How to Maximize a Wisteria Vine with a Trellis

Maximizing the beauty of a wisteria vine with a trellis will make your garden the envy of your neighborhood.

Wisteria Vines Needs

Wisteria vines have long been popular in the deep southern part of the United States and their popularity has spread to other zones that can support this beautiful but potentially invasive vine. Wisteria vines evoke the image of languid days in the southern heat, drinking ice tea on a porch or terrace covered by this graceful but showy vine. Wisteria vines can live and flourish for generations, their stalks becoming as large as a small tree trunk. The blossoms hang in clusters like grapes and are a draw for butterflies and hummingbirds. The fact that they are a gorgeous purple adds to this effect.

The problem with the Wisteria vine is its rapid growth and heaviness. It is not uncommon for this vine, being allowed to grow unchecked, to weigh down and collapse the roof of a porch or pergola. It can climb over fences, up light poles and actually pull down power lines.

Maximizing the Beauty

A Wisteria vine really needs a structure such as a pergola that is a system of trellis' to grow properly and to expand upon its true beauty. It can be pruned and its growth kept to an area small enough to cover a regular trellis, but unless its a variety that has compact growth, its growing habit will be stunted. Wisteria vine flourishes if allowed to grow on its own and the flowers hang vertically from the vine.

A pergola with a trellis type roof and trellis sides is ideal for the Wisteria. Keep in mind the weight this structure will need to bear as the Wisteria grows. Train the Wisteria the directions you want it to grow by tying it to the trellis with landscaping wire or ties. As the Wisteria grows, encourage the younger branches to go across the top of this structure so you will get the effect of the blossoms hanging downward from the ceiling. This will create an arbor of blossoms that will resemble a grape arbor both in style and color. Eventually this will create what appears to be a room with walls and ceilings formed by the showy Wisteria.

Added Touches

Once you have your Wisteria vine growing and expanding on the trellis structure, consider adding more touches to enhance and maximize the drama and beauty of this plant. Consider uplighting or perhaps clear lights woven in the trellis to gently light the vine at night and to create light and shadow effects over the gnarled limbs and branches. Hanging candles would also be another look that would maximize both the beauty of the Wisteria vine and the trellis support its growing on.