care for Chinese Wisteria
Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) is a hardy woody vine that has become an invasive species in many parts of the country where it has swallowed up trees, shrubs, and even houses and buildings. However it is still offered by nurseries as an ornamental plant, until banned by local authorities. To encourage blooming, keep this plant lean and hungry, avoiding fertilizers especially those high in nitrogen as applied to lawns. Cut the plant back hard every winter when the leaves are off and more lightly in the summer after bloom time. Train it up a pergola or trellis by tying in the young shoots, winding them counter clockwise around the supports. Be sure that the supports are really sturdy, as they become very heavy. I have seen a large specimen actually crush a stairway and part of the roof of a house. If you want to grow wisteria, I suggest that you procure a specimen of the native species, Wisteria frutescens or American wisteria. Although less vigorous and less showy (4" to 6" long flower clusters) than its Asian counterpart, this is a much more responsible choice for your garden. It also comes in white.
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