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Japanese wisteria

  • Climbing Plants
Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda 'Lawrence')
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)
Wisteria floribunda 'Lawrence'.



Origin and description

Wisteria is a twining climber that can grow to 5 metres. Its dense deciduous leaves are composed of 13 to 19 pale green oval leaflets. It has spectacular flower clusters up to 1.8 m long. Unfortunately, in our area the flower buds often don’t survive our harsh winters, so the plants can’t always be expected to bloom. However, the shape and foliage of these shrubs add ornamental interest to a garden.

Species, cultivars and related plants

'Praecox' is a cultivar recognized for its abundant blooms, which however are as uncertain as the blooms of the species.

Common name

Japanese wisteria

Latin name (genus)

Wisteria floribunda

English common name

French common name

Botanical family

  • Leguminocae

Growing conditions

Japanese wisteria requires rich, well-draining soil, in a sunny location protected from prevailing winds and with good snow cover (a closed courtyard or area with a wind break). Winter protection may be helpful.

Easy to grow?

It generally takes six to ten years for wisteria to be mature enough to bloom.

Watering and fertilizer

A yearly application of a phosphorus-rich fertilizer (15-30-15) in early summer will help promote the formation of flower buds.

Pruning and maintenance

In the first few winters, you can lay the plant down on the ground and cover it with a good layer of mulch. But once it is grown up and around its support it will be impossible to unravel it without breaking its branches. You can then provide winter protection by covering it with insulating fabric or jute cloth.


Wisteria can be grown in containers. Potted wisteria require at least three months in a cold greenhouse or in a very cool location at a temperature of 3 to 4°C (but not below –10°C).


  • Zone 5b

See also

Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

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