Digging up wisteria plants from the wild

bart_2010(8/9 Italy)April 30, 2014

There's an old, falling-down shack on the road in a wooded area nearby,and, driving past one day recently, I noticed that there's a very big, neglected wisteria growing up the shack, through the trash, and into the trees,and though it wasn't as smothered in blooms as some well-cultivated/cared for wisteria that I see around,it was still blooming pretty dang well, considering! I stopped and looked around, and found several whips or branches or whatever they are called had rooted themselves along the ground. I pulled up a few. Now, my question is this:is it likely that these will be exact clones of the mother plant? can I hope for them to bloom fairly soon, say, in a year or two? since the mother plant was actually in bloom, do I have a reasonably good chance of these being valid bloomers, and not "mules"? Another thing, the whips I have are several feet (even a yard or two!) long, with little roots sprouting from nodes along the length of the stem. I was planning on planting very long pieces all together, not cutting them up into little sections,in the hopes of obtaining a larger, more mature plant in less time. Could this work? Your thoughts and opinions would be much appreciated! regards, bart

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

If they are actually growing from the original plant, ie are branches which have rooted, they will be clones.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:31PM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

I hope I don't sound too dumb,floral_uk, but what else would they be? do you mean suckers from a root stock, or something? bart

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 5:56AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

They could be seedlings in which case they may take years to flower and not be as good as the parent. I thought that was what you were asking about when you referred to 'mules'. Clonal material cannot be a 'mule' as it is not the result of sexual reproduction. It is the result of vegetative reproduction and is genetically identical to and the same 'age', ie sexually mature and therefore ready to flower, as the parent whereas seedlings take a while to reach maturity. I doubt a wisteria that old would be grafted so it's unlikely any branches are from a root stock.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 12:20PM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Thank you very much, floral_uk! This is helpful info; I don't"know" wisteria as I do roses, so it's really nice to have someone explain them to me. So, I gather from your post that if I were able to layer a shoot of a wisteria plant that was flowering, I'd have a good chance of it growing up into a plant capable of blooming? Another thing: am I right in thinking that they graft wisterias mainly just to obtain plants that will be capable of blooming in a relatively short time? If I buy a grafted wisteria, how good are my odds that it will bloom for me in a year or two? How can I recognize a grafted wisteria plant? regards, bart

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 6:50AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

All named Wisterias will be grafted because 1. it's the only way of propagating named cultivars as none come true from seed. In that sense they are just the same as roses. 2. From seed they can take years to flower, as you surmise.

I'd buy one in bloom because that way you are sure the label is correct and you know it is ready to flower.

BTW I don't grow Wisteria and never have. This is not Wisteria specific stuff, just general knowledge which applies to any hybrid and the vast majority of named cultivars of plants such as fruit trees, shrubs, clematis, roses, etc. Check out the terms vegetative reproduction and sexual reproduction. These are botanical basics which apply throughout the plant world.

This post was edited by floral_uk on Thu, May 8, 14 at 9:29

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:28AM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Thanks, floral! actually, I do have a lot of experience with roses,however, you can definitely grow "own root" roses (propogated from cutting or layering however, not from seed); they are becoming quite popular; basically, as far as I know, roses are often grafted because 1) it's traditional and 2) initially, it gives them a boost to grow faster, though the own-roots do catch up and 3) SOME varieties are too weak on their own roots. But with roses, it is desirable to, for example, plant them deeply so they will hopefully"go own root"; i.e., sprout roots from the scion,,so that will take over eventually,and you wind up with only the scion growing on it's very own roots, overcoming the rootstock. But I gather that wisteria is a different kettle of soup...that you can't bury the graft,and I wanted to understand better why they graft wisteria,for example,I didn't realize that there were wild wisterias of inferior flowers that were used as rootstock for the named cultivars. And what about the so-called "common wisteria" by which here in Italy I think they intend sinensis? I'm assuming that that is what I dug up from the woods... regards, bart

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 5:33AM
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