June 12, 2013
'Blue Moon' Wisteria macrostachya
One of my 'Blue Moon' wisterias is blooming for the first time this spring. I planted two back in 2010, and I nearly killed the other one last month after adjusting the sprinklers and forgetting to check that it was still getting water. Ugh. At least one of them is doing well.
This one is planted on the southwest corner of our home to camouflage a drain pipe and provide a little more shade to this hot area. I'm being careful to keep the stems from wrapping around the pipe since the plant will eventually get heavy enough to pull the pipe over. If I keep wrapping the stems around each other, I think they'll grow sturdy enough to support themselves, since wisteria can be trained into a tree with enough patience. Or I might have to get creative with other supports attached to the house.
After waiting three years to see the flowers, I was very excited to notice a bunch of buds on the plant a couple of weeks ago. A little more patience and then . . .
. . . aren't these flowers gorgeous? I wish you could smell them. I keep trying to figure out how to describe the fragrance, but it's hard. Very sweet and strong. There's no need to get up close, as you can definitely smell it if you're downwind.
Many wisterias are not quite hardy enough to withstand Spokane winters, but Blue Moon is hardy to zone 3. When I decided to plant wisteria and spent time researching different varieties, this one seemed like the best for areas with cold winters. It can rebloom several times each year, though I don't know if our growing season will be long enough for that to happen.
Wisteria machrostachya is is native to America and is a less aggressive grower than Japanese or Chinese types, though it can reach 25 feet in height. The flower clusters may grow up to a foot long. The best flowering occurs in full sun, though mine is obviously blooming and it only gets afternoon sun. Too much nitrogen fertilizer or poor pruning practices (cutting off the ends of the stems with all the flower buds) can also prevent flowering.
I ordered my plants from ForestFarm.com, but a local nursery might be able to find it for you. I haven't seen it at any of the big box garden centers. If you live in a cold climate or just want a repeat blooming wisteria, this one might be perfect for you.
Labels: plant mugshots