How To Train Wisteria On A Pergola

purple wisteria hanging from pergola in a large backyard with green plantings side by side

When training wisteria, the first thing to remember is the process takes time. Wisteria is a beautiful plant and to train it into maturity on your pergola, arbor, or other structure can take years to produce. It may be tempting, but don’t lose heart. Like all things worth doing, there is labor and time involved in training wisteria. In this article, we will show you the steps of how to train wisteria on a pergola.

How To Train Wisteria On A Pergola Guide

Planting wisteria requires deep soil. Don’t try to grow wisteria in sand or on rock if you don’t first add good soil to a depth of 18-24”. Wisteria grows fast and will grow on whatever structure you place next to it. Plant your wisteria near an arbor or pergola post, six inches or so away is just about perfect.

Next, as the wisteria grows, make sure you snip off the branches or “side shoots”. These are the pieces which extend to the right and left of the main stem. You will have plenty of time to let the wisteria spread out once it’s reached the ideal height for the structure. Although in the beginning, make sure all the plant energy is focused on vertical growth.

Once your wisteria has reached the height where you want to allow branching to the sides, you’ll not want to just ignore the plant and let it go. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make while training wisteria. You must prune your wisteria if you want it to look its best and spread across the structure.

Keep the horizontal branches trimmed. That way there’s not more than one branch to the sides every 12 to 24 inches as you go up the vertical trunk of the wisteria.

demonstration of how to train wisteria on a pergola in upscale backyard with brown sand walk way and gray home

Helpful Tips For Training Wisteria

Here are a few things to keep in mind when training wisteria. Keep any cuttings, flowers or seed pods away from children and pets. It may come as a surprise but wisteria is a poisonous plant. It’s not typically dangerous to humans. However, it will induce vomiting, a sore throat, and a strong burning sensation if ingested. It can be very dangerous to some dogs. Be sure to make a note of where you plant it related to where your pets spend the most time.

How To Train Wisteria On A Pergola Summary

Toxicity aside, the hanging purple flowers of the wisteria plant are some of the most beautiful on the planet. If you train it right you will have these flowers hanging at eye level or above, creating a canopy of purple beauty only matched by the Jacaranda tree.