In the recent garden parties I had at my home in Southern California, my guests fell in love with my wisteria vine.
I planted this about 8 years ago. It was simply one upright twig with a few nodes coming out, and a small set of leaves at the top end.
In terms of choosing a location for planting my wisteria, I chose one that was about 15 feet away from the house. I learned a lesson from before, as I had one planted right next to my bedroom. It was so beautiful and cascading on to the back porch, but after a couple of years, I saw some hairline cracks beginning on the exterior wall of the house. I had it removed right away.
I trained the twig to climb the wooden trellis and then it spread out and reached the wooden beam on my back porch. As the vine grows, you need a very sturdy support to hold it....thus, I had the wooden beam put up for that purpose. You can say that when I had my back yard porch made, it was designed with the wisteria vine in mind.
Wisteria blooms have somewhat of a sweet fragrance. I have the double-petaled variety, where the flowers have some white and purple parts, and a bit smaller than the single petaled ones. The blooms come out in early to mid spring, or when it starts to get sunny and warmer as it does in So. California. This year, the buds were out by early March...
in full bloom by the 3rd week of March, and lasted until Easter week.
Caring for this vine is fuss free. It likes deep, rich, moist soil, but will also survive in drier conditions. It needs to be pruned in the fall, when it looses it leaves, to keep it's growth under control, and pruning helps the roots from becoming too invasive. It does not do well in cold climates. For more information, check out the various sites about wisteria.
You, too, can have a beautiful wisteria plant in your garden! Now would be a good time to plant one. Go visit your local nursery and choose a Chinese or Japanese variety.