Rooting wisteria from cuttings

Rooting Wisteria Plants: How To Propagate Wisteria From Cuttings

In addition to propagating wisteria seeds, you can also take cuttings. Are you wondering, “How do you grow wisteria from cuttings?” Growing wisteria cuttings is not difficult at all. In fact, it is the easiest way in how to propagate wisteria. You can grow wisteria cuttings from leftover prunings, rooting wisteria plants to share with everyone you know.

How to Propagate Wisteria Cuttings

Taking Wisteria Cuttings

Propagating wisteria from cuttings starts with getting the cuttings. As mentioned, a great source of cuttings can come from pruning wisteria, but you can also take wisteria cuttings from the plant specifically for rooting wisteria plants.

Cuttings of wisteria need to be taken from the softwood. This is wood that is still green and has not developed woody bark. The cutting should be about 3 to 6 inches long and have at least two sets of leaves on the cutting.

Wisteria cuttings root best if taken in late spring or early summer.

Preparing Wisteria Cuttings for Rooting

Once you have the cutting, remove any sets of leaves found on the lower half of the wisteria cutting. These will be the main points where new roots will develop. Trim the cutting so that the lowest node (where the leaves you just removed were) are 1/2 to 1/4 inch from the bottom of the cutting. If there are any flower buds on the cutting, you can remove these.

Rooting Wisteria Plants

Prepare a pot with well-draining potting soil that has been thoroughly moistened. Dip the rooting end of the cutting into rooting hormone. Using a finger or a stick, make a hole in the potting soil, then place the wisteria cutting in the hole and gently press the soil in around it.

Cover the pot in plastic, either by placing plastic wrap over the top of the pot or by placing the whole pot in a plastic bag. It is important that the plastic does not touch the cuttings, so you may want to prop the plastic away from the cuttings with sticks. The plastic helps to hold in humidity, which increases the success rate of propagating wisteria from cuttings.

Place the pot ofwisteria cuttings in a place where they will receive bright, indirect light. Check the soil frequently and water when dry to the touch. The cuttings should be rooted in about four to six weeks.

Growing wisteria from cuttings is easy when you know how to propagate wisteria correctly.

Taking a Cutting from Wisteria

My neighbor has a beautiful wisteria vine growing on their arbor and offered me a cutting to put on our newly constructed arbor, but I do not know how to take a proper cutting without affecting their vine.

Make sure this is the best vine for your situation. Most of the oriental wisterias are hardy plants in zones 4 or 5 but fail to bloom when their flower buds are killed by cold winter temperatures.

The Kentucky Wisteria (Wisteria macrostachys) does bloom reliably in zones 4 and 5 after becoming established in 5 to 7 years. In warmer regions these plants can be very aggressive and require regular severe pruning to keep them contained.

Make sure you have a strong enough support and space for this rampant grower. Start new plants by taking six inch cuttings in June or July. Root the cutting in moist vermiculite, sand or a well drained potting mix. Plant rooted cuttings directly in the ground next to the arbor and water often enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Reduce watering frequency as the plant becomes established.

Or grow the rooted cuttings in a container for one or two seasons until a larger root system develops. Northern gardeners should bury the pot in a protected location during the winter.

Or increase your chance for success by layering the vine. Carefully remove one of the stems from the trellis. Notch the stem 9 inches below the growing tip. Bury this portion of the stem leaving the top 6 inches above the ground. You can root it in the surrounding soil or in a container of well-drained soil set next to the parent plant. Leave the stem attached to the parent plant during the rooting process. Keep the soil moist while the buried stem forms its own root system over the summer. Disconnect the newly rooted plant from the parent vine. You can move the newly rooted vine to its new location.

Down the steps to the lilac collection is a series of voluptuous wisterias that have been pruned as standards, or small trees. Seeing both, so differently trained, gave me an instant gestalt of how pruning shapes the plant and produces flowers where you want them.

Adventurous gardeners can grow wisteria from seed, Mr. Ryniec said. Just let them ripen in those beautiful green pods, which turn brown by fall. Then either plant the seeds in a nursery bed outdoors, or store them in the refrigerator, and plant in spring. It’s also easy, he said, to start plants from the shoots that a mature wisteria will send out along the ground. The process is called layering: just bury a part of the shoot that has a bud under a few inches of soil, and it will form roots and shoots of its own. Leave it alone at least one growing season. Then cut it from the mother plant, dig it up and plant it where you want it. Give it plenty of sun and good drainage. And don’t put it near the lawn if you fertilize with nitrogen. Wisteria is a nitrogen-fixing legume, which means that microorganisms around the roots help convert atmospheric nitrogen into nutrients. Feeding it with nitrogen could well inhibit blooming, as it will use all that nitrogen to grow more leaves.

”I was able to get these to flower in about five years,” Mr. Ryniec said of his little trees, Wisteria floribunda Lawrence, which were planted in the early 1980’s. Wisteria goes through a rapid-growing stage, when it it produces lots of sugars to make leaves, vines and roots. ”If you want to train a wisteria into a standard, look for one about two or three years old, with a woody stem about one-half inch thick,” Mr. Ryniec said. ”That will provide a good framework for a standard. I trim these back the first week in June, right after they bloom. Cut the vines back to two or three buds. Save some leaves, but you want to substantially reduce the length of the shoots.”

Mr. Ryniec trims the shoots again in late summer, and then a third time in early winter. ”The most important cut is in December, when I cut back the flush of growth from November,” he said.

Walking on toward the wisterias blooming all over the pergolas, Mr. Ryniec explained how to train the vines up the posts and across the top of the frame.

Wisteria Propagation Methods

You have wisteria in one spot, and you’d like to spread it to another. That’s called propagation. Wisteria propagation occurs through four methods: seeds, cuttings, grafts, or layering. Of the three methods, seed propagation takes the longest.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Karen Thurber adds, “Chinese wisteria (wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (wisteria floribunda) are invasive species in the southern and eastern United States. Propagating the native American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) is a good alternative.”

Propagating Wisteria from Seeds

Harvest wisteria seeds in the fall just before they’re ready to pop. If they are to be planted immediately, either soak the seeds overnight or nick them to allow moisture to penetrate. If planting later, store seeds in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Plant them in 1 inch deep holes in potting soil and water and keep them moist. Wisteria seeds should germinate in about two weeks.

TIP: Karen cautions, “Wisteria seeds are toxic if large quantities are ingested. If storing in your refrigerator be sure to clearly label the container.”
Keep in mind that the resulting plants will likely not resemble the parent plant much, if at all. In addition, be prepared to wait 7 to 15 years or more for wisteria grown from seeds to bloom, depending on the variety. While the timeframe from seed planting to bloom may seem incredibly long, consider the fact that this is the least expensive way to propagate wisteria. Many home gardeners say they thoroughly enjoy the process.

Wisteria from Cuttings

Take cuttings from soft wisteria stems in late summer. Dip them in rooting hormone and place them in peat moss, sand, or vermiculite, or a mixture of the three. Be sure to keep the planting medium moist. When the cuttings show signs of new growth it means roots are developing. Expect wisteria grown from cuttings to bloom in about two to three years, depending on variety.

TIP: Karen suggests, “Place a clear plastic bag over the cuttings to create a “greenhouse.” This will help retain moisture until the cutting begin to root. Remove the plastic bag when roots begin to form. Keep in indirect sunlight to avoid overheating.”

Grafting Wisteria

Propagating wisteria by this method involves grafting cultivars onto seedling rootstocks. If buying a grafted wisteria from a nursery, check to ensure a healthy graft union has taken place. There should be a clear “join” about 6 to 12 inches above soil level.
Some garden bloggers mention grafting a wisteria around a tree trunk, but this is not true grafting. It’s simply training the wisteria vine around a tree. While the tree acts as a support for the vigorously growing wisteria vine, eventually the vine may kill the tree.

Layering Method

Since wisteria is a vigorously growing vine, often one of the simplest methods is to look for the runners that extend along the ground of a 1-year-old stem. Where one has been soil bruised, leave the shoot tip above the soil line and cover the rest. It will begin to take root, but the time required will likely be up to a year. Then, sever the section and replant it in another spot. Garden aficionados recommend planting several of these, in order to wind up with at least one that will “take.”

These wisteria propagation methods are sure to help grow your garden.

how to root wisteria from a cutting

Before you start growing wisteria, be sure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. Know what kind of wisteria it is, and what its growth habit is. Here are a few things you should know (if you don’t already):

Wisteria layers quite easily, so if you can find a piece of the vine that has touched the ground, you may be you may be able to dig it up, roots and all. If you’re not in a hurry, you can layer a part of a low-hanging vine yourself. Put a pot of soil under the vine, place the vine in the soil, cover the vine with soil, and put a rock on it to keep it weighed down. Check in a couple of months.

It can take several years for a cutting to bloom. From seed, the vines remain in a juevenile stage for 10-15 years before they are old enough to bloom. Plants grown from cuttings can shave several years off of that timeline, and a layered piece of vine can give you an even bigger head start.

Wisteria vines can get quite large, and live a long time. One vine in Japan has been dated back to the 1870s, and covers more than half-an-acre. They require very strong supports, and can collapse a simple wood arbor under their weight. In some states, wisteria is considered invasive or noxious.

Wisteria has to be slightly root-bound for best bloom performance. If yours doesn’t bloom after a few years, try root-pruning it. They don’t like to be overwatered, and actually prefer soil that is nutrient-poor.

The 2 most popular kinds of wisteria are Japanese and Chinese. The Japanese wisteria, Wisteria floribunda, is the more fragrant, but of the two, has smaller flower clusters (even though the name, floribunda, would suggest otherwise). The Chinese wisteria , Wisteria sinensis, has larger flower clusters, and sometimes blooms before the vine (actually a liana) fully leafs out, but is not known for its fragrance. The flowers can get frost-nip in areas of the country where winter lingers. Interestingly, the vines of each species wind in different directions. The Chinese wisteria twines Counterclockwise (remember ‘C’ for Chinese, ‘C’ for Counterclockwise), and the Japanese wisteria grows clockwise (remember by making a ‘J’ in the air with your finger, and the hook heads clockwise).

Here is a link to a fact sheet about how to grow wisteria

Do your research before taking on the commitment of wisteria. It can get out of hand quickly. In Olympia, WA, there is a wisteria that has escaped cultivation. It has taken over a clump of Douglas-fir trees, nearly reaching the top – a height of about 100 feet. Wisteria can cover a barn. If you plant it under your eaves, it can rip your roof off. The goal with Asian wisteria is to ‘control’ them – a lifelong commitment. I suggest that you look for cultivars derived from our native American wisteria that are smaller (though non-fragrant) and easier to maintain, such as ‘Amythest Falls’.

Rooting wisteria cuttings

Thank you for contacting Ask and Expert.
I’m not sure what type of Wisteria you have but generally speaking taking cuttings during the time a plant is actively growing is the best time to do so. With all the rain we’ve been having and now warm temperatures, the time is right!
Chinese and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis and Wisteria floribunda) are most commonly found in stores and they can be invasive in some areas and be real plant thugs in the garden. I spent several days on the roof of a home pruning it and several more days removing suckers which were growing many feet from the original planting. That said, they are spectacular when they bloom! The native American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) is not invasive but is still an aggressive grower so be prepared to control and support any wisteria.
To propagate your wisteria you will want to take soft wood cuttings. Take the tips of branches that are still green (not bark), say 3-6 inches long, with at least two sets of leaves. Here is a link that explains how to proceed.
Enjoy the season!

How to Plant Wisteria Cuttings

Wisteria is a vine, related to the pea. Some wisteria vines can grow to a height of 25 to 30 feet when properly trellised. Wisteria produces large clusters of beautiful and fragrant pea-sized flowers in a wide variety of colors. Wisteria can brighten up almost any garden. While it is possible for the home gardener to grow wisteria from seeds, such plants can take up to 15 or even 20 years to bloom. Wisteria grown from cuttings blooms in a much shorter period of time, and fortunately starting Wisteria slips is fast and easy with only a moderately green thumb. Wisteria cuttings taken in early spring are considered softwood cuttings and can be propagated by following advice for starting softwood slips.

Prepare a growing pot by filling it with a mixture of standard potting soil mixed with one-third sand. Water until the soil is damp.

Cut a wisteria slip approximately 4 inches long from the end of new spring growth. make sure to make your cut just below a leaf node. Remove all leaves on the lower 1 1/2 inches of the cutting.

Dip the cut end of the slip into powdered rooting hormone. Allow the hormone to coat the end of the cutting.

Poke a hole 1 1/2 inches deep into your potting mix with your finger or a pencil. Insert the cut end of your slip into the hole you just made, being careful not to disturb the rooting hormone. Carefully pack the potting mix around your slip.

Cut the bottom off of a clean 2-liter soda bottle and then stand the bottle over your cutting like a tiny greenhouse. Place your cutting in an area that is warm and which receives plenty of indirect sunlight during the day. Do not place your greenhouse with your cuttings in direct sunlight. Only add water if the soil shows signs of drying out.

Watch your cutting for signs of new growth. New growth should appear within three to four weeks, sometimes sooner. Allow your cuttings to remain growing indoors for at least four weeks or until they appear healthy.

Dig a hole in a sunny area of your garden approximately 10 inches deep and 10 inches across. Mix organic fertilizer with the soil until your have a mixture that is approximately two-thirds soil and one-third organics. Place the root ball of your wisteria in this hole and cover until the entire root ball is covered. Water and keep the soil moist but not too wet until your wisteria begins growing.

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