Wisteria (Texas Purple)

Wisteria floribunda¬† ‘Texas Purple’

  • can be trained into a tree-like form
  • typically reaches heights of 35′, but can grow higher.
  • a hefty vine that climbs by twining around structures
  • vines can grow to several inches in diameter
  • strong, sturdy support structures are needed for this plant due to weight

A richly colored and precociously blooming selection of a deciduous woody vine that has been cultivated for centuries in its native Japan, ‘Texas Purple’ bears its tresses of intense blue purple and lavender blossoms even on young plants. The chains of fragrant pea-flowers open sequentially from the base of the flower cluster in late spring. The fragrant blossoms are followed by velvety green bean-like seedpods. The compound foliage is light green and lush. This vigorous twiner grows rapidly into a massive plant that can engulf pergolas and other structures.

Wisteria prefers full sun and humus-rich, well-drained soil. Soil that is too high in nitrogen may promote leafage at the expense of flowers. The beauty of these blossoms deserves to be front and center in spring so plant in high profile locations such as walkway arbors. Train youngsters to spiral up arbor posts to create a very cool look when the stem thickens with maturity. Prune side branches back to a few buds in late winter, and remove any out-of-bounds growth in summer.

Japanese wisteria can be trained as a small tree by staking a shoot upright, removing side shoots and restraining the top shoots by pruning for several years until the stem is self-supporting. This species is listed as an exotic invasive in several areas including the eastern United States.

Beware of runners invading roofing and eaves, which can eventually cause structural damage if not promptly removed.