A mature wisteria in full flower is an impressive sight. You can use these vigorous climbers to clothe your house or garden walls or, less formally, to ascend mature trees from whose branches the flowers will cascade down. Young plants can be reluctant to flower, but have patience and you will be rewarded.
Long clusters of fragrant flowers (racemes) hang from the twining branches in late spring with occasional summer flowers. Flower colours include white, lilac-blue, pink and a dramatic dark purple. The branches are covered with a mass of mid-green leaves which turn yellow in the autumn before they fall. A mature wisteria can reach around 10m (33ft) in trees or spread up to 20m (66ft) against a wall.
Wisterias will grow in any well-drained soil, in full sun. They will grow happily in light shade, but will produce fewer flowers.
Wisterias dislike very heavy soils that are permanently waterlogged and will not flower in deep shade.
Did you know?
Wisterias are extremely vigorous climbers and can be long-lived. To keep them in bounds and encourage flowering, shorten new growth in late summer and again in early spring.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.