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help! wisteria eating house!

Posted by herbzgirl z7OKC (My Page) on
Tue, May 31, 05 at 0:57

Help! My chinese wisteria has never bloomed (probably not enough sun) but it's taking over my fence, my house and my neighbors house. What do I do to stop it? Is there a spot near the roots to attack it back? I think it's taken over my Clematis. It's already too high for me to reach the tops. I feel like 'Stanley' on the movie
"Little Shop of Horrors". Just glad it hasn't started saying "FEED ME". I look out the window upstairs and it just waves at me as it gets bigger.
Help me, please . . . . . . . .


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

Hi Herbzgirl...I found some great info at this website when my Wisteria was taking over the world. :-)

Have a sunny day...

Rosie

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Seeker


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

The home I moved into had a wisteria (not sure which kind it is) that was holding up a "rubbermaid" trellis/arch. Finally, with lots of help from a friend, that wisteria got cut down to about two feet of twisted trunks. Now, it's a wisteria bush--it sat bare for months, but this spring it sprouted lots of new growth. I try to maintain its size by giving it a haircut--cutting back the various shoots. It was planted in a peculiar spot, so either I'll have to kill the thing and dig it out or learn to live with it. I think it will live and I will too. Thank goodness it is not close to either the house or a fence--wisteria can really become a monster as you have found out. I would not be afraid of cutting--use a saw if needed--the branches that are really taking over the houses and the fence.

Fencing is not cheap, so you may want to get it away from the fence completely. Wisteria seems to be a hardy plant, for sure!

Bertha

Here is a link that might be useful: Another page of links about pruning wisteria


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

I truly believe you can NOT kill wisteria by pruning. I used to have one years ago, and it never bloomed. I pruned it about every two weeks in the summer. Then, just before we moved, it bloomed. The previous fall I had pruned it so far back, we thought it would die.

Now, I am living in a house with several wisterias on the split rail fence. They were gorgeous this spring. But, ugly all winter long, as they were pruned back severely.

I would say, prune, prune, prune.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Moni


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

And this is why I keep putting off planting my Wisteria starts I got. My neighbor has some white Wisteria that's lovely. I cut up some of the vine and got it to root - and now I'm afraid to plant it because it might eat MY house, too! I'm probably going to be a whimp and not plant it. They have more restrained varieties out now, I hear. American varieties, I think. I might - might, that is - try them.


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

  • Posted by Maryl Z7 Okla. (My Page) on
    Tue, May 31, 05 at 22:39

And lest we think that's all a Wisteria will do, remember it suckers everywhere. I have a 15 year old tree Wisteria planted near a fence that has sent it's suckers as far as underneath the CONCRETE patio onto the other side of my house and into a rose bed I have there. Closer to the Wisteria even more suckers sprout. I built a new raised bed that's 4 landscaping timbers high. It now has Wisteria suckers sprouting in it. It's not just keeping the top from overwhelming your house, you also need to pay attention to those roots. And what about those hundreds or thousands of seed pods that appear after bloom. I try and pull mine off, because I sure as heck don't want to find out how easily they might germinate (plus they are poisonous)......... My Wisteria tree is drop dead gorgeous when it's in bloom in the spring. The fragrance is wonderful, and the polinators love it. But the constant maintenance to restrain it's growth could be a problem in years to come. I'd be sad to see it go, but some times life takes over where gardening is concerned.


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

I have two wisteria plants growing on my trellis over my southern exposure deck. I LOVE it! It provides complete coverage for me during the summer where I can sit outside in the rain and not get wet. I can also sit outside on the hottest day and be cooled by the breezes created by the plant. But all this does not come for free. I spend many many hours a year pruning the plants. My husbands thinks that you can actually see it growing, it grows that fast. I have learned over the years that I can't possibly prune back the wisteria too much. And I don't prune carefully either. I just chop away (with a sharp cutter). I prune extremely heavily in the fall after the leaves drop, and less heavily in the spring so that I don't cut off all the buds. I prune lightly throughout the summer. One of the biggest probelms is disposing of the cuttings. The best choice, if you don't have a huge wooded lot, is to mulch up the cuttings.

I do have one problem though that I'd like some ideas, if anyone has any. Near to the trellis is a portion of deck that sits on the ground. Wisteria roots have gone under the deck and sprout up throught the wood planking. I have cut all exposed tentacles from the plant going in the direction of the grounded deck, but that hasn't stop the growth. Is there anyway I can kill these offspring without hurting the mother plant? Is there any chemical I can use that wouldn't travel all the way back to the main plant? Is there a way to find the source(s) of the underground root?


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

I don't think you can use any herbicide to permanently kill the sprouts without taking the risk of killing the mother plant since they undoubtedly share a common root system. Do you have any access to the area between the deck and the ground? I was wondering if you could slide something like sheet metal underneath the deck to prevent the sprouts from coming up through the wood planking?

Dawn


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

  • Posted by Maryl Z7 Okla. (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 14, 05 at 19:16

On Oklahoma Gardening years ago Sue Gray demonstrated how to deal with suckers. I believe she was using a crabapple for the demonstration, but the lesson I think would be the same. You need to snap them off at the root. If you cut them off you leave buds that will then send up even more suckers. I've always dealt with my Wisteria suckers this way. Seems to work better then just cutting off the tops.......As far as I've read any herbicide used on the suckers will travel back to the mother plant as well. No easy solution is there?


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

Thank you OkieDawn and Maryl for your responses. Do you have any idea how deep I need to go to cut off the suckers? Or if I cut at the root, how deep are theses roots so that I don't cut off needed roots? How would I know which root is sending out the suckers?

I have access to part of the area around the deck.

The other idea I had was to block all forms of light through the wood planking. Do you think that would work? If I filled the wood planking with material so that no gaps were there, do you think that would deter the sucklings from reaching for light? Would the sucklings then just wither and die?


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

  • Posted by Maryl Z7 Okla. (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 21, 05 at 18:16

All the roots are capable of sending out suckers. How deep the roots are depends on a lot of things such as soil type and compaction. Coincidently on this subject, I was expanding my border on the other side of the patio and cut through some roots. I'm pretty sure that they were the Wisteria roots. A couple were actually only inches deep and when exposed I thought I'd cut through our phone line as they were black and about the same size as phone line (and were coming from underneath the patio). Our basic soil here is heavy clay, so roots of trees and shrubs can have a tendency to be shallow rooted. Now I don't know if there is any relationship to this event, but after cutting those roots my Wisteria for the first time in years looks a little anemic. The leaves are small and it's not sending out any new growth. I didn't think you could easily kill a Wisteria, but maybe you can tell it who's boss by chopping at its roots.


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

Does anyone want to come to my house? I have a monster that I would love to eliminate. The former owner planted it in almost the middle of the back yard, and it literally sticks out like "a sore thumb"--errrr--eyesore! I don't have a chain saw, but the next time my yard guy is here, I'm asking him to saw it. Someone recommended that I then drill holes into the stumps (not plural) and pour salt into the fresh holes. What do you think? Will that do it?


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

We love our six year old Texas wisteria
(see link below)
even though it does need pruning in December back to the three main branches. I keep the main branches "clean" so it doesn't become a shrub and only occassionally have a new branch try to grow from near where the three branches arise from the ground, and they pop off quite easily with a slight tug.

I leave two buds on each side branch and that seems to do the trick. The lovely thing has bloomed every year since we planted it. The only problem is that it blooms much later than other varieties, so I often have wisteria bloom envy and watch anxiously for its first buds to open!

Still, it does look nice along side the Dream Weaver climbing rose when they bloom together, and it doesn't sprout up anywhere other than off of it's own main stems, so that hasn't been a problem. It will actually bloom more than once if we have an interval of cool, damp weather. In fact, it has one bloom on it right now, probably stimulated by the rains over a week ago. The blooms aren't as long as other varieties, but that doesn't bother me.

Other than spraying it down with cold water to keep the mites down during the summer, it hasn't been a big challenge to grow.

We have it trained up a strong rebar trellis attached to one of the steel "I" beams of carport and along a steel bar across the front of the carport.

Birds love to perch among its leaves and build nests on the steel "I" beams of the carport, just behind the iron rod. So they have "bedroom and nursery" privacy from the street, but we can watch them from our 1960's steel chairs that hang on chains from the "I" beams closer to the house. The carport isn't strictly a porch, but it functions like one. Rain on the tin roof of the carport is the lovliest sound in the world. We've watched many a much needed rainstorm from under that carport and at times I've almost drifted off to sleep! The purple honeysuckle on the opposite side of the carport is also on a rebar trellis and is becoming a good nesting spot as well.

Spring is great with all the birds nesting under the carport and then feeding their babes and teaching them how to fly. I love to check in with them in the morning before work and when I get home. They don't mess on my car, which is surprising and wonderful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Texas wisteria


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RE: help! wisteria eating house!

Here's a photo of OKC1's blooming wisteria, taken early this year.

Here is a link that might be useful: A Photo of OKC1's Wisteria


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