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Warn me about wisteria

 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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I got a great looking wisteria vine, still in a gallon pot, and hadn't really looked into how they behave. I see them all the time in landscapes, even professional buildings. But I ran across an article that described how they can become monstrosities, needing side growth trimmed every week, new shoots coming up a distance from the main plant. I know about the blossoms making a mess on the ground, but I have a location where that won't matter. And it will be aggressive and compete with other plants.

Is it worth it? Will it be a serious commitment? Will it dominate wherever I put it?
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5615
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I think there are different types of wisteria...some maybe not so rampant. I planted one innocent unrooted cutting of it back in the early eighties on our small homestead....and then we moved...it is uncontrollable and covers quite a large area now and runs up several trees. We aren't there often enough to maintain and it looks like there is no stopping it. Some good advice in my project thread among the other stuff..... http://www.permies.com/t/39732/projects/Reviving-homestead-wisteria
If I had it to do over I wouldn't have planted it.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Mike Turner
Posts: 315
Location: Upstate SC
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Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (W. floribunda) are highly invasive in the eastern US. The native wisterias, W, frutescens and W. macrostachya are much less invasive, but all wisterias get massive and heavy and need a strong support structure to climb on.
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Thanks, everyone, for your input. Dang, I am so disappointed.

Judith, what a great place you've got. I'm glad you are restoring it. That wisteria definitely was happy. It might have been a sight in full bloom, though!
 
Kw Velasco
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I have several wisteria plants that have been growing for many years.
The one thing that I wish I knew about them is that in the fall when the leaves
turn brown, fall off the stem that they were on - this stem then falls off and makes a
bigger mess than the leaves.

I usually gather the leaves to put into a trashcan and then smash the dry leaves to
add to my soil. The stems are stiff and don't degrade as quickly as the leaves.

When my wisteria blooms - it smells wonderful and looks so pretty.
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
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christo, echoing judith's concern, if you really want to grow that wisteria, i'd say (a) be willing to grow it in a big pot (like a 55 gallon drum) with no chance for it to root in the soil and (b) be willing to put an intensive effort in managing it so that (a) no seeds drop and (b) no vine tips hit soil. it's really the underground runners that cause its spread (and spread like wildfire as judith noted), but supposedly the seeds can lie dormant for 10-12 years before sprouting. we got a enormous monster that we inherited, so this word of caution is based upon seeing the effects of management neglect.

with that said, it's actually a great and easy chop & drop mulch plant. i usually just strip the leaves right off the plant with my hand and throw down as mulch. if i cut a vine, i'll make sure to dry it out thoroughly on a tarp or something, as i've seen it root itself. cut it back hard right after flowering to stop the seeds from maturing. it will grow back quickly, trust me.

kw, not only stiff, but a stringy stiff: i've tried running through the chipper, and it more than anything, is what jams up the blades/rotors. gonna to try charring it next. shame to waste all that good nitro and micronuts.
 
Aimee Monteil
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Hi, everyone! <wave> I am new here...live in the country north of Vancouver, WA....

I have always dreamed of having a Wisteria vine, but, never lived anywhere long enough to plant one and own it over the years. Six years ago we bought a country property and VOILA! the previous owner who built the house also planted a Wisteria vine in 1986. I love it and especially it yummy fragrance and gorgeous lavender flowers. I love how it has climbed up the side of the deck and up to the roof of the carport. I have never regretted having this Wisteria. It is easy to prune and cut it back when needed if you keep a watch on it. It is amazing how fast the fronds reach out. This Wisteria has never spread underground at all.

Go ahead and have your Wisteria and enjoy its wonderfullness

All parts of Wisteria, except for the blossoms, are...toxic to humans and to animals (dogs, cats, horses, etc) so be careful where you plant Wisteria. I also suggest that you do not compost any part of Wisteria.

More info:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/wisteria

http://www.eattheweeds.com/wisteria-criteria-2/
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Aimee, thanks for the information and the encouragement. I do have one of the more prolific ones,
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
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why wouldn't you compost it?
 
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