This week is #NationalGardeningWeek and Saturday is also World Naked Gardening Day so the perfect time for an update from SE Fitness resident gardener Kate Rose:
“I know the rain is miserable and we are all missing being outside if we are lucky enough to have a garden or outdoor space, but our plants need it! Here is some information about Wisteria to keep you going until the sun shines.
Search #wisteriahysteria on social media and you will see some amazing photos of this fantastic ‘wow factor’ shrub. The scent is amazing too. It gladdens the heart at this difficult time. As with many glamorous plants, there is a knack to looking after it but it is not as tricky as you might think.
Some wisteria facts
The most popular Wisteria is Wisteria sinensis, or Chinese Wisteria. It has smaller racemes (the flowery bit!) than the slightly less common Wisteria floribunda (Japanese Wisteria). They are large, long lived plants (I think mine is at least 40!) and can grow up to 10m by 20, so be warned! Sinensis has anti clockwise twining stems, and the smaller racemes are better for walls, whereas Floribunda has clockwise stems and larger racemes, better for hanging down from arches and pergolas. There is one compact species that is happy in a large container and that’s Wisteria fructens ‘Amethyst Falls’. You can also grow them as standards in smaller gardens, but I prefer to see them roaming more freely!
Wisteria need sun, and moist but well drained soil – they do not like being waterlogged.
The most important thing to know is that if you buy a cheap plant from, say, a supermarket, it could take years, even decades, to flower! Wisteria can be propagated cheaply from seeds or cuttings, but they take an age to mature to flowering; up to 20 years from seed, and probably 5 or 6 from cuttings. Professional nurseries propagate plants from grafts, so if you want to avoid disappointment buy a plant already in flower, or a named cultivar as they are usually grafts.
Essential for good flowering! Wisteria are vigorous and need pruning twice a year once they have achieved the desired size; once in July/August to cut back the long whippy growth to about 6 leaves, and again in early spring to 2 or 3 buds. There is plenty of advice online as to how to do this.
Feed in Spring with Growmore or organic fertiliser like blood fish and bone, or rose feed.”
I look forward to seeing photos of your own Wisterias but please be careful with photos from your World Naked Gardening Day!