Chinese wisteria in bloom today - finally!

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)May 31, 2011

It's been a very cold spring here (until today). The Chinese wisteria is usually in bloom on the Victoria Day weekend (21-23), but it didn't get around to blooming until today:

I need to let some whippy growth develop in the middle this year so I can train it into the empty space that is bugging me in the mid-section...

It doesn't look like the young Japanese wisteria will be blooming this year. This is its fifth spring in the garden so I was hoping it would bloom this year since the Chinese one started blooming in its fifth spring. Maybe next year....

For those of you who have them, how is your wisteria doing this spring? Pictures...?

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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Oh I am so envious! I really love wisteria and every time I see it at a garden center I get so tempted but I honestly don't have space. Does it smell as amazing as it looks? Did u start it from a standard or just a regular plant?
Thanks for sharing your beautiful picture!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 9:36PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It does smell wonderful - but it doesn't broadcast the scent. You have to be fairly close to it to smell it. I started it from just a regular vine, not something that had been already trained as a standard. It's a bit messy in form and we need to do more shaping pruning next spring. We trimmed off some bottom stems this spring to give the perennials that grow under it a bit more room. A neighbour took the trimmings and put them in water to 'force' them. They bloomed for her a couple of weeks ago. So, if we do some shaping pruning next spring, we now know we shouldn't just discard the prunings!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 9:57PM
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I would love to get some's so beautiful and purple!

One day, I hope to build a sturdy arbor and grow wisteria, but for now, thank you for sharing your beautiful picture :)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 11:05PM
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I don't know what kind i have,only know that here in S.Ca it already bloomed.I've had this bush for more years than i care to count,and for years it never did anything.I moved it around a couple of timesetc,still nothing.Finally i cursed it out and told it i was going to dig it out and get rid of it,and i thought i had.The next year it popped back up in the last place i had it,and has been growing and blooming every year since.Mine grows against a very sturdy galvanizedsteel fence,that can take the weight.

I just last week dug up some seedlings from it,and put them in pots.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 2:48PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Picture Kathi? Is it a Chinese one or a Japanese one?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:03PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Woody, I wonder if the Chinese and Japanese inerently take longer to bloom than the American? I purchased a W. frutescens last year and it was in full bloom when I bought it. I wasn't quite sure what it would do this year but I checked it yesterday evening and it does have quite a number of blooms. I hope the smell doesn't waft too far away from the plant because the blooms stunk to high heaven! We had to cut off all the blooms in order to put it in the car for the drive home from NC. It was not a pleasant smelling flower at all.

Is Wisteria one of those plants like climbing hydrangea that may be blooming in the pot but then sulk once planted and not bloom for years? Or when Chinese and Japanese wisteria are sold, are they generally not blooming plants and you always have to wait? I've heard that root pruning may promote bloom?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 8:10PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thyme - The American wisterias bloom on 'new wood' while the Chinese and Japanese ones bloom on mature flowering spurs on 'old wood'. That's why the American ones start blooming right away. It takes a few years - and proper pruning - to develop the flowering spurs for the Chinese and Japanese ones. My experience has been that the Chinese one developed the flowering spurs quickly and easily, probably partly because it seems somewhat inclined to produce summer flowers on new growth if it has been pruned, and partly because it is a grafted plant. The Japanese ones don't have that summer flowering ability I gather.

My Japanese one actually has had visible flowering spurs for several years now so it appears to be just a matter of getting it mature enough. Last week we went to the nearby Royal Botanical Gardens to take a close look at their Japanese ones to see if I could determine exactly which buds are flwering ones. From what I could see, the flowers appear to arise somewhat differently than the Chinese ones since they are accompanied by a burst of leaf growths; the flower raceme is in the center of it all. Seeing the the blooming Japanese ones at RBG made me worried that I might have been accidently pruning off the emerging raceme, thinking it was whippy new leaf growth! So it's hands-off pruning the new growth on the Japanese one for awhile :-)

On the Chinese one, it is very clear which buds are the flowers long before any visible growth appears. The Chinese one produces flowerbuds separate from the leaves, which don't start appearing until after the flowerbuds start extending. The ease of identifying flowering growth will no doubt also be true for the Japanese one once I've seen it flower for the first time :-)

My wisteria book describes the American ones scent a 'musk'. Like most fragrant plants, the scent is strongest on the Chinese one in early morning and evening. In mid-day you almost have to have your nose in the flowers to really get a good whiff of the scent. I don't know if that will be true for yours as well or not.

Grafted Chinese or Japanese wisteria are best to ensure relatively quick blooming because grafted plants usually/should mean it was started from a plant that had already flowered - i.e. is mature. My Chinese one is grafted - there's an obvious graft-union. I suspect the Japanese one is a rooted cutting as I see no graft-union. So it was probably not flowering wood. But the variety, 'Lawrence', is known for its hardiness and being an early and prolific bloomer, so I shouldn't have to wait too much longer.

I think there's much nonsense repeated about such things as root pruning and otherwise abusing your wisteria. All they need is proper and diligent pruning of new growth - and time to mature. And a lot of the detailed 'proper' pruning instuctions you find make it too complicated and people tend to give up and let them run amok, which is a big mistake and the main reason they...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:35PM
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Lovely blooms!!!I didn't know it takes so long to get blooms, I may not give up on my dogwood just yet!lol!
I saw one yesterday(wisteria) while driving into town(why don't I carry my camera???!) that was just 3ft high, looked to be about 3inches round stem, with a poof of flowers on the top...was amazing what they did to it, is that what they call a standard? I may have to go by and take a pic!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 11:32AM
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Here's a picture,like i said i don't know whatkind it is,japanese,chinese,american.It's mine so i guess that makes it American____Just kidding!!!LOL,LOL The pink plant in front is a geranium manderense(sp)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:36PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I love the looks of Wysteria in bloom. Plus it smells heavenly. Beautiful, just beauitiful.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Kathi - that looks like it might be a Japanese one. They tend to have more leaves at the same time as the flowers so the flowers look like a fringe dangling under the leaves. I think the American ones have leaves at the same time as the flowers too, but I think they're later blooming. Japanese ones twine clockwise (stems rise from lower right to upper left) and American and Chinese ones twine anti-clockwise (stems rise from lower left to upper right) so that should help you identify the type.

calamity - yes, that would be a standard. You can keep them very short or make them whatever size and shape you want. We're keeping the Chinese one in a bush form 8-10' tall (the shorter flower racemes of Chinese ones display better on a bushy form). The Japanese one that hasn't flowered yet we're keeping to about 5' tall and more upright with no lower branches. The Japanese ones have longer flower racemes so display best with the flowers dangling down from higher up - too low branches would have the flowers dragging on the ground!

The Chinese one starts blooming without the leaves, but within a day or two the leaves start appearing. It actually looks better I think one the leaves appear. The color of the flowers seems to darken as well. Here it is again today with a tree peony in the foreground:

And a bit closer - from ground-level looking up (I was weeding nearby - the scent was heavenly...)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:55PM
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Gorgeous! Mine is a twig with barely a leaf pushing out?! Seriously! Like 2yrs old and it is a foot tall and no real progress? Sheesh! I think I am doomed!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 7:53PM
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