An arbor covered in flowering vines always makes a statement, but a wisteria arbor is a real showstopper. Sporting long clusters of blooms and a heady fragrance to match, wisteria vines grow quickly and vigorously, requiring little upkeep beyond an annual pruning.
There are several varieties of wisteria plants on the market, with bloom colors ranging from white to pink, and of course the more familiar lilac-blue. When buying a wisteria vine, be sure to check with your local nursery staff to make sure that the variety you’ve chosen will handle the colder months where you live; but a few are more sensitive.
It does best as a feature planting in a lawn or near a patio where it can be kept from strangling other plants. The vines must be trained on some sturdy support; arbors, pergolas, and fences make good options but feel free to get creative. Just keep in mind that you will need to have easy access to keep the vines maintained; if left unpruned, vines can grow massive enough to collapse their supports. Make sure you also have access to the base of the vine so you can remove any “sucker” vines that may sprout there.
Prune your wisteria plants throughout the growing season to keep them shaped. The goal is with shaping is to maintain a single leader vine with offshoots about a foot and a half apart. Clip or pinch away new growth as it appears in unwanted locations. Before winter sets in, give the vine a more massive pruning. Remove any dead shoots, clear out spaces where vines are crowding one another, and cut back the side shoots to about twelve inches away from the leader vine. This will promote vigorous growth and bloom in the spring.