drippy(7bAL)March 19, 2012

There is a lovely blue wisteria down at the end of the street in bloom. I am thinking I would love to have some, but I know that some can be invasive. How do I tell the difference between Japanese & Kentucky wisteria if they're not labeled?

Those of you that have planted wisteria, do you love it or hate it?

Thanks in advance,


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The easiest way to tell is by the smell. Japanese wisteria smells like grapes; Kentucky wisteria has virtually no smell.

Both Asian varieties are invasive, but the Chinese variety is worse than the Japanese variety.

Kentucky and American varieties have nearly the same characteristics and aren't as invasive.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 4:28AM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

I planted some against my will but really enjoy it. Wife demanded some and I managed to place it where I could gain access around it to keep it contained. I was around it this weekend working and did not notice it had a smell so maybe it is Kentucky as Sundog mentioned.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 4:08PM
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The Chinese and Japanese wisterias are the beautiful, fragrant wisterias, associated with the South. Like _Magnolia grandiflora_, _Camellia japonica_, etc., the Chinese and Japanese wisterias are the essence of a romantic or formal Southern landscape. Frankly, I think the native wisterias that are touted so much this day and age are horrid looking things, lacking the grace and beauty of the Asian wisterias, particularly _Wisteria sinensis_ or Wisteria sinensis alba_. I've always been fond of the Asian forms of wisteria and am well-aware that they are invasive; but, to me, the native forms look sadly constipated with their little, scraggly, bunched-up racemes. And what is a wisteria that is lacking in the exotic perfume that floats on our spring air? Not much, in my estimation.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Thank you all - this is very helpful. I will give careful consideration before I choose type and where to plant in my yard.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Jay is right, but some plants (wisteria, Bradford pear, honeysuckle, etc.) are better appreciated in a neighbor's yard or down the street.

Some, like the Mimosa, are only appreciated when they're in another city. LOL!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

There is a TON of wisteria in this area and they are definitely not all the same. A lot of people have little free-standing wisteria trees in their yards, including my Mom. They're usually 3-5 ft. tall and I've not noticed any of them behaving like rampant vines. The one my Mom has actually has a faint and UNpleasant smell but it is very pretty to look at. Then there's the stuff that takes over entire vacant lots and patches of trees. Unfortunately, that seems to be the kind that smells so good, wafting in the air the past week. I don't think you can have "it all" with a single wisteria. I love them all! The one time I tried to grow the invasive vine kind it died in a pot before I could get it planted. Probably for the best since I didn't know the difference at the time.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 9:33AM
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Mimosas, just like the grancy greybeard, are pretty to view, but in my experience they rot early and succumb to ant infestations. Not dependable in the landscape.

Now, I have had a wisteria sinensis alba for about 5 years, and it has yet to bloom. It almost succumbed to drought last summer while I was out of town for a month. But today I noticed a new shoot going up the dead pine tree, along with the passiflora edulis and the trachelospermum jasminoides.

Down in Audubon Zoo, before Katrina, I saw a granddaddy wisteria that had a TRUNK on it that was as big around as my wrist. It was wrapped around a heavy arbor built of wood, and was squeezing it to bits. I think by the time the wood rots, this wisteria can stand on its own without aid of an arbor.

If you want to see some gorgeous wisteria photographs, visit Webshots.com and key word "wisteria" and "Japan" and you'll see how they grow theirs. Awesome!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 10:29PM
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How do you get wisteria to stand erect to make a tree? My wifey trans planted one year before last and now has about three or four vines twisted together growing up about 3 foot. It's in the middle of the lawn so gets mowed all around and hasn't spread except the extra vines all close together. They bloomed this spring. Should I cut down all but one vine or let them twist together? Do I have to stake it to get it to grow higher or just keep trimming off the side shoots?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

My grandfather had a tree/bush growing.If I recall he let it climb up a pole. Drive something in the ground the height you desire and tie the vines to it.As the vine thickens it will support itself.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Thank you. I suspected something like that. It currently has a tomato cage around it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Sixteen years ago my friend gave me some Wisteria, which smelled lovely. I planted it in the pine island and it grew up one huge pine tree. When my husband cut it down he had to use a chainsaw! It smells and looks lovely, but it can take over. Would it be possible to grow it in a large container with a trellis in the pot?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 5:05PM
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tempskya(Z7B BAMA)

Just a fun FYI. The Japanese word for wisteria is fuji -- as in Mt. Fuji.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 6:03PM
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Well....I've had my wisteria for about 4 years now. Live in Ky. The 2nd year I was determined to get it to bloom so I checked out the University of Kentucky website and they gave me instructions. It bloomed! Each year it has more on it. I have let it grow on to an arbor next to the Koi pond. I've always taken care of it and admit it's a job to keep it in tact. My husband and I were cleaning up around the pond today and I was quite busy and he offered to trim it back. Well...and you don't know how I hate to say this..... I never even noticed as I figured he'd seen me trim all these years and seems to me anyone in their right mind knows that it won't bloom when all the branches are cut back to their bases. Yes,that's what he did. There are only a few feelers on the side where the pond is. I was headed in the house when I looked up and saw this. I actually started crying..and I know that is ridiculous. I love this thing in Spring when the purple blooms hang and as I said I got more each year. I guess I'm asking a stupid question, but, will it ever bloom again? I guess it's going to take 2 years if I'm lucky before enough branches extend out that may bloom. I am sick....sooo sick. He apologized and I know it's easy to trim Wisteria and not know where to stop, but, I'm having a really hard time since I know he's not a stupid man, with the fact that he had to have known cutting it back to the bare branch there was nothing there to bloom. It's all sounds silly but everyone went on about how beautiful it was. Will this kill it perhaps? It's for sure I won't be seeing any blooms I guess for a long long time...if ever.Thanks for any suggestions!! :((((((((((((((((((((((((

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 5:49PM
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It's an American...it twines counter clock wise and blooms in May..forgot to mention

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Ha! jljohnson, do not worry. Wisteria is a super tough plant. he could have cut it off even with the ground and dug up every root he could find, but it would still be back. Beautiful? oh yes, but I didn't realize how much the pretty devil was growing underground. I still have to cut many, many tendrils every year, some as much as fifteen feet from the original site.

Planted it and it grew and bloomed. It never had any support, and when I began to realize how invasive it was, I cut it down and have been fighting it ever since. But it was a beauty.

a href="http://s371.photobucket.com/user/organic_kitten/media/Spring2009/IMG_4254_1.jpg.html"; target="_blank">

(The dying dogwood tree behind it has gone to its reward as well.)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:05PM
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