Does Wisteria Go Around Corners?

A most noticeable omission from the May Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day was the Wisteria we have. Not to worry though, it’s still alive and well, but didn’t appreciate the cold Spring weather. That delayed flowering so that it was just getting started around mid-May, and should be finishing around mid-June. In the scheme of things its still a young plant and doesn’t have enough oomph (botanical term) to put all the flowers out in one big show, so we get sections that start bare after the winter, bud, flower then leaf all at different times.

In its fifth year, the vine now stretches almost ten metres in horizontal length as it folds and concertinas itself around the various walls of the house. As the path runs underneath, it lets you get up-close and personal to see the flowers, and sniff their scent (although you don’t need to get close to be able to smell it). As the flowers fade, they fall on the path, and decorate it with flakes of purple. There aren’t enough to cover the ground yet, like the cherry blossom does, but it’s a romantic touch never-the-less.

Wisteria Corner

Given a sturdy wire run, supporting ties and a bit of yellow split-hosepipe (to protect the stem on sharp edges), Wisteria will easily wander around corners as demonstrated in the image. Along the way it will also help itself to eaves, drainpipes and external cabling such as aerial wires. It can be restricted, but that involves getting the long ladder out and often a spare pair of underpants. I am still letting our vine find the extremities and expect it will take a few more years yet. This is a long-term project split into several well-defined phases:

  1. Plant Wisteria (done)
  2. Allow to grow and find extremities (in progress)
  3. Allow to bush out and fill in gaps
  4. Prune for flowering
  5. Feel smug as house is enveloped in Wisteria. Organise spring visits from coach parties.

We’re on phase 2 at the moment, and will be for a while, but it has been an absolute joy to see this plant get bigger and more impressive each year. With a bit of help from the washing line, a couple of leading runners have just about managed to go around the final corner at the back of the house so we may even have flowers hanging down in front of the patio doors for next year!

12 Comments


  1. Your Wisteria is taking good shape Sunil. They do grow in Aberdeen and would be very likely to grow round corners to reach the sun if necessary. Only the ones with plenty oomph survive though.

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    1. Hi Alistair, thanks. They’re all over the place down here in this part of the country and grow vigorously, but they get much rarer if you head north. I hadn’t seen any and so I thought they just weren’t hardy enough, it’s good that they can survive as far up as Aberdeen. I suspect the first few years after planting are the most critical. More people and houses should be introduced to this incredible plant.

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  2. Good thing you remembered to italicize oomph, since it is a botanical term. Don’t forget the wisteria merchandise – mugs, t-shirts – for the coach parties.

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    1. Haha, yes and Wisteria soaps, bath & shower, cakes and remedies! Unfortunately, where we are there is a lot of competition for tourists from much more established and larger vines.

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    1. Hi Jean, I’d love to have the house covered but I haven’t got the nerve to get that high up the ladder and by the time I need to, I’d barely be able to handle stairs, let alone a ladder! One can dream, though.

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  3. The comment about the underwear and coach parties made made laugh. I think the wisteria will sneak into your house and put its head on your pillow if you’re not careful.

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    1. Hi Tammy, I really don’t like getting up the ladder much, I’m trying to cling on to this rickety metal thing while I’ve got twine and wire and scissors in various pockets trying to reach round and get them, one handed, without tipping over or falling off. It’s just not pleasant but at least I only need to do it a couple of times a year. I could train one of the vine runners to go up the roof and guide it straight through the velux windows in my bedroom but I’d get caught!

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  4. Sunil, am I correct that there is a wisteria at Hampton Court that has roots that reach to the Thames? I’m sure yours will rival the royal one in no time flat! It is beautiful and I did not know they will flower for a full month. I’ll get my coach reservation for next year now!

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    1. Hi Lynn, I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it is has been there for long enough. Ours flowers over a long period because it only does certain parts at any one time. I’m looking forward to you turning up by coach!

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    1. I managed to do what I intended to do 🙂

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