Wistful About Wisteria

October 2011 snowstorm packed a wallop and it remains to be seen whether our wisteria will return to its former glory.

“Ignorance may be bliss” as the old saying goes, but sometimes “controlled ignorance is prudent.”

Such is the case with the now beloved wisteria growing next to our front porch.

When we first moved into our home, we had no idea what the twisted viney monstrosity was and my husband was quite tempted to chop down the grizzly and disfigured old girl.

Instead, we adopted a wait-and-see philosophy with the wisteria, as we did with most of the foliage on the property. In that first year, as things bloomed, we would say “oh, that’s Echinacea” or “look those are gladiolas.”

Not so with the wisteria. About the only thing it did in the first year or so that we lived in our house was produce long brown pods that kind of resembled flattened vanilla beans.

Then one spring it bloomed. It was covered with long, purple, grape-like flowers that emitted a heady fragrance that you could smell as soon as you pulled into the driveway.

We still didn’t know what this strange plant was, but at least it was doing something.

Then, the Lower Macungie Patch editor solved this mystery for us with a simple text message, the true value of which I am sure she still isn’t fully cognizant of to this day. “Your wisteria is gorgeous,” she wrote one spring day after driving by our house.

“It’s a wisteria,” I shouted with glee. (OK, I probably didn’t shout, nor was I actually gleeful, but I was pretty happy nonetheless.)

Then came . It decapitated both of our maple trees. And, it decimated the wisteria.

During the balmy days of the December and January that followed, we debated what to do with the half-broken and very wobbly wisteria.

Some online research led to a bit of pruning, some wooden supports at the base devised from branches from our yard (we had plenty of them after all) and some creative twining of the more vine-like tendrils around the posts holding up the roof of the porch.

Then we waited.

No blooms in spring. Few leaves or new growth to speak of, really.

But wisteria, in the best of circumstances, can go through dormant periods.

We waited some more.

In late July we were rewarded with some new leaves. Controlled glee.

Then came a few small and random flower blossoms. Actual glee.

Looks like all we can do is wait some more. And, hope for a sunny October.

jennifer August 14, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Have no fear as you cannot kill Wisteria if you tried! I have. Please, can someone help me? I had to cut back a very old Wisteria as it was planted way to close to my house years before I was around. I trimmed it each year, and each year it would continue to grow, attaching to the house, winding around gutters, etc. It was a nuisance. After fighting it for 10 years, I sadly cut it to the ground. However, it still continues to thread through the flower beds, out into the grass! It attaches itself so strongly every foot or so in the soil, I cannot just pull it out, I have to dig it with a shovel! I thought about pouring gasoline on it, but its close to my well, & in general I know that's not the healthy thing to do! How can I lay this beast to rest once & for all? Thank you for any suggestions!


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