They arrive at times when there are no people in the yard because they know when you are most likely to be outside.
(I understand that you would prefer that they visit the bird feeder rather than the Satsuma tree.) How can you help? Place the bird feeder away from those alluring fruit trees and make sure it is filled. Another option is using bird netting. If you cover the entire crop, they won’t eat your Satsumas as snacks. Another option is to frighten them away by hanging glistening, tinkling objects from the tree. It functions somewhat similarly to the scarecrow in the cornfield. Go to edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw368 for more details.
What I observed this morning while looking out my window may shock you. a huge possum. It was daytime, and he had to weigh 20 pounds. They seemed to be nocturnal to me. Could he pose a threat?
Wow! 20 pound possum! That is strange. Although they do venture out during the day in cold weather or if their habitat has been damaged, you are correct that they are nocturnal animals. It is somewhat odd that the Didelphis virginiana opossum was searching for food so close to your home since there was no obvious supply nearby, such as cat or dog food.
Even if this visitor might not be a threat, you should nonetheless keep them away if you have a pet. (The possum will undoubtedly play possum, of course.) They do, however, have incredibly small and sharp teeth. This bold possum may be a mother seeking adequate food to make milk for the young.
They enjoy eating almost anything, including squirrels, snakes, rats, voles, cat food, and allegedly dropped bird seed combined with a few grubs.
There are a number of strategies to keep undesirable wildlife away. Put the pet food away. Maintain the garage door closed. Possums are skilled climbers and may decide to make your attic, basement, garden shed, or garage their home. Like many mammals, possums can transmit diseases, therefore it’s better to avoid interacting with them. In such cases, hiring a professional trapper to get rid of the animal is the only option. Visit edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw070 to learn more.