Wisteria

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

I wish I had known what I know now... it's climbing up the side of the house, under the porch and trying to get in the windows. If you just have to have this plant, be sure it has lots of room to run and you plant it far away from your house .. maybe a couple of acres away!!

Judy

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

I'm actually trying to get mine to grow. I've already killed 2 and just purchased my third. I'm going to try to train it as a standard. We'll see... :-) Tamara

The Chinese Wisteria is well documented as being invasive and it frequently does exactly what judeycooksey described. The Latin name is Wisteria sinensis. Unfortunately Japanese Wisteria is as bad or worse. The Latin name for Japanese Wisteria is Wisteria floribunda. There is another popular Wisteria out there that is mild mannered and equally as beautiful, Kentucky/American Wisteria. W. frutescens (synonymous with W. macrostachya) also has several lovely cultivars that are available. W. frutescens is much better behaved than its Chinese and Japanese cousins.
W. http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch?keywordquery=wisteria+frutescens&mode=sciname&submit.x=12&submit.y=7

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

I don't have any wisteria, and have no desire to have wisteria, but thought I would share what a landscaper once told me. He said if you decide to plant wisteria, consider first if your descendants will also desire wisteria, as they will be dealing with it unto the fourth and fifth generations.

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

I certainly can believe that!!!

Judy

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

I used to have a wisteria trained to a tree form in my front yard. It quickly got out of control so I cut it down. Now I have wisteria sprouts coming up everywhere in my lawn. I mow them down with the lawn mower everytime I cut grass. That's been going on for about 4 years now, and it is still coming back.

Hawthorne, FL(Zone 8b)

The feral Chinese Wisteria was in bloom here a few weeks ago. It is very common along old railroad cuts, near old homesteads...major pest in North Florida. (Only a few areas around here have kudzu, fortunately, and wisteria isn't quite that bad by comparison.) Just say NO; the American varieties aren't as wildly vigorous but they aren't pest plants either. I forget which herbicides are used in attempts to control feral wisterias here...Roundup maybe, or some of the brush-killers favored by power companies...

Mark., not quite as bad as the so-called mimosa trees though

Hopkinsville, KY(Zone 6b)

My dad spent years doing constant battle with the wisteria that my grandmother had planted 60 years ago. I remember on one of my last trips home before he passed, he took me out to the edge of the garden where he showed me the stark, dead trunk of one wisteria vine, as big around as the calf of my leg, that he'd managed to kill by cutting it off and treating repeatedly with Tordon, every time it threw out a new shoot.
Personally, I think kudzu has more redeeming properties - at least it's edible.

Mary Esther, FL(Zone 8b)

I keep my Chinese Wisteria in a pot to make sure it doesn't spread to anywhere. I cant believe that a company sent it to me by mail order. The company I ordered it from never informed me that it was considered invasive, until I researched it online and discovered before I put it in my yard. Its a horrible, evil wicked plant that should be slashed and burned.

Thornville, OH

I guess i disagree with everyone...i know it's invasive, i've grown it before, but since i've moved i wouldn't mind more of it, i don't mind mowing it in the grass or training it...if anyone has small starts of it let me know, my Mom wants some more too...mark perhaps we can trade something!

Chesapeake Beach, MD

Mark, with all due respect, the invasive plants forum is probably not an appropriate place to be seeking more asian wisteria.

Please keep in mind that the problems which asian wisterias cause are not limited to your yard. Yes, you may be willing to try to control it in your yard, but will subsequent owners? And, even worse, asian wisteria isn't just aggressive in the home landscape, it is it highly invasive and destructive when it escapes to natural areas.

If you and your mother really want wisteria, then I strongly suggest investigating obtaining the much better behaved and not ecologically harmful native wistiera -- wisteria frutescens. W. frutescens is increasingly readily available in the retail trade. An added benefit is that it usually blooms more readily in cultivation that the asian wisterias do.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

One of the dangers with asian wisteria is the long runners. You may think you have it under control only for the roots to run underground into the neightbors yard. They may not control it and let it come to seed when it pops up over there. Once that happens, it's too late. It's going to be everywhere!

I don't know quite what to say other than to echo MaryMD7's sentiments. I don't think it's appropriate to ask to trade for plants such as Butterfly Bush, Bamboo, Burning Bushes or any other plant that is a documented invasive species and/or known noxious weed. When one does this, one is promoting the spread of same to even more natural areas and the tax payer gets stuck with the clean up bill.

Hawthorne, FL(Zone 8b)

Well, there's bamboo and bamboo. The so-called "heavenly bamboo" is Nandina domestica, related to barberry and not a true bamboo. Down here that's way invasive, laregly because birds eat its fruit and the seeds everywhere. Real bamboos...well, there are clumpers and runners (and a few in between). Most temperate species are runners and will be locally invasive, spreading by roots, but they very rarely flower and set seed (and usually the bamboo clump is monocarpic, flowering once and dying). They're invasive in the sense that they can take over a patch of ground, but not in the sense that they spread readily in other ways. There are few cold-hardy clumpers...the clumps just get bigger over time with those.

Hico, TX(Zone 7b)

I agree with cclarkkent that the mail order catalogs should be more clear about how the plants they sell spread. And they shouldn't be allowed to sell documented invasive plants at all, unless it is to the country from which they came.
So many of the invasive plants have a Japanese or Chinese hint in their botanic names, but some come from Europe.
Many plants are what I call "sterile" plants. A lot of people like to use these plants in their yard b/c they don't invade, they don't make a "mess" or do anything. And they don't. They don't feed the birds or butterflies native to our areas. Most of the time they don't even provide the cover that our native birds prefer. This allows the European starlings and European sparrows to proliferate. We have so many beautiful native birds and they are so badly in need of support. Isn't that sad?
There are some neighborhoods that I have driven through where a bird of any kind is a rare sighting, their yards are so "sterile".

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Equilibrium wrote: "I don't think it's appropriate to ask to trade for plants such as Butterfly Bush, Bamboo, Burning Bushes or any other plant that is a documented invasive species and/or known noxious weed. When one does this, one is promoting the spread of same to even more natural areas...."

I echo this sentiment and think perhaps Dave's might have a list of invasives for folks to check before trading, though maybe it's in the trading primer, and I don't remember reading it. Since joining in February, I've traded for, or with, at least three invasive plants and I might have done more, except purple loosestrife came up in a thread, and prompted more research. In looking at plant trades, I see offers for invasives that are listed in many states.

Certainly the information shared here has added a new dimension to my gardening.

My husband isn't going to like it when I dig the wisteria up. I'm sure it's the wrong kind. Planted it when we bought the house two years ago because we were so taken with the wisteria around Santa Clara College when we visited there. Maybe he won't notice that it's gone.

Hope it's not too late to nail it.
This sure adds a new dimension to gardening. It's a rare thing to deliberately kill something I've purchased (not cheap, either), planted, and enthusiastically waited for blooms from! Learning to research, research, research.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

I was at a friends house this morning and I hate to say it but, I tore off the seedpods of her wisteria and put them in my pocket so I could bring them home and throw them in the trash. I dont think she will ever notice.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

So sneaky! lol Good for you!
I just learned that wisteria is not listed as invasive in CA! What a surprise, since we're the same zone.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

It may be because CA is drier. Wisteria thrives in a moist and humid climate.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Well, that's my good news for the day, since the buddelia (sp) has to go. I find it odd to call this area dry, considering it rains endlessly during the winter months. But summer is dry.

Winchester, VA(Zone 6a)

Anyone heard of "Austrailian" wisteria?? Just planted it. I will pull it up if it's as bad as the others!

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

Is it Millettia megasperma ? I just looked it up. Never heard of it before. I wonder if its even related to the common wisterias.

I went for a search for Australian Wisteria and pulled up a bunch of Comfort Inns for people traveling. Eeek. I probed a little bit more and read a few documents and it would appear some Australians are referring to Wisteria sinensis as being Australian Wisteria. Maybe the Chinese Wisteria has been around so long that they are referring to it as Australian?

If the vine you have is Millettia megasperma which escambiaguy found... doesn't look like anything I'd want growing by me. It's a member of the Fabaceae family which raises my eyebrow a tad and I found a few links with descriptions of it-
http://www.davidmcminn.com/ngc/pages/exoticvines.htm
http://www.davidmcminn.com/ngc/pages/nativevines.htm

Do you have the tag or can you call the nursery where you bought it and ask them what the Latin name of your vine is?

Mary Esther, FL(Zone 8b)

OMG.. home dept is selling Chinese Wisteria .... cant miss those purple blooms..

Yes; so is WalMart, and Lowes, ShopKo, and Menards... and every other big box store out there. Might as well toss in K-Mart too because they had it last year although I haven't been there this year. Oddly enough, most of the privately owned nurseries around here are selling it too.

For what it's worth, I picked up a great Wisteria macrostacha 'Clara Mack' from Lowes a few days ago. If you pick through their garbage, you can sometimes find a few nice plants. Which reminds me, I'd like to get that plant in the ground today or tomorrow. Speaking of highly invasive plants, has any one noticed the rows and rows of Japanese Barberry out there for sale this year? This one nursery I frequent had something like 16 different cultivars available and people were buying them like popcorn. I saw one woman walking through all of them and passing them over to her husband to load into their carts (notice the plural on that) and they appeared to be taking one of each. They had them in 1 gallons, 2.5 gallons, and 5 gallon containers for sale.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

I did see some native wisteria "Amethyst Falls" for sale at Target. They were on a little trellis stuck in a pot.

This message was edited Jun 17, 2006 11:28 AM

Plainfield, NJ(Zone 6b)

OK, so this gardener has a sadistic, vengeful streak in her. My only close neighbor violated all sorts of town ordinances and common courtesy by building an ugly wooden carport about 10 feet off of my property line. It's in the back, mostly unused portion of my land behind the garage where we seldom even visit. When I spoke to the neighbor about the overly close proximity to my border and the possible problems with drainage it may present, they rudely blew me off and said that the "builders" knew what they were doing and it was really none of my business.
So...I happily planted 2 Chinese Wisteria on the very edge of my property where it is vigorously growing toward the unsightly new carport. Within a few years, it is sure to cover their ugly construction, provide me with long distance beauty and fragrance, and totally block the view of a ghastly structure. Sometimes, poetic justice prevails.
;-)

This message was edited Jun 21, 2006 11:29 PM

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Oh my, I just don't know what to say ...... one thing for sure there isn't any fragrance and since you are so far north of us, perhaps it will not give you a problem.

Judy

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

And since it will be growing on their structure, they are free to cut it back to the point of their land. If they're truly some neighbors from heck, they just might spray it with brush round-up. Then you might also be soo lucky, like escambiaguy, and get little sprouts coming up all over. If they violated all sorts of town ordinances and common courtesy, why wouldn't you contact the zoning official in your area?

Judy, back about 60 years ago, my grandma's BIL brought her some from the farm she grew up on. Grandma lived here, in IL, zone 5. When the guy doing the mowing cut it down on grandma's request, it was a never ending saga of baby wisteria's. Why anybody would knowingly plant one is beyond me.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

LadyCleo, you may have these in your lawn shortly. I've been fighting these for three years.

Thumbnail by escambiaguy
Plainfield, NJ(Zone 6b)

Perhaps you are all correct, and my act will come back to bite me. If so, I deserve the return of bad energy. Since these neighbors have never cut down anything of their own volition, including wild grape vines, locust trees, or raspberry canes, I sincerely doubt that this wisteria will get any attention from them. I have planted daffodils, forget-me-nots, forthysia and day lilies on their property as a kindness without them ever noticing. If the wisteria sprouts in my yard, so be it. It is in a far back corner where it will do no harm. As far as using and herbicide--no chance. When they first moved in 15 years ago and I pointed out that the brush Gus was walking through with shorts and sandals on was poison ivy, he did nothing but thank me with a blank look on his face. I pulled and burned it for them for years without them noticing. As far as contacting the athorities, I prefer not to contact the law unless some harm is being done to a person or creature. Making enemies with a neighbor is a bad thing. Plant a beautiful, if invasive vine is another.
Judycooksey, sometimes wisteria does have a lovely fragrance here in NJ. We notice it at the garden center on sunny moist mornings when it is in bloom on our trellises there. Has anyone else noticed a fragrance or lack of it? Interesting how plants behave differently in different places.
I do apologize if I have offended anyone with my post. I guess I got off to a bad start here. My bad.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

The real danger isn't really if they take over a corner of your backyard. The real danger is if they set seed. The seed pods look like beans and birds do sometimes eat them and drop them in places they shouldn't be. If they get in the forest, then they start climbing and strangling trees. That is why they are considered invasive.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

LadyCleo, I don't think you offended anyone. We were just trying to let you know what the inevitable is with this plant. Burning poison ivy is highly frowned upon. Burning poison ivy plants can send microscopic droplets of uroshiol into the air. Anyone who has an allergic reaction to poison ivy, can then get the rash even though they've never come into direct contact with it. Calling the law on somebody who isn't following codes and regulations, is not doing anything wrong. That headache might come back if or when you ever sell your home.
Are you new here? If so, welcome!

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

LadyCleo, welcome to Dave's!!!

Judy

(Zone 10b)

I was really conflicted about my prized wisteria. It was among the first plants I placed in the garden so it had a lot of sentimental value. For the longest time, I pictured having the perfect wisteria that I could enjoy in my garden. It was only recently that I began taking an interest in indigenous landscapes and it didn't take long to figure out how destuctive something as poetic as a wisteria can be. I've read many anecdotes of wisterias monopolizing a garden and even sending down runners distant from the mother plant. As important as wisteria was to me, the idea of having wisteria encroach on spaces where it's not welcome was enough to tear down the wisteria.

But on another note, I wish more people would see how damaging invasive plants can be. There was this little old lady who lived next door and it was plain as day that she loved gardening. She planted all sorts of pretty plants that she took good care of. The problem was that once she moved out and non gardening neighbors moved in, all it took was a little bit of time before all her plants started spreading like wildfire. Our neighborhood is full of passion flowers that are clamouring up trees and shrubs and they are indestructible. Even in my own yard, they're difficult to keep up with because over the years, they've adapted and are drought tolerant. There's also a smattering of invasives growing in any unused spaces that can be traced to her yard. What I know all too well is that we have to garden responsibly and think in terms of long-term ramifications. Even if I were to be really vigilant about watching over my wisteria, if I move out or die, the wisteria can easily take a life of its own.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

GreenLife, isn't it weird when you get it? You think you know what you know, only to discover that you don't know a thing.

(Zone 10b)

terryr,

It is very humbling. No doubt. There's just so much to nature that I didn't know until I started paying attention to the land.

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

We just need to communicate!!!! I can rip out your poison ivy or oak for you... but you must turn around and rip out the "cow itch" for me. Don't you think it is remarkable that I'm not allergic to poison oak or ivy but cow itch will cause me to take to my bed itching like crazy.

Judy

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

terryr wrote, "....isn't it weird when you get it? You think you know what you know, only to discover that you don't know a thing."

Then there is also that feeling of desperately needing to share what little bit I know with others.

I live on an Indian reservation and no one (so far) believes me about the buddleia. They say it has to be native because it's been here for as long as they can remember (say 25-50 years) and back then, no one ever bought nursery plants. But the wind blows, birds fly, and the river flows, so seeds go everywhere. It saddens me to see them in bloom on the roadside now.

I'm glad my wisteria is no threat here, so far as I've discovered (please tell me if someone knows otherwise), but I will be sure not to let the seeds go.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Would somebody please link this thread to the one in planting trading offering wisteria? Just please, somebody, tell those people....

sigh...can't be me. I'm too sensitive, despite my outward demeanor of toughness. I want to trade plants, yet whenever I look at that forum and see trades such as this, I feel so sad.
http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/625455/#top

This message was edited Jul 13, 2006 4:59 PM

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