New Wisteria owner needs advice

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by zilleye, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. zilleye

    zilleye Member

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    I just moved to Cowichan Bay near Duncan and have purchased a Wisteria sinensis "Cooke's Special Purple" that I plan to plant in a 1/2 barrel. It's a large plant with strong and vigorous buds already and in a 7 gal pot. I'm going to train it up onto the edge of the deck sunroof so it hangs down over the deck.
    I have never grown one before having moved here last November from Manitoba. I can't plant it directly in the soil beside the deck, it's gravel there. Can someone advise me how many holes to drill into the bottom of the barrel and what the most suitable soil mixture would be. I will put about 2 inches of gravel in the barrel over the drain holes.
    Can I plant annuals in the same barrel at the base of the Wisteria?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. kia796

    kia796 Active Member

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    zilleye, hope your deck sunroof is made of steel pipe welded at the seams!
    Wisteria will bend an aluminum roof.

    Our two wisteria are trained to wind up steel posts, sunk into a foot of concrete (the wisteria on the right is sick, and we haven't pruned the one on the left very well).

    I saw "wisteria trees" on Victory Garden TV show years ago, where they're trained to vine around a steel post, and then frequent (3 times a year) pruning of the top will eventually produce a "canopy" that resembles an umbrella.

    The branches grow 12 to 15 feet a year. To keep your sunroof from being twisted, stay ahead of the pruning.
     

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  3. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I am lucky mine is clambering up wooden verandah posts to the second storey and beyond. Pruning is a must. I tip prune mine when it starts to produce all the runners and it settles it down. Mind you as I write it is still trying to climb inside on the 2nd floor but I have left it for the autumn leaves about to happen. THEN it will get a mother of all hair cuts and be realigned along the side wires making sure the flower spurs don't get damaged on the old wood. The one over the front gate has disappeared up a gum tree. I am leaving it for the time being but some day soon it will be bought down to earth. :) Sorry I meant to add mine is growing directly in the garden. I do have a friend who grows them in pots but they are not that happy. I suggested to him to make the tree wistiria things as described above.

    Liz [Beautiful sunny autumn day perfect gardening weather]
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  4. zilleye

    zilleye Member

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    Thanks for all the info! I'm wondering if I have more than I can handle with this plant after hearing all this. Looks like I will keep the pruning shears handy. I'm usually pretty fearless with them anyway. So far the Wisteria is doing nothing. I guess it's deciding whether or not it likes the barrel. I hope it takes hold because I'm looking forward to the fragrance. Thanks again. Jill
    (18 deg. here yesterday April 5/07)
     
  5. kia796

    kia796 Active Member

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    Liz I'm still getting the hang of pruning it to a type of canopy...
    One thing my pic didn't indicate (as it was taken too far away), was the wisteria on the pole at the left of stairs is wound around that steel pole beautifully.
    Not to freak anyone out...but it's twisting trunk reminds me of a picture I saw of a boa constrictor wrapping itself around "something".

    zilleye, the warning wasn't intended to have you decide against a wisteria...simply to be prepared. But if you're still planning to plant it in a half-barrel it would not become such a rampant grower anyway (they need to be in the ground).

    Just remember that once they're established with strong woody twining trunk and branches, only a chainsaw can "unbend" them.

    Mine are always late...leaves start around the same time as our Northern Red Oak opens which, in the Okanagan, is seldom before the second week in May.

    And, yes, Wisteria blossoms are worth every bit of the work!
    Good luck with your named variety; it'll be beautiful!
     
  6. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have a friend around the otherside of the valley who carfully twisted every runner through her verandah rails. Not a good idea as the runners are a mass of boa constrictors (Good description by the way) She is also way up in the air and like us uses the Wisteria as a sun screen in summer. I have since shown her how to free the rails a bit. We did this when we could see what each runner was doing.

    If you have one that is a runaway success then choose the main runners and wire them where you want them to go. I have 3 main ones and these are about 15 yrs old. Each spring along with the banksia rose I have a cascade of mauve (sp) and lemon from the 2nd floor balcony. It is very pretty. Then the leaves start and this is when I rub off young growth so I can still see the view from my downstairs window. I let it go beserk up higher till about mid season then it gets a haircut (just the long trailers) for the autumn show of liquid gold. After that in winter I prune it back to where it belongs. Three main runners. The one we Had in my childhood home was not as robust and it gently wound it's way left and right along the guide wires. Not sure if it was the variety or whether the higher colder altitude kept it under control. (1000 ft) as opposed to my 800 ft.

    Liz
     
  7. kia796

    kia796 Active Member

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    Liz, the mauve and lemon colours would be stunning! Good for you. Sounds gorgeous.

    zilleye, just a note of additional caution. Even though Liz is quite correct re pruning, she's in Australia. I'd caution you about pruning late (winter). You'll be pruning your wisteria "runners" 3 times this summer. You won't hurt the wisteria if you cut 50 per cent off each runner...again and again until you get the shape you want (oh...about 10 years down the road, ha ha). But don't do any winter pruning.

    My goal this year (finally) is to get the "tree" wisteria into its proper canopy shape...I've been at it for easily 12 years!
     
  8. zilleye

    zilleye Member

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    Thanks for all the advice guys......... I'm looking forward to seeing what it does. It's actually showing some signs of life now. It's in the half barrel along with just a couple of pansies so it doesn't look gloomy right now. So I will keep it to three main runners as you suggested. I had 2 massive Dropmore Honeysuckles in Winnipeg (trained over an 8 ft section of privacy fence), that I meticulously trimmed off every single non-blooming and/or winter-killed branch every single spring for 5 years. They bloomed like you would not believe thanks to the regular application of Miracle Gro. It attracted Hummingbirds which we could see right from the bedroom window. But, it went with the house so it's not likely going to get that much attention! Anyone think that I could grow a Pieris in a half-barrel?
    Jill
     
  9. roctag

    roctag Member

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    Hello. I too am a new wisteria owner. I bought one with reminisance of my childhood. Just LOVE them. I am, however, in Brisbane (Aust). From reading all the advice from Canada and even Victoria (Aust.) I wonder if I'm ambitious trying to grow this plant in such a warm climate??? The poor little thing was just a stick until it recently shot leaves out and a shoot about 3m in length along the fence over summer. It has now dropped most of it's leaves again and I'm wondering whether to prune it back to conserve it's energy or sit tight?!!! Also, we are in level 5 water restrictions here. We can bucket water 3 evenings a week although I have a small tank I can use any time. We mulch with sugarcane to keep in the moisture. Does anybody have a comment on how much water a wisteria likes? Most of our garden are natives that look after themselves and I feel like I've taken on an exotic baby!! Thanks!!
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi it's me from vic. I would leave it alone and just keep a bit of water up to it when you have it. It's normal for them to shed leaves in autumn. You are probably a bit early as mine is just turning gold. Mulch is good. Next spring it will keep going. Start training it to where you want it to go. One or two main branches or what ever you want it to do. Not sure if you have a seedling or one that is grown from a runner. If you are lucky it may even give you a flower. I will ask my sister if they grow well up there she works for one of the councils as parks and garden manager.

    Liz

    PS
    Yes they grow well in Brisbane. See the ones in Japanese garden at Towoomba (sp) and there are some in Logan in a park.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
  11. roctag

    roctag Member

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer Liz. I really appreciate the advice and encouragement! Heather
     
  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Speaking of wisterias and Australia, I'm compelled to mention that one of your fellow Australians, the very kind Peter Valder, wrote the book on the subject.
     
  13. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Here you go and all the libraries that hold in Australia (75)

    Record Id: 11278460 (Australian Library Collections)
    Author: Valder, Peter.

    Title: Wisterias : a comprehensive guide / Peter Valder.

    Published: Balmain, N.S.W. : Florilegium, 1995.

    Description: 160 p. : col. ill. ; 27 cm.

    ISBN: 0646220497 :

    Dewey Number: 583.322 [OR SOME LIBRARIES] 635.9/3322

    Summary: Australian author from Mount Wilson, NSW. A guide to the full range of Wisteria first cultivated in China and Japan over 1000 years ago and popular with gardeners worldwide.

    Notes: Includes index.
    Bibliography: p. 154-156.
    Subjects: Wisteria.
    Language: English

    Libraries that have this item: Canberra Institute of Technology. Library & Learning Cen (ACIT) 0087218 /583.322/VAL <0087218>
    National Library of Australia. National Library of Australia (ANL) NL 583.322 V144
    ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services. ACT Library & Information Service (APLS) 0643839 held
    Armidale Dumaresq Council. Armidale Dumaresq Council War Memorial Library (NARM) 635.93374/VAL
    Botany Bay City Council. Central Library, Eastgardens (NBNY) 583.74/VAL
    Campbelltown City Council. Campbelltown City Library (NCCPL) HELD
    Cessnock City Council. Cessnock City Library (NCES) Held
    Coffs Harbour City Library and Information Service. Coffs Harbour City Library and Information Centre (NCHC) held
    Canterbury City Council Libraries. Canterbury City Council Library Service (NCML) HELD
    Charles Sturt University. Wagga Wagga Campus Library (NCSU:W) 000841300 583.322/V1 <000841300>
    Central West Libraries. Orange Library (NCWC) 583.322 VAL
    Fairfield City Council. The Whitlam Library (NFML) HELD
    Gosford City Council. Gosford City Library (NGCL) 583.322 VALD
    Glen Innes Severn Council. Glen Innes Severn Public & TAFE Library (NGI) 583.322 VAL 0207184135 635.967 GRE
    Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection (NHH) 583.322 VAL
    Hawkesbury City Council Library Service. Windsor Central Library (NHKS) 583.322 VAL
    Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council Libraries. Ku-ring-gai Library (NKML) 298240 /583.322/VALD <298240>
    Lake Macquarie City Council. Lake Macquarie City Library (NLMPL) held
    Maitland City Council. Maitland City Library Service (NMCL) Q583.322 Val
    Macquarie University. Macquarie University Library (NMQU) 950014487 <950014487>
    Newcastle Region Libraries. Newcastle Region Library (NNPL) Held
    Central Northern Libraries. CNRL Administrative Centre (NNRL) 130413 Q 583.322 VAL <130413>
    Pittwater Council. Pittwater Library Service (NPIT) held
    Randwick City Library & Information Service. Bowen Library Maroubra (NRAND) held
    Riverina Regional Library. Wagga Wagga City Library (NRIV) held
    Richmond-Tweed Regional Library. Library Headquarters (NRTW) 583.322 VALD
    Ryde City Council. Ryde Library Services (NRYD) held
    Sutherland Shire Libraries. Central Library Sutherland (NSCL) Q583.322VAL
    State Library of NSW (NSL) M Q583.322/1 R NQ583.322/2
    Strathfield Council Library Service. Homebush Library (NSML) 0023708 /583.322/VAL <0023708>
    University of Western Sydney. Hawkesbury Campus Library (NUWS:H) 297566 583.322 7
    Woollahra Municipal Council. Woollahra Library and Information Service (NWOOL) 583.322 VAL
    Brisbane City Council Libraries. BCC Library Service (QBCL) HELD
    Logan Central Library. Corporate Library (QLCL) 189021 held <189021>
    Maryborough Municipal Council. John Anderson Municipal Library (QMAR) held
    Mackay Libraries. Mackay City Library (QMC) HELD
    Maroochy Libraries (QMSL) 80077258 <80077258>
    State Library of Queensland. State Library of Queensland (QSL) 433713 G 583.322 1995
    Toowoomba City Council. Toowoomba City Library (QTOL) 230521 Q/583.322/VAL <230521>
    University of Queensland Library. Gatton Library (QU:GATT) b17944958 SB413.W58 V35 1995
    Queensland University of Technology. Gardens Point Branch Library (QUT:GP) .b1705770x ggen 583.322 3
    Botanic Gardens of Adelaide and State Herbarium. Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Library (SBOT) 582.736 VAL
    TAFE SA. Urrbrae Education Centre Library (SFED:BP) UR 583.322 VAL
    State Library of South Australia (SSL) held
    State Library of South Australia. Public Library Services (SSLP) AQ 583.322/1 (Z204738)
    State Library of Tasmania (TSL) SRL held 13 June 96
    Murrindindi Library Service (VAYM) held
    Bayside Library Service. Bayside Library Service (VBAY) HELD
    City of Boroondara Library Service (VBOR) held
    Glen Eira Library and Information Service. Bentleigh Library (VCAU) 635.9747
    Corangamite Regional Library Corporation. Corangamite Regional Library Corporation Library (VCGL) HELD
    Melbourne Library Service (VCML) F 583.322 VALD
    Eastern Regional Libraries Corporation. Eastern Regional Libraries Corporation (VEAR) held
    Frankston Library Service. Frankston Library (VFRK) 18261929 F 583.322 VAL <18261929>
    Gordon Institute of TAFE. Gordon City Campus Library (VGT) GTC01901546295 held
    Hobsons Bay Libraries (VHOB) held
    Holmesglen College of TAFE. Holmesglen Institute of TAFE Information Commons (VHOM) (Sirsi) a107810 held
    Kingston Information and Library Service. Kingston Information & Library Service (VKING) 583.322 VALD
    Latrobe City Library. Morwell Public Library (VLTV) 30032002192430 F 583.322 VAL <30032002192430>
    High Country Library Corporation. Wangaratta Library (VNEA) held
    Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE. Preston Campus Library (VNMT) held
    Mornington Peninsula Library. Rosebud Library (VPEN) 583.322 VAL
    Port Phillip Library Service. St Kilda Library (VPPLS) /583.322/VAL
    Darebin Libraries. Preston Library (VPRE) 305405 <305405>
    State Library of Victoria (VSL) slv
    Stonnington Library and Information Service. Toorak / South Yarra Library (VSLIS) held
    University of Melbourne. The University Library (VU) held
    Whitehorse Manningham Regional Library Corporation. Box Hill Library & Administrative Headquarters (VWMR) 232527 583.322 VAL
    Challenger TAFE. Challenger TAFE Learning Resource Centre (WFT) 19298 583.322VAL <19298>
    State Library of Western Australia (WLB) 790565 583.322 <790565>
    Northern Territory Library (XNLS) held
    Castle Hill . Baulkham Hills Shire Library (NBAU) held
    Ipswich City Council. Ipswich Library and Information Service (QIPS) HELD
    University of South Australia. University of South Australia Library (SUSA) 219734 635.93374 V144
    Maribyrnong Library Service (VFPL) <119634>
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  14. roctag

    roctag Member

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    You guys are amazing!!! *huge grin* It was worth signing up to this site just to experience the kindness!! Heather
     
  15. Diane W.

    Diane W. Active Member

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    Just come across this forum. I'm surprised no-one has mentioned that Wisteria take about 7 years before they flower. I don't think one will survive long in even a big pot. They grow huge and eventually have very long, deep roots. As has been mentioned, they can bring down a support. I've known one to bring down a conservatory. I originally come from England where they are mostly grown up the walls of houses. I have seen them cover huge manor houses. They look absolutely gorgeous when in flower but are a great amount of work to look after, as they have to be consistantly pruned if they are to continue flowering and you can't just 'hack' them with shears, it has to be done methodically. Sorry to put a damper on your purchase. I think you would be better off, for your purpose, to grow, say, a clematis. They are easy to care for and grow quicky and come in a huge amount of colours and flower shapes. One of mine, called, summer snow, gets cut back to about 18ins. every Spring but then grows to over 20ft by the end of summer. Treat this purchase as a learning curve - that's how we gardeners learn, by making mistakes. I've been gardening for 40 years and I am still learning something new about gardening every day. It's part of the fun.
     
  16. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi it was mentioned that they take some time to flower but it may have been on another thread about Wisteria. I have to say mine definatley only took a couple of years to flower. (probably a runner not seed) I have seen them grown in pots, in fact I saw one today that is healthy and strong and being Bonsaied. (sp) The trick as far as my profuse grower goes is to wire it properly to where you want the main runners to grow and then make sure you prune it back to those main branches. I made the mistake of not doing this for the first couple of years and ended up with the back of a two storyhouse disappearing under a mass of leaves. Like any ornamental vine , even grape vines, they need pruning and given direction. These days I let it flower then I start to hand break off new runners that form at the bottom of the wisteria. If it runs up stairs I just give it a prune to stop it from taking off up into the roof and near by Birch tree and from there who knows where. The reason for this is the beautiful golden autumn show that I get hanging off the balcony. Once that is complete I prune it back to the main branches. (3) for the next cycle. I am in cool temperate so this may not work for the colder climates. I use the Wisteria as a form of summer shade. A bit like a flat tree.

    Liz
     
  17. BRgal

    BRgal Member

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    Good News! I have been growing my wisteria from a large pot for about 10 years now. I almost gave up on it because it took so long to flower. It just flowered last year! It drapes itself around the top railing of my sundeck. Right now, it is flowering ... beautiful fragrant lilac coloured blooms.

    Cheers!
     
  18. kia796

    kia796 Active Member

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    Good for you BRgal, bet you water it twice daily in a pot.
    There's nothing as pretty as wisteria blossoms...they're worth the wait.
     
  19. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    BRgal well done. Keep up the good growing. My balcony is a field of gold from the wisteria at the moment.

    Liz (glorious autumn day....still no rain coming)
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2007
  20. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Be careful pruning. The flowers are sort of on the old wood and look like tiny bunches of grapes as they develop in late winter. They are sort of a grey colour and then turn to mauve as they get bigger I would not prune straight after leaf fall unless you have my run away jungle. In fact let it go for a couple of years if it is a pot and see how vigorous it gets

    Can I suggest you put Wisteria in winter into Google image and you will see some great pics. Potted ones as well as pergola and balcony, Bonsai and some that are just coming out.

    Just found a good page for you to look at

    www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles0605/wisteria.asp

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1246.html

    Liz
     
  21. BRgal

    BRgal Member

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    Liz,
    Thank-you so much for the websites. I have been instinctively prune my wisteria both in the spring and in the fall to keeps it in the shape I want. To be truthful, I think the year before it bloomed I was pretty brutal to it! Perhaps it was shocked into blooming!

    I do love my wisteria. The leaves are so elegant.

    I have bookmarked the site for the pruning tips. Thanks again.

    B
     
  22. zilleye

    zilleye Member

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    Many thanks to all who posted replies to my request for advice. My Wisteria is in the 1/2 barrel and growing well. I have kept it pruned to three runners and will give it all the time it needs to either grow and flower, or not! I have nothing to lose by playing with it. Thanks again, Jill
     
  23. BRgal

    BRgal Member

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    Thanks for the update. A little sunshine, water and patience is all you need!

    Blessings!
    BRgal.
     
  24. Evsgardenplants

    Evsgardenplants Member

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    I purchased a Wisteria 3 years ago with the same name as you stated in your request.
    Cookes Purple Wisteria.....after buying this I emailed the very man who created this plant. You should know that this is NOT like your regular Wisterisa. First, it is much hardier than the others so those of us in Canada can enjoy this beautiful plant. It also does not become a "boa restrictor" type plant like the others. It will not bring your house down with its strength. You should prune it only once a year in the Spring after blooming. My plant was in a 3 gal. pot when I bought it and I planted it in the ground and it bloomed beautifully the first year, and the next and the next. I have not pruned it yet but I plan to next spring. The blooms come on the old wood. Unfortunately the fragrance is not as prolific as the other wisterias. It is relatively disease free and doesn't present any problems. If you really want to plant it in a pot, I would recommend you protect it each winter with either straw or burlap around the root system since it will not have the earth to protect it from the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw effect we see in Canada. If yours should die, the reason would be that it is in a pot.
    Hope this helps.
     
  25. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Try sinking a good sized pot into the gravel to help with the freeze protection. Also use the straw or what ever is the norm up there. I use the method of sinking pots to try and keep them cool and damp as we are on water restrictions. Maybe the same trick would work for your Wisteria against the winter cold. I would line the hole with straw or wood shavings then put the large pot in that and mulch and cover it. I am the proud owner of the Boa constrictor variety that is all over my 2 storey balcony :)

    Liz
     

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