‘Best’ to plant wisteria and four spots to avoid in your garden

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Wisteria: David Domoney shares tips for plant

Like most summer flowering plants, wisteria is best planted in autumn or spring when the soil is warm – preferably between October and April. Though this gorgeous climber is not difficult to get started in the garden, choosing a “good spot” to grow it is “one of the most important decisions”, according to an expert at Den Garden. They explained that the plant’s ability to flower depends on this factor – so where is the best place to plant wisteria?

Wisteria plants are loved for their beautiful blooms, so it can be disappointing to wait years for the first flowers to appear only to find that there are very few of them.

To avoid this, Sharon Vile at Den Garden recommended taking your time to find a sunny, well-supported spot for this stunning climber to grow.

She said: “For most home gardeners, they are best planted either on a very strong support, such as a sturdy garden arch or small pergola or trained in the form of a tree.

“Vertical supporting members for a vine should be four-by-fours (at least) and horizontal supports need to be made of strong framing lumber. These vines are very heavy when mature.”

Where to avoid planting wisteria

With strict requirements to fulfil in order to help wisteria thrive, you may be wondering where to avoid planting it in your garden.

According to Sharon, areas with waterlogged soil and lots of shade should be avoided at all costs, though there are a few more specific places to avoid.

On a lightweight arch

While an archway is an ideal place for wisteria to grow in the short term, the heavy vines will quickly “overwhelm” a lightweight structure as they mature. Stick to timber frames rather than wire-style archways.

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Near spring flowers

An island bed surrounded by other flowering plants is an ideal location for wisteria as it will receive regular maintenance. However, it is important not to let the vigorous climber overpower nearby growth.

For this reason, Sharon advised against planting wisteria near spring bloomers.

Sharon said: “Irises, English daisies, creeping phlox, and dianthus  need to be fertilized in early spring to produce a good display and should not be planted too close to wisterias because this could prevent the vine from flowering.”

Keeping wisteria in close proximity is fine, though you should always leave room to access every inch of the plant for seasonal pruning.

Next to the house

As with any vine, planting wisteria close to the house can be problematic for several reasons.

Not only can it cause damage to window frames and wooden structures like shutters, but it is also incredibly difficult to prune.

Sharon noted that it is okay to grow vines on stone and brick exteriors, though you should be careful on cladding and wooden surfaces.

On a tall pergola

There’s nothing like seeing wisteria wrapped around a pergola when it starts to bloom, but it can be tricky to control if it is too high up.

Pruning is much more difficult, not to mention, dangerous on a step ladder.

For this reason, it is best to keep wisteria confined to a manageable height up against a tree or archway to restrict its vigour.

Wherever you choose to grow it, always ensure the planting site is in a west-facing spot to allow plenty of sunlight.

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