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Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria

Wisteria macrostachya 'Aunt Dee'

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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria is a beautiful climbing plant with twining stems covered in glossy, dark-green leaves. In spring it blooms on the bare branches, carrying 8 to 12-inch hanging clusters of fragrant, lilac-blue pea-like blossoms. This vigorous plant can cover a fence over 20 feet long, or grow up into a tree, so give it enough room. It is a gorgeous choice for covering a pergola, or for growing on a trellis mounted on a wall. It can even be grown in a pot or as a bonsai, with training, and as a free-standing shrub with minimal support.

  • Large hanging clusters of lilac-blue flowers in spring
  • Beautiful feathery foliage on twining stems
  • Perfect for covering fences and pergolas
  • Cold-hardy and blooms in zone 4
  • Easily grown, even in wet soils

The Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria is a non-invasive variety of an American native plant, which will bloom in zone 4, and grows in all warmer zones. It is easy to grow, accepting clay and wet soils well. It is normally not bothered by pests or diseases, and it is tolerant of road salt. It can be allowed to grow naturally in a large area, or pruned twice a year to keep it compact and blooming vigorously.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-9
Mature Width 20-30
Mature Height 20-30
Soil Conditions Very Adaptable
Sunlight Full Sun to Partial Shade
Drought Tolerance Moderate Drought Tolerance
Zones 4-9

Few if any climbing plants come near the beauty of wisteria, whose long, pendulous, blue flower clusters arrive in early spring, creating a spectacular show combining grace and charm with powerful visual impact. In some areas the common Chinese wisteria has become an invasive plant, so why not grow a gorgeous form of the American native wisteria instead? Equally beautiful, it is also significantly hardier, making growing and blooming this gorgeous plant possible even in zone 4. For hiding ugly fences nothing can match it, and for covering larger pergolas it is in a class of its own. The sweetly scented blooms will soon make its return each year feel like a visit from a beloved family member – it’s time to welcome the Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria into your garden.

A vigorous, deciduous climbing plant, the Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria sends out long twining stems covered in leaves that are up to 12 inches long. They don’t look large, though, because they are divided into 9 to 15 small leaflets, each between 1 and 2 inches long, arranged in pairs along a central leaf-stem, with one leaflet at the end. These graceful leaves create a picture of glossy-green lushness all summer and turn yellow in fall. The stems become woody and thicken, until the base of the plant forms a stout trunk, and the strong branches are covered with leathery, gray-brown bark. Although climbing, a mature plant is substantial and heavy, almost tree-like, so make sure the support you grow it on is sturdy and strong. It is also possible in time, with training, to develop this plant into a striking free-standing bush.

In spring, before, and as the first leaves appear, the Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria will be in full bloom. The wild form of this plant has small flower clusters, but this variety has large ones, between 8 and 12 inches long, hanging in abundance from the bare stems. Each raceme has many individual flowers on it, and each one is shaped like the flowers of peas, with a large, flat, upper lip and a smaller, folded, lower lip. They are colored a delicious lilac-blue, with the lower lip a darker shade than the upper one. A sweet perfume flows from them, and a plant in bloom is a glorious sight. When the flowers fade, they are replaced by a cluster of pods, 2 to 4 inches long. These are light green in summer, becoming glossy brown by winter, adding a touch of interest at that time. The seeds inside are not edible. Sometimes additional flowers are formed in summer, bringing further interest.

The Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria is the perfect plant for covering unsightly fences or large dead trees. It will grow to 20 or even 30 feet tall, but it is not as vigorous as the Chinese wisteria, Wisteria sinensis, which can be a troublesome bully in all but the largest gardens. It is an ideal choice for growing on a large pergola, or on a trellis against a wall. With some training it can be made to completely cover a wall of a house, and it makes a glorious sight. Plant it to grow into an old tree in an open woodland garden It can also be grown in a large planter, and even made into a bonsai plant of great beauty.

Full sun is the ideal spot for the Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria to grow in, although it will grow in partial shade, but with fewer blooms. Unlike the Chinese wisteria, the flower buds of this plant are hardy in zone 4, where it will bloom profusely. It grows well in any moist soil, even wet ones, and in acid soils and clay soils too. It is also resistant to road salt. Once established it has some drought resistance, but dry, sandy locations are less suitable for this plant. It is normally not bothered by pests or diseases, and it will even grow into a black walnut, a tree well-known for making the soil around it toxic to many plants. Fertilizer is normally not necessary and feeding this plant may make it flower less.

Although it can be left to grow naturally on a large support, regular pruning is the secret to success with the Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria. After flowering and the first flush of new growth, trim back all unwanted stems to 6 inches long, cutting just above a leaf. Train some stems to make longer branches, as needed, to cover the pergola or support you are using. Then in winter prune again, cutting all the side stems from the main branches back to just 2 or 3 buds. The larger buds are the ones that will produce flowers, and regular pruning will give you the most blooms, keeping your plant neat and attractive at the same time. It is also possible to train young plants into an upright bush, using stakes. Once the stems thicken it will be more-or-less self-supporting. Then with regular pruning it can be maintained as an exotic, oriental-looking shrub of considerable beauty. The same can be done with a plant in a large planter or pot.

The Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria is a selected, cold-hardy form of the American wisteria, Wisteria frutescens. That plant grows throughout the east, from Michigan and New York, south into Florida and Texas. A unique form, called the Kentucky wisteria, is found in that state, and in other parts of the southeast. It is sometimes called Wisteria frutescens var. macrostachya, and sometimes simply Wisteria macrostachya. It is different from the American wisteria because the blooms are scented, and for other minor features. The variety called ‘Aunt Dee’ is remarkable for the much larger flower clusters, and its ability to bloom in zone 4, which makes it a great gift to northern gardeners. If you love wisteria in bloom, but fear being taken over, then this is the variety to choose. Rarer forms like this one are hard to come by, and our limited stock won’t last long. Order now, you won’t regret it.

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Aunt Dee Kentucky Wisteria

Wisteria macrostachya 'Aunt Dee'

2 Reviews
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