Saturday, August 28, 2010

Out of the Blue - My Mysterious Wisteria

One of my most favorite blooms has always been the heavenly Wisteria vine even though I had never seen one except in photographs. Since my home is in the northern part of the Midwest, the beautiful Wisteria was always unavailable to me, too delicate for our harsh winters. Then early in 2009 I discovered a winter hardy variety from Minnesota (W. macrostachys) the cultivar 'Blue Moon'. I found a nursery online where there were cultivars available and ordered two plants. While I waited for the plants to arrive I secured heavy wire supports to my deck railings so the vines would not have to climb directly on the deck supports. The wire would keep the vines several inches away from the decking structure so as not to weigh too heavily on it. The planting was easy and the summer of 2009 produced a healthy vine with no blossoms just as I expected of a new plant. I wondered how it would winter over but the plant was described as hardy to -40℉ so I was not too concerned.

In Spring 2010 I was disappointed to see that the wonderfully twisted woody vines were both broken off at the base of the plants, probably due to the snow and ice. The 15 foot previous summer's growth was now dead. I wasn't sure if the plants would send out new shoots again or not, but in no time at all the new growth was vigorous and prolific. However Wisteria are not quick bloomers, sometimes taking 10-15 years to produce the flowers called racemes. However this new winter hardy variety was said to bloom in 2-3 years and surprisingly repeat throughout the season.

Since the plants had to start their growth all over this summer after breaking off last winter, I was not expecting to see any blossoms for at least a year or two. But to my delighted amazement this week I was astonished to see beautiful blue lilac pendulous 12" racemes - an unexpected late summer gift! Now I need to learn how to prune the twining vines and stabilize the plants at the base to keep the snow and ice from breaking the vines off again. And I am already envisioning even more blossoms to thrill me next summer.

There was another surprise blooming this month! My bowl of succulents presented me with some beautiful color too!


  1. Wonderful story. Wisteria's one of my very favorite flowers. They smell heavenly too.

  2. Maureen, your wisteria is beautiful. Since I'm from Iowa and Missouri, I had never seen wisteria until I moved to Florida in 2002, and it is such a lovely plant. I'm so happy for you that you found one that lives up north!

  3. I love those kinds of surprises! Beautiful!

  4. Gorgeous wisteria! And love your succuelents too, the only one that blooms for me is aloe, so I love seeing the display from your dish.


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