wisteria hysteria!!!

cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)July 26, 2008

Hi everyone. Need some real help here. I think I may have made a big mistake and I need some experienced gardeners to talk me through this, I'm in a panic!

I needed a climbing plant to place where a aged climbing rose had been. It is next to my side entrance and very visible. I didn't want another rose so I was looking for something else.

Age old story, I bought without really investigating. I made a major purchase, bought the largest one the garden center had, thinking it would fill the spot faster!(had to talk hubby into spending the $!) and bought an Amethyst falls wisteria. I planted it in this spot, NW side of the house, sun reaches it about 2pm. the wall is covered with trellis and my big idea was for it to cover the wall and then climb over the side entrance roof, giving me beautiful hanging wisteria flowers over my entrance.

NOW, I've read so many things online talking about the problems with this vine. I've been told it will tear down my house(which is brick,) that it will not grow on trellis, which literally covers the side of my house, and it stinks like cat urine, great smell over the major entrance to my house, is a monster and might never bloom!( I do have one small flower blossom on it right now)

I will be in deep you-know-what if this purchase was a mistake:Can anyone help talk me through this? Can I make this work?

I'd be grateful for any helpful advice.

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I too have planted a wisteria on the side of my house, and it is taking over! We trim it severely every summer, just to keep it out of the windows. It has destroyed my lovely trellis and has not bloomed once in 8 years.
I read a story about a beautiful old house in a good community that was priced ridiculously low. When a couple looked at the house it was apparent why the price was so low. On both sides were wisteria vines that had torn the house from it's foundation.
So my plan is to dig it up and move it to the backyard...or maybe the curb.
Good luck with yours.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 11:46PM
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cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)

thanks for your reply bloomimg. Scary! no kidding, If these are such destructive growers, how do people have them at all at their homes? I know I've seen them growing beautifully over arbors and other structures. would it grow on chain link fence? or would that just be asking for trouble with the neighbors yard? Should I try to grow it as tree? I really don't have a place for that. This was too expensive to just kick to the curb.
Wisteria lovers, can this purchase be turned into something positive? Does anyone have them growing on their homes? I need to hear something from you. I need to make this work somehow.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 8:19AM
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My neighbor has a tree type in his yard. It's trimmed to 5 feet tall and all the branches on the lower half of the main stem are cut off. It looks a lot like a bonsai. I've never heard about them stinking before and the one in my neighbors yards smells so good! I think you might be able to control it with diligent trimming, but I'd definitely keep it away from your house. Better not to risk messing up your foundation.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 5:40PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Don't panic.

U of Georgia, Ag Department:
"Plant a Japanese or Chinese wisteria in your landscape and then stand back! You will literally spend the rest of your life trying to control its growth. However, plant an Amethyst Falls wisteria, an improved cultivar of our native American wisteria, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the less aggressive nature of this plant, compared to its Asian cousins. Although the vine will climb 20 to 30 feet, itÂs less vigorous, less invasive and easier to manage than its Asian relatives.

While the Asian types of wisteria may take 10 years or more to begin flowering, Amethyst Falls Wisteria begins flowering at one year of age. Flowering occurs on new growth of the season and is about two weeks later than that of the Asian types (late April to early May in Athens, Ga.), so late-winter frosts seldom affect flowering. If lightly trimmed after flowering, new shoots will produce a second flush of blooms in the summer.

Considered by some to be a dwarf wisteria, Amethyst Falls has smaller leaves and flowers than the Asian types. Flowers are fragrant, lavender-blue and borne in 2- to 4-inch-long racemes that cascade from the foliage like a waterfall  hence the name "Amethyst Falls."

Deer and drought tolerance are other outstanding attributes that earned Amethyst Falls Wisteria a Gold Medal award in 2006. ItÂs a perfect choice for pergolas, trellises or fences. "

Prune Amethyst Falls Wisteria in late winter, if necessary, to shape the plant and remove undesirable growth. Then trim lightly again after the first flush of bloom to encourage branching and repeat blooms.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 2:15PM
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I hope you're feeling better after reading the entry above!

I haven't been working with Amethyst Falls for very long, but I think you've made a very wise choice. I'm training mine into a tree form and it's doing very well. Best of luck to you! Enjoy!!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:38PM
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cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)

Thank you! Thank you! morz8 and steve, I am feeling better, thanks to your posts. The info. you sent morz8, makes me feel like I make a good choice, thank you for responding :)

steve, I hope you keep posting on you progress with your Amethyst Falls standard. pictures would be great, if you can.

In fact anyone who has wisteria, especially Amethyst Falls or other American versions, that can post pictures, I wish you would. It would be great to see how the average person is growing theirs.
thanks a bunch:)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 12:06PM
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Not to worry! Amethyst Falls is a tame version of wisteria!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 2:44PM
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bibbus 7b(7b)

So has anyone ever cut down one of the monster wisterias? Do the roots re sprout and come back? I have one that has never bloomed (probably because I cut it back so much I cut off the "old wood") and it has a trunk that is about three inches wide. I'm ready to just try to dig it up or cut it off at the trunk. I have no idea how prolific the root system is on a 6 year old wisteria. Any suggestions on what to do?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Yes, sadly, they resprout like crazy. And the roots go to China. The only way to get rid of it, without a backhoe, is to cut it down as far as possible and cover the cut surface of the stump with undiluted Roundup concentrate (or a generic equivalent). Don't compost the cut vine, or leave it lying on the ground, because that sucker will root. Jeez, this stuff is pernicious.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Similar discussion.

Wisteria trees are a common sight around this area, not hard to do, just takes a lot of attention and trimming the first 3-4 years.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:20AM
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bibbus 7b(7b)

Purpleinopp, those trees are EXACTLY what I was trying to do but after 6 years of no blooms, I don't know what to do. I just took this picture (in the rain). Two weeks ago there were hardly any leaves on it at all. It grows so much that I have to prune it at least monthly or it sticks out into the street. I'm really ready to give up on it and put something else there. But I'm wondering how hard it will be to dig it out.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Wow, it's a great-looking little tree, bibbus! I don't know why it's not blooming, the one my Mom & I did in her yard only took a couple years to start blooming and grow less vigorously, and smaller than that. I hope someone who knows more will chime in!

About the smell thing, I can never remember which is which, but some Wisteria smells great, some stinks very bad, enough to waft if it's a big vine, on par with Bradford pear.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:45AM
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Wisteria trees are a common sight around this area, not hard to do, just takes a lot of attention and trimming the first 3-4 years.

Hi purpleinopp,

I got so curious about your post above. :)

After 4 years, do they behave well? From my 2 years of monitoring a 8-10 yrs old wisteria vine planted near Algonqun's library, they aren't really that scary.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:45AM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

We chainsaw pruned one out here last year, and yes, it's tried to regrow ever since. Luckily (?) for us, it was planted where we can mow it down every time we mow the lawn, and I pull the runners whenever I find them in the garden.

My grandparents had one they chain saw pruned as well then pulled out with heavy equipment because it was trying it's best to get into the house via the mortar between the bricks (brick house). Knowing this, I was already keeping an eye on the one we inherited when we bought the Cottage, and when the runners kept appearing in the garden and it failed to bloom it was nearly a forgone conclusion that it was on it's way out. The last straw was finding it covered in japanese beetles.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 1:49PM
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