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Wisteria is one of the quintessential cottage garden plants, with a chocolate-box image of spectacular blooms adorning the front of a country cottage. It is actually a very versatile plant and lends itself to a variety of situations, including growth in containers. Of the few problems affecting the plant, non-flowering and sudden dieback are probably the most frustrating.Here we give answers to many of the common problems encountered. They are grouped by the area of the plant affected: shoots; leaves and flowers.
Wisteria growing over house wall.
Take a look at some of the common problems you might encounter on wisteria.
There are a number of possible causes for this symptom.
All of these problems prevent adequate water uptake through the roots, leading to wilting and die-back.
These are scale insects, of which a number of different species can affect wisteria. Found most commonly is brown scale. In south-east England a much larger blackish brown scale, wisteria scale, may sometimes be found. Heavy infestations of the latter scale can lead to branch dieback.
Irregular dark brown marks and blotches, usually with a yellow margin, are a symptom of infection by the fungal disease powdery mildew. On most types of plant this disease produces conspicuous white fungal growth on the leaves, but on wisteria it can be very difficult to see any growth at all on the blotches (without using a microscope).
The disease produces another atypical symptom when it first develops on the leaves in early summer – a pale green or yellowish mottling, which can be mistaken for virus infection. Wisteria can also be affected by viruses so if the problem does not respond to mildew controls and persists from year to year, virus may be involved.
There are a number of possibilities here.
Regular and timely pruning can help to increase the flowering potential of the plant by producing a framework of flower spurs. In contrast, heavy pruning or pruning in early summer will disrupt successful flowering.
Disposing of diseased materialGraft failureHoney fungusPhytophthora root rotVine weevilWhy has my tree or shrub died?WisteriaWisteria: pruningWisteria scale
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