When to transplant wisteria?

Information On How To Transplant Wisteria Vines

Nothing compares to the beauty of a wisteria in bloom. Those springtime clusters of pale purple flowers can create a gardener’s dream or — if it’s in the wrong place, a gardener’s nightmare. Perhaps you didn’t realize just how big a wisteria can grow or perhaps its placement no longer suits your current garden plan. You’re thinking about how to transplant a wisteria. It’s a daunting thought. Transplanting wisteria is no walk in the garden, but it can be done.

When is the Best Time to Transplant Wisteria

The downside of transplanting wisteria that is well established is that it may take several years for the vine to bloom again. The best time to transplant wisteria is in the late fall or early spring when the plant is dormant, but the soil is workable. Choose your site carefully. You don’t want to do this again!

How to Transplant Wisteria Vines

Cut the vine back to about 3 feet tall. Start digging about 18 to 24 inches from the stem. To successfully transplant wisteria, you must dig deep. Continue digging and prying in a circle around your transplant.

Wisteria doesn’t like to be moved, so take up as large a root ball as possible. The more root with its original soil, the greater chance of success in transplanting wisteria. Place the root ball on a tarp and drag it to its new location.

When you’re ready to transplant wisteria, dig the new hole to twice the size of the root ball. Mix the soil from the hole with up to 50 percent compost or leaf mold to provide the best new home for your transplant. Wisteria do best in fertile soil with lots of sun. The best time to transplant wisteria is early morning or evening. Stake the vine immediately. Water well and keep your fingers crossed.

Transplanting wisteria can be difficult and back breaking, but knowing how to transplant wisteria properly will increase your chances of success. Good luck and good digging!

Wisteria is a big, aggressive plant… but it’s not immovable. George Weigel


I foolishly planted a wisteria too close to my house and now have to trim it about every 3 weeks during the growing season to keep it off the roof. It’s been in the ground about 10 years. I’m wondering if it’s too late to move it to a location further away from the house. It’s a beautiful vine and blooms profusely every spring so I hate to give up on it. Any suggestions?

A: Wisterias are aggressive growers alright. And the top growth gives you an idea of what kind of root system you’ll be dealing with in trying to move a 10-year-old plant.

Nevertheless, a move is possible. The best time is early spring (end of March into mid-April). The second best time is right after Labor Day.

First, cut the top growth down to about 2 or 3 feet so you can handle it. Then start out about 2 feet from the trunk and dig down, moving down and around, down and around, down around, until you’re finally the whole way under the ball of roots. It’ll pop loose at that point.

You’ll no doubt sever a lot of roots in the process. That’s not ideal but it’s necessary if you ever hope to get any kind of manageable root ball out of the hole short of renting a backhoe.

Work a tarp under the rootball and get a helper to lift it out and over to the new location. Have the site prepared at the new location so you’ll be able to just drop the rootball into place, backfill with soil, then water. Plant at the same depth as before.

Treat the wisteria as a new one watering-wise. Assuming all goes well, new growth should push out within a few weeks, and the plant should resume its rampant habit.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see blooms for awhile. The severe cutback most likely will lead to no flowers the first season. Wisterias are finicky about blooming after transplant. It’s not unusual for a new plant to go 5 to 7 years before blooming for the first time.

If you are re-developing your garden or having some building work carried out then you might not have any choose but to move an established wisteria.Its one of the hardest established plants to move mainly because it has roots that grow very deep and produces very little fibrous or feeding roots which uptake water from the soil critical in the re-establishment of the wisteria once moved.
To try and move a wisteria,prune it hard back with a saw,cut the main stems back to about a metre and then dig out the plant with as much root as possible,if you are having some building work carried out and have a digger available then enlist the help of the digger.
Once you have removed the plant you need to pot it into a large tub with a John Innes soil based compost with lots of added well rotted leaf mould from a broad leafed woodland.Water well once potted and keep watering to keep the moisture in the compost.It can take up until 12 months for the new first buds to show and recover.During this time keep scratching the stem lightly and if just under the surface the stem is still green than you wisteria is still alive and in with a fighting chance.
Once it starts to re-shoot and establish in the tub it can be re-planted.
If its a plant with good flowers or a plant from a friend or relative its worth getting a new plant produced from a graft as grafting wisteria is quite an easy operation.

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Transplant a mature Wisteria

I have moved adult wisteria before without any problems.
You should wait until dormancy. Once all the leaves have fallen off just simply spade 12-18 inches away from the base of the plant. Dig down at least that depth; try not to break the root-ball, but do not worry when you spade through that you are cutting roots.
Trim all the top branching down to about 12 inches off the ground or a bit more depending on the starting height you would like to work with.
Then plant your wisteria in its new location; do not forget to water, and be sure to add water to the bottom of the hole prior to planting so that the roots do not dry out. Watering through the Winter is crucial if you do not have a supportive water system such as rain or snow. I typically water every 7 days during the winter dormancy, but I am also in the high desert.
You can ensure that the plant does not freeze accidentally by placing large stones around the base of the plant. The sun heats the stones during the day and then through the night it releases the stored up warmth.
Goodluck, …if you do not have a place set for replanting you can always find an old 15-30 gallon nursery pot and plant it until Spring when you can move it into the garden where you want.
Either way I doubt this will be hard at all,

Transplanting established Wisteria from pots to ground

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