Planting Japanese Wisteria

The Right Place
Japanese wisterias are known for their hardiness. They thrive as far north as the Great Lakes, and into New York State and along the Atlantic coast to Maine. Wisteria tolerates winter temperatures as low as -10° F or more.

Planting Nursery Stock
Wisterias can be planted in either the spring or fall (fall is best), in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sun daily. Do not plant this vine on the north side of a building or where a tree will shade it. Do not plant it under the eaves or overhangs of porches or roofs, which may shelter it from rainfall. Wisteria is not fussy about soil as long it is slightly acidic (pH 6.5) and drains well. Drainage is very important. There is some controversy over whether certain kinds of soil promote flowering. Plants growing in light, sandy soils may bloom sooner, at the expense of leaf growth. Richer soils tend to encourage heavy foliage and discourage flowering.

Purchase bare-rooted, grafted stock from a dependable nursery for best results. Such matured vines will bloom sooner than young seedlings. Keep the roots moist until planting time. Loosen the soil at least 1 foot deep when preparing the bed for planting. Dig a hole 8 to 12 inches out from the structure that will support the vine. Make it deep enough to accommodate the root system so that the graft union, the swollen place on the stem where the wisteria plant was joined to its rootstock, is below the surface of the soil. Fill in the hole and water generously until it begins climbing. Although the vine grows vigorously, it may be years before it blooms.

Amendments In Planting or Transplanting
There are a number of products at the garden center that will help your newly planted or transplanted plants deal better with the stress inherent in the planting process. All healthy plants have beneficial fungi, called mycorrhizal fungi, living on their roots. You can buy these valuable additions to your plant’s ecosystem. See the file describing Using Micorrhizae When Planting.

In addition, there are a number of products such as seaweed, compost tea, and beneficial soil microbes that when added to the planting process will help your newly established plants get going faster. See the file New Technology In Plant Growth Activators

For more information see the file on Planting Shrubs. For planting tools see Hand Tools For Digging and Planting in Yardener’s Tool Shed.

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