Wisteria is a climbing plant belonging to the Fabaceae biological family, Faboideae subfamily, Fabales order, but few know that its real name is Wisteria, in homage to Kaspar Wistar, an American scholar.
Main characteristics of wisteria flowers
As many of you may know, this notably growing shrub generates very showy and fragrant flowers, which have made it very famous. In summer it develops a foliage with a characteristic deep green color, while the flowering takes place in the spring months.
The most known flowers are probably those of lilac-violet color, but there are many different colors.
Because the wisteria develops by twisting as a liana around any handhold it encounters on its path, both clockwise and contrary, it is particularly suitable to adorn the walls of the villas or to cover pergolas, fences and balconies of buildings.
According to the floral language, that is the particular interpretative code that attributes a precise meaning to each flower, the Wisteria represents the sacred value of friendship and therefore giving this plant to someone is an act of esteem, trust and openness towards him, a step for the construction or the celebration of a solid friendship relationship and in fact in ancient times the Japanese emperors, during their travels, were used to bring with them some bonsai specimens of Wisteria, to donate to the inhabitants of the new countries they were visiting, as a sign of peace.
How to proceed to give rise to the cultivation of wisteria
The wisteria has a trunk with a very particular conformation, which in the lower part is twisted, and then develops according to the supporting structures it meets along its path. This plant prefers clay and fresh soils, in very sunny places. It shows instead that it does not know how to adapt to calcareous soils.
As for watering, you must proceed with moderation, in order not to stimulate exaggerated and unwanted blooms. It must be said that during the winter months it is not necessary to water when the climate is rather rigid, in fact in these cases an excess of water can be harmful. In winter it is also good to suspend the fertilizations, because it would stimulate an excess production of the shoots that would expose the plant to the concrete danger of frosts.
It should be added that after a few years in pot the Wisteria should be removed from its place and planted in the earth, since its remarkable adult roots need to enjoy larger spaces to develop at its best. Therefore, if you are not in the possibility of carrying out this particular transplant it is advisable to practice a significant reduction of the root system itself, cutting it in a significant way, so as not to compromise the balance of the plant.
When multiplication takes place
As many of you may have noticed, this plant multiplies during the summer months and for some species you can practice grafting in the months of March or early April, except in cases of extraordinary weather conditions.
This particular type of shrub is very resistant to the action of cold and many diseases, and it is precisely these remarkable ability to adapt that is one of the secrets of its widespread use in all regions of Italy.
How and when to prune the Wisteria
Every year, before the resumption of the so-called vegetative activity, it is good to proceed to the pruning called a spur, leaving only some buds on the plant.
To perform the classic pruning operations in a perfect way it is good to proceed as follows: start cutting the side branches in July, and then finish the operation in the second place, during the winter. In the two distinct phases it will first be necessary to cut the new branches leaving 5 or 6 buds and then shorten them by 2 or 3 buds in winter.
In this way the evolution of the plant will be constantly monitored and the birth of new buds will also be stimulated. Proceeding with this technique one year after another, we will come to create the characteristic flowering branches that take the name of lamburde.
Some of the most widespread species of wisteria in the world
Among the most important species we must remember: the frutescens, very common in North America; the brachybotrys, typical of the Japanese area, which can easily reach lengths of 7-8 meters; the floribunda, which presents papilionaceous flowers of pink or blue color that form wonderful cluster-shaped inflorescences; the sinensis, of Chinese origin, rustic climbing plant with a particularly robust root structure and stems capable of measuring 10 meters.
Wisteria flowers: The history of this plant in brief
At the conclusion of our discussion we must remember that the wisteria arrived in Europe from America already in the eighteenth century, but it is only after the importation of the species of Asian origin that this plant has entered the hearts of farmers and simple gardening enthusiasts.