Wisterias as Pot Plants?

Wisteria frutescens
Wisteria frutescens-close up of blooms

When we think of Wisterias we think of large sprawling vines that look like they could bring down a house, not houseplants. Hard to tame, we forgive them because of their pendulous racemes of grape colored blooms that appear for a few weeks in late spring. But lost in our tangled affair with the Asian wisterias, is their more demure and timid cousin, the American wisteria (Wisteria fructescens). This one can be grown in a pot, though not quite a houseplant; and yes, it will bloom at this size.

I purchased one in an 8″ pot about 2 years ago, in bud of course, and was thrilled to have a wisteria in bloom on my small balcony. I trimmed the vines down as they started to grow too long and clipped away extraneous branches over time to create a more bonsai-like appearance. Once clipped in early summer, I found the plant did not attempt to throw out a lot of new vines but managed with what it had. The wisteria overwintered on my balcony (dropping all its leaves as in nature) with no special protection(I’m in zone 7b) . It rewarded me again with blooms the following spring.

This year I had twice as may flowering racemes but missed most of the show, which lasts two-three weeks, as I was traveling . I’ve posted a photo from last year so you can get an idea of how striking this plant is. Its still in the same pot, and receives no special treatment–full sun, a little trim after blooming, and a little fertilizer now and then. While it is not a houseplant, it can certainly be brought indoors so you can enjoy the flowers during a few weeks in the spring. And the rest of the year you can still enjoy the delicate foliage on this southeast USA native species.

Wisteria frutescens
Wisteria frutescens

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