Bewitching and Stunning Wisteria

Bewitching Stunning Wisteria – Isn’t It In Fairy Tales?

My daughter has always been in love with wisteria.

She loves the twisted form it takes on as it grows. Certainly  wisteria is the twisted vine which surrounds every castle in a little girl’s fairy tales? You know Sleeping Beauty’s castle must have been surrounded by wisteria vines. And surely the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage was covered with it. And all the castles probably had those twisted, wonderful curling branches all over them.

Because of her love for this plant, I purchased a wisteria vine for her as a Mother’s Day gift several years ago. My only little girl had gotten married and given us a grandson. She and her husband purchased a home when their son Jacob was about 4 months old. She always dreamed of a patio/pergola out back covered with wisteria vines.

Bewitching Stunning Wisteria

So the next spring after moving there, I took her to our local nursery to purchase a vine. She chose Wisteria frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’ because it grows slower than its more rampant Asian version. They had just put in a new covered patio out back, and had the side  and a portion of the roof of the patio built as an open pergola. This would be the perfect spot for her wisteria, and we hoped it would climb this strongly built structure , but the blossoms would hang through the open roof.

Bewitching Wisteria

And it has turned out to be so gorgeous. It is hard to describe how beautiful it is. The scent just slightly hovers in the air, and the twisted branches are just marvelous to see. It will soon be self-supporting (if it isn’t already.)

This is a progression of how the vine appears as the weeks advance in the spring. (She has a Nelly Moser Clematis planted at the lower right. Vining together: awesome!)

Wall of Twisted Vines Beautiful Wisteria

The wisteria vines remain throughout the year and are so pretty against the structure. She keeps it trimmed away from the house and directs the growth on to the pergola.

Early April Wisteria Vines Huge Knots

I have heard that there are wisteria vines that are over a hundred years old and cover acres. That would be wonderful to see.  See it at Bored Panda here.

Beautiful Stunning Wisteria Base Twisted Vines

Look at the spiraling of the vine. Nature is determined to grab hold and never let you go.

Bewitching Stunning Wisteria begins to bloom

The network of vines grow more dense each year and my daughter is hoping for full coverage soon. But the network of overlapping vines is beautiful as it stands now. This is a photo of the racemes as they have just begun to form.

Sun Shining on Beautiful Wisteria

And here they have burst into blossom and gradually their own weight pulls them down, dangling into her patio. So perfect. And it just keeps getting better.

The year 2014 my daughter hosted a birthday party for Jacob. It was a Minecraft party and was so great. We made slime as one of the gifts for the kids.  He was eight years old that year which made the wisteria vine about six years old at the time.

I am not sure how old that vine was when purchased, but since it was blooming the first year, it may have been three years old?  Sadly, the vine burst forth with its blossoms about 10 days after the party.   And we had wanted everyone to see and admire it. But it was probably for the best.

Bewitching Stunning Wisteria - Wisteria frutescens 'Amethyst Falls'

A lot of kids, bees on flowers, not a great mix.

But it has been wonderful to watch it grow. Her pergola faces south on that side wall, so it gets a lot of sun. And it gets more twisted and contorted each year. Perhaps those 4×6 treated posts may need reinforcing some day?

This wisteria is a bee magnet, so she is doing a great thing for the pollinators. We have never been bothered by the bees as they hang up on the racemes above us. Her variety has racemes about 10 inches long.

When do you prune a Wisteria?

The best time to prune a wisteria, since it blooms on new growth, is during the late winter period. The vines are all bare then so you can clearly see what you are doing. So right now is not a perfect time since it is currently getting ready to bloom. I am located in Ohio so you may be into your blooming period already.  But once the blooming is over, trim it if you have some rogue vines.

What she does is prune off the smaller vines coming from a main branches. New growth will occur from those cuts and keep your vines more dense and compact. You can also trim after flowering to direct vines where you prefer them to grow.  Trim off the long “whips” since they are just a rogue looking for trouble.  😉  Great info here on Pruning Your Wisteria.

Do you have a wisteria? How do you control its growth over your support structure? Don’t you just love the “twistiness” of it?


  1. I’ve never had Wisteria anywhere that I’ve lived, and I’ve always rented so I cannot plant any. It is very beautiful, I love what you’ve done with it. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Beautiful plant I have one that is 15 years old and has only bloomed twice for me. I think I may be pruning at the wrong time or the wrong place . would you share with me your pruning knowledge.?
    thanks so much .sally

    1. Kim Smith says:

      To the best of my knowledge, it should be pruned back a lot just after it blooms and some more in late winter too if you are concerned about it getting too big. The best info is here if you would like to read this:

  3. That is cool you are having that vine grow all over your pergola. I have seen it props to simulate things like that for movies, but it would be awesome to see the real thing. I would do it in my yard, but I am notorious for killing anything other than smaller flowers.

  4. Just bought my 6yr old grandson a wisteria vine for his kindergarten graduation { yes that’s what h asked for] it’s about 5ft tall blooming and in a 5 gal bucket I want to make sure I replant it right?? And how do I trim it back if necessary? Love your site

    1. Oh, how sweet, he is a gardener in the making. He can take over for P Allen Smith. I think your wisteria should plant easily, just don’t plant it deeper than it is now growing in the bucket. Be sure to plant it near something STRONG for it to grow on because it will get big. My daughter tries to keep it away from the house. All parts of this plant, especially the seeds, are poisonous. As I understand, it blooms on newer growth. Here in Ohio, we cut back in late winter (Late Feb or Mar). It blooms here in late May. When it is finished, you can prune it back again to keep it from getting too big or overwhelming the structure. Here is the best info, I think:

    1. Thanks for visiting, Renee. Just a really lovely plant.

  5. Thanks for this post. My husband just started growing it this spring. We’re really happy to find out this is a bee magnet. We want to help out the bees and have something pretty. We’re hoping it is prolific. My husband is a diligent gardener so I’m sure he’ll keep it where he wants it.

    1. Hi Kim, Yes this will attract the bees and it will grow like crazy. Give it time to get started and it make such a pretty architectural plant for the garden.

  6. Wisteria is one of my favorites! When those big purple bunches pop out I know spring is really here! Loved this article!

    1. Thanks, Richi. I can just see the tumbling purple coming soon.

  7. Hi fellow Ohio gardener! Right now is a good time to take a fresh branch (not the woody stuff) to root it. Take off lower leaves and dip in rooting hormone. It will grow pretty easily. You might want to put it in the shade for the first couple weeks to relieve the stress of being cut and keep it moist and it should take off. They are easy to root, as you probably know, since they are rampant growers. Once it gets going, it can be planted where you want it. Keep watered well, and it will have a long time to develop roots before fall. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  8. Judy Mueller says:

    I bought a small wisteria about 10 years ago and planted it. Told it God Bless you and if you grow and thrive , I will then buy you a arched trellis to grow on. It did and now so beautiful. Located on a corner of the porch, it has to be pruned all during the growing season and then severely cut back in the fall. It would take over gutters and grow on roof, invasive big plant if you let it. Now my daughter wants a start of it or seeds and I do not know how to do that. Can you help? I also live in Ohio, like you.

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