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Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Care and Feeding of Wisteria

I wish that you could smell the fragrance of these blooms. The air of the whole back garden smells of sweet perfume of the blossoms.
Wisteria is the most gorgeous of vines. Rampant but beautiful.
The flowers and the foliage are lovely and it is a fast grower so is good for arbors.
The key to living with a Wisteria is control. They need trimming heavily in winter and a lighter pruning in fall. The vines should be kept out of trees, off power poles and roof tops of homes. Without a certain amount of supervision they quickly run amock and grow over, under and through all the surrounding area.
Watch for ground creeping tendrils also as they can emerge 20' away after growing along the ground below other plants.
Wisteria has long fuzzy pods that break open to drop dime-sized seeds. To avoid the pods clip the dead flower heads after bloom is over.
Feed the vines with a slow release fertilizer in spring and fall and let the rain wash in the granules. 'Osmocote' works well. Keep the area at the base of the vines clear to avoid suckers sprouting up and deforming the shape of the larger vines. Thin canes in the winter during the heavy pruning.
This vine is moderate water requiring and needs summer water to thrive. It is tolerant to many different soil types.
Enjoy but beware! Wisteria can be a beauty or a beast!

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