If you have a large, rather ugly fence or wall on your property, or if need a plant to cover part of a building or brighten-up an old tree, then the Purple Wisteria is the idea plant for you. If you have a trellis screen, or want to have a beautiful arbor or pergola over your walk or driveway, the Purple Wisteria is the ideal plant for you. If you love the idea of large, blue-purple, scented clusters of flowers in profusion hanging down in your garden each spring, then Purple Wisteria is the ideal plant for you.
This vigorous, easy to grow climbing plant can be used to cover walls and fences, hide ugly old trees or bring amazing beauty to trellises, arbors or pergolas. Not only that but it will fill the air with its rich, beautiful perfume for weeks. Even if you don’t have a fence or arbor to grow this plant, it can, with care, be trained into a small tree with an attractive, grey, twisted trunk and horizontal or arching branches which will be hung with those beautiful fragrant purple flowers every spring.
The Purple Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) grows wild in many parts of China. In the garden it has also been crossed with the Japanese Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda). Modern plants mix the best features of both these plants to bring gorgeous hanging clusters of blossoms to every garden. Purple Wisteria is a rapid grower and will grow 10 feet in a season, so it will very quickly cover the largest fence or wall. With pruning it can easily be controlled to cover smaller areas too. This plant is drought tolerant when established and has few if any pests or diseases. It is also rarely if ever eaten by deer, so it makes a great screen on a fence separating you from a forest or wild area.
Growing Purple Wisteria
Purple Wisteria is a climbing plant but it can also be trained into a beautiful and different small tree. It can grow 30 feet as a climber if left un-pruned, or with regular pruning grown on a medium-sized arbor or pergola. In time the stem will thicken and become a small trunk, with strong branches. The young stems cling by spiraling around a fence, pole or other plants, so that the flower-clusters hang down. The light-green leaves are large with many segments. The blue-purple flowers are like those of a pea, but gathered into large clusters a foot or more in length. The main flowering takes place in spring before the leaves appear, but in warmer areas some flowers are also produced throughout the summer. The leaves turn a beautiful yellow color in fall, before dropping to reveal the gray, gnarled stems and branches.
Purple Wisteria is hardy in zones 4 to 9, so it can easily be grown right across America except for the hottest and coldest areas. It will grow well even in colder regions but will rarely flower, so it still makes an excellent leafy screening plant for those regions.
The Purple Wisteria grows quickest in rich soils, but you should not give it too much water or fertilizer as then it will make a lot of leaves but fewer flowers. It will grow well and even produce more flowers, if the soil is not so rich and a little dry in summer. So this is a plant that will grow almost anywhere.
Planting and Initial Care
Purple Wisteria should be planted in a hole two or three times the width of the pot. Add some organic material like compost, rotted manure or peat-moss to the soil you took from the hole. Place your plant in the hole and replace most of the soil, firming it down around the roots. Fill the hole with water and when it drains away replace the rest of the soil. To cover large fences or wall, plant several Purple Wisterias 10 feet apart. It prefers soils that are not acidic, but it will grow in most types of soil. Keep your Purple Wisteria watered regularly during the first year – after that water is only needed during dry spells. Purple Wisteria does best in a sunny location, but it will take some shade and can be planted in shade as long as it can climb up into the sun.
Pruning and Maintenance
The most flowers are produced from plants that have been pruned. This should be done in summer, shortly after the flowers fade, by trimming back the new, long growths to about six leaves. Allow long new shoots to remain where you want the plant to increase its spread. Other long shoots can be cut back later in the summer if needed. In winter, when the plant is bare, cut back these same shoots to two or three buds from the main stems, unless you are trying to increase the spread of the plant. If you want to train your Purple Wisteria into a tree, use a stake or two to support it until the trunk becomes strong enough to stand alone, and then prune in the same way to develop the crown of the tree. It takes a little time, but your Wisteria Tree will be the envy of your neighborhood and everyone will be amazed at your ‘green thumb’.
Buying Purple Wisteria at The Tree Center
When Wisteria is grown from seed it can take 20 years to bloom. Our trees are grown the correct way, by pinning down stems of the best blooming plants to the ground (called layering) until roots form and the new plant can be detached. These plants will come into bloom within a couple of years of planting, and may even bloom in their first spring. Our trees are grown the correct way, so they will begin to bloom when young. Avoid cheaper, seedling trees that will only disappoint and take years to flower.
We sell only trees that are true to the original form and we have a wide range of sizes to give you the best plant for your purpose. However we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this tree may be limited. You may also want to consider planting other similar species of this plant, like the Amethyst Fall Wisteria or the Blue Moon Wisteria.