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Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month

Wisteria sinensis syn. W. chinensis

Chinese Wisteria

It speaks of old-fashioned beauty, romance and permanence --  Wisteria's pendent racemes of pea-like fragrant flowers seem to take the garden back to slower simpler times. Of the family Fabaceae it is well known as Wisteria to many gardeners. It is easy to grow and loves full sun, fertile soil and plenty of moisture. Wisteria is native to China, Korea and Japan.

Wisteria sinensis

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Wisteria

Botanical Name:  Wisteria sinensis syn. W. chinensis

Family:  Fabaceae

Plant Type:  Deciduous Climber

Origin: China, Korea and Japan

Zones: 4 - 9 -- Mostly Temperate

Height:  Rambler, will cover everything in sight

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: None

Soil Requirements:  Fertile, moist but well-drained soil

Water Requirements: Water freely when in growth, sparingly in winter

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade

Form:  Twining, woody, deciduous climber

Leaves:  Dark green alternate, pinnate to 14"

Flowers:  Pea-like fragrant, yellow-marked, violet to white in racemes -- blooms spring

Fruits: Green seed pods

Pests:  Dieback, Crown gall, Leaf spots, Virus diseases, Aphids, Leaf miners, Scale insects, Mealybugs

Uses:  Train against a wall, over an arch or pergola or into a standard

Bad Habits: Seed pods are attractively pea-like to children and all plant parts can cause severe discomfort if ingested.  To encourage blooming, cut new sideshoots back to the lowest six buds in the summer then further back to the third or fourth in late winter.

Cost:  $$   -- reasonable

Propagation:   Basal cuttings from side shoots in early to mid-summer, layer in autumn or graft in winter

Sources:   A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, The Subtropical Garden



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