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From: George Lockwood - The Gardeners Gardener!

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Email: georgelockwood@hotmail.co.uk

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Wisteria - An extremely hardy plant!
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Wisteria Vines climb by twining their stems either clockwise or counterclockwise round any available support. They can climb as high as 20 m above the ground and spread out 10 m laterally. The world's largest known Wisteria vine is in Sierra Madre, California, measuring more than 1 acre in size and weighing 250 tons. Planted in 1894, it is of the Chinese lavender variety.
The leaves are alternate, 15 to 35 cm long, pinnate, with 9 to 19 leaflets. The flowers are produced in pendulous racemes 10 to 80 cm long, similar to those of the genus Laburnum, but are purple, violet, pink or white. There is no yellow on the leaves. Flowering is in the spring
The flowers of some species are fragrant, most notably Chinese Wisteria. The seeds are produced in pods similar to those of Laburnum, and, like the seeds of that genus, are poisonous. Wisteria is an extremely hardy plant .Wisteria species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including brown-tail. Wisteria, especially Wisteria Sinensis, is very hardy and fast-growing.
It can grow in fairly poor-quality soils, but prefers fertile, moist, well-drained soil. They thrive in full sun. Wisteria can be propagated via hardwood cutting, softwood cuttings, or seed. However, specimens grown from seed can take decades to bloom; for this reason, gardeners usually grow plants that have been started from rooted cuttings or grafted cultivars known to flower well.[citation needed] Another reason for failure to bloom can be excessive fertilizer (particularly nitrogen). Wisteria has nitrogen fixing capability (provided by Rhizobia bacteria in root nodules), and thus mature plants may benefit from added potassium and phosphate, but not nitrogen.