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Glycine or wisteria: characteristics and care

Glycine or wisteria: characteristics and care

Wisteria, also called wisteria or wisteria, is one of the plants most used by decorators and gardeners to cover large structures such as pergolas or walls. His name actually refers to the entire genus Wisteriawith different species.

Its spectacular flowering, with hanging inflorescences of mainly lilac and white tones, is one of the most striking and appreciated among climbing plants, thus creating spaces with a unique charm. The wisteria also has a great growth capacity to cover large surfaces in a short time, another of its strengths. If you want to learn more about this beautiful plant of Asian origin, join us in this EcologíaVerde article where you will find a complete guide on the characteristics and care of wisteria or wisteria.

Glycine or wisteria: characteristics

These are the main characteristics of the wisteria or wisteria plant:

  • It can climb heights of up to 20 meters.
  • It has groups of flowers or inflorescences up to 1 meter.
  • Live up to 100 years.
  • It is deciduous.
  • It has its origin in China and Japan.
  • Its pods and seeds are toxic if ingested.

After knowing some of its characteristics, let’s see how to care for a wisteria plant, stopping to talk about each type of care.

Glycine or wisteria: characteristics and care - Glycine or wisteria: characteristics

Location and climate for wisteria

To get to know the wisteria or wisteria carewe must bear in mind that it is a plant of mild weather. It can withstand high temperatures in hot climates, but in summer the plant will suffer and may need more attention. Frosts, on the other hand, can withstand them, as long as they are not of great intensity.

Regarding its location, light is a very important requirement for glycine. It can develop in semi-shade locations, but the more sun it receives, the better and more abundant its flowering will be.

Glycine or wisteria: characteristics and care - Location and climate for wisteria

substrate or soil

In this sense, the most important thing is that the plant has a great depth of soil, since its root system is very extensive. Wisteria do not do well in calcareous soils, which can lead to iron chlorosis, but they do not have a problem with those of acid pH, which even favor them. In addition, it is also necessary that the soil offers a good drainage.


Wisteria can survive periods of drought, but if we want to do the different aspects of wisteria or wisteria care well and, thus, these climbing plants give abundant flowering, then it will be necessary to water them frequently in the warm months. When watering them frequently in the hot season, try to maintain some moisture in the substrate constantly, although always without flooding.

In this other gardening guide you can learn more about When to water the plants.

wisteria bloom

One of the most common questions with this bush is how long does wisteria take to bloom. And it is that, if we plant it from seed, we may have to wait between 10 and 15 years to see its first bloom. Thus, if your wisteria is less than 15 years old and you have not yet seen its flowers, do not get impatient and continue taking care of it. If we have multiplied it from a cutting, a very common practice, we will be able to see flowers in only 3 years.

Instead, if what we are asking is when do wisteria bloomonce the plant is old enough to produce flowers, they begin to produce them in spring and last all season. The flowers of the wisteria, which are also called Ffeather flowerThey have shades between purple and white. Thus, we can see, according to their flowers, these types:

  • Purple or lilac wisteria.
  • blue wisteria.
  • pink wisteria.
  • white wisteria.

For example, in the photos of this article we can see the plant of wisteria in bloom in lilac, pink and white tones.

Glycine or wisteria: characteristics and care - Flowering of the wisteria

How and when to prune a wisteria

Due to the incessant growth of this plant while it is in good condition, it may be necessary to prune wisteria up to three times a year: in spring, summer and autumn.

The goal when pruning is always to stimulate the growth of as many lateral shoots as possible, pinching off the growing stems until we cover the desired area. In spring, the new shoots should be guided where it suits us to entangle them and prune those of the stem, while in summer and autumn we will cut the new shoots to between 5 and 10 cm.


like many climbing plantsthe wisteria needs a tutored so that its stems cling to it and grow coiling around it. However, it must be taken into account that it is a very strong plant and, therefore, over time it could deform or crush supports such as hollow tubes. Thus, the best option is to use steel cables, which the plant will not break or deform excessively.

If you like this type of plants to decorate outdoor areas, here we show you 24 climbing plants.

Glycine or wisteria: characteristics and care - Entutorado

Can a wisteria be grown in a pot?

Since wisterias have a very vigorous bearing, their roots tend to spread out a lot to support them well. If they are grown in a pot or container, the plant will soon take up all the available space, causing it to grow much less and its flowering to be less abundant, so, in principle, it is always better to plant them in the ground. However, the survival of the plant is possible in a pot. So the question is: When can a wisteria be transplanted?

The transplanting the wisteria plant in a pot It has to be done in spring or immediately after the flowering period of the plant ends. It is a good time to be able to cut the roots of the plant, thus allowing it to grow back and give abundant flowering.

This should be repeated approx. every 2 or 3 years, at which time the root system will have reoccupied the available space and it will be necessary to cut it and renew the substrate again, it being better if, in addition, we offer the plant a larger container. Here we explain when and how to transplant a plant.

List of species of wisteria or wisteria

These are the names of the different wisteria plant species:

  • Wisteria brachybotrys or silky glycine
  • Wisteria brevidentata
  • floribunda wisteria or Japanese wisteria
  • wisteria formosa
  • Wisteria frutescens or American wisteria
  • Wisteria sinensis or Chinese wisteria
  • windy wisteria
  • Wisteria villosa

Likewise, there are also those who grow wisteria bonsai.

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