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Wisteria bonsai care Guide

Wisteria bonsai care

by agrotex global
Wisteria bonsai tree



Country of Origin : China and Japan
Bonsai Styles : Informal upright
Zone : 4 – 10

When in flower, Wisteria bonsai makes one of the most beautiful flowering bonsai.

The pea-type flowers appear in hanging clusters.

This plant produces flowers in early summer or late spring. Long scented (sweet-smelling) racemes of white, blue, violet or pink flowers appear in abundance, so much so that they virtually obscure the bonsai tree. At this early stage, the foliage is just emerging.

The flowers of this bonsai tree are so large that the bonsai tree is styled to create the illusion of a weeping tree, where the arrangement of the flowers gives an impression of drooping branches.

A wisteria bonsai has an attractive trunk and thin spreading branches. As the tree ages, the branches and the trunks become more characterful.

Generally, two varieties are used to make wisteria bonsai trees – Japanese wisteria (Wisteria fioribunda)(zone 4-10) and Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)(zone 5-9).

In comparison with Japanese wisteria, Chinese wisteria has shorter and stronger-scented flower racemes. Additionally, Chinese wisteria is a much faster grower.

Both varieties can be a bit difficult to flower every year.

Best location to keep Wisteria Bonsai

Wisteria trees thrive in full sun. It is critical, however, that their roots are placed into moist, cool and fertile soil that is shaded.

Hence keep this bonsai in a place where the leaves are exposed to the sun but the bonsai container is shaded.

You can also spray some water on the soil and the pot to keep it cool and moist.

These trees are not suitable for making an indoor bonsai.

Winter protection for Wisteria is not necessary because the plants are hardy. Protect the plant, however, from prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures. Move the bonsai to a protected shed in case the temperature falls below 23°F (-5°C).

Take special care that in freezing weather, the soil is not saturated with water.

Although the wisteria tree doesn’t make a good indoor bonsai, it can survive pretty well in a properly ventilated cool greenhouse. However a constant temperature of around 50°F (10°C) will be required.

Refer sunlight requirements for indoor plants for more indoor gardening ideas. Also, refer to do bonsai trees need sunlight for more indoor and outdoor bonsai location ideas.

Propagation of Wisteria

Wisteria tree can be propagated by using hardwood cuttings in late winter and early spring.

They can also be propagated by sowing seeds. But this is generally not preferred as the plants take a lot of time (sometimes many years) to come to an age to flower.

These trees can also be propagated by grafting in early spring or air layering in summer.

Watering Wisteria Bonsai

The wisteria bonsai needs plenty of water throughout the growing season, especially when it is flowering.

In the height of summer, some growers suggest standing the plant in a bowl of water. However, this can cause root rot and possibly the plant’s death if the roots are left permanently in water and proper care is not taken.

Alternatively, if you are dealing with very hot days, you can place the bonsai pot in a shallow bowl of water for no more than three to four hours per day. Or you can simply water heavily several times during warmer, drier weather.

You can also use a deep pot so that the soil can contain as much moisture as possible.

By ensuring proper supply of water, the wilting of leaves can be prevented.

During winter, keep the compost just moist.

As it is always stated, you should listen to the plant regarding what it needs. By experience you will come up with the proper watering frequency.

Read watering bonsai tree for more details about immersion technique.

Wiring Wisteria Bonsai

Wisterias do not require wiring and can be trained by pruning only.

Pruning Wisteria Bonsai

When to prune Wisteria bonsai?

How to prune Wisteria bonsai?

On wisteria bonsai tree, pruning is done routinely in order to encourage flowering.

In late summer, prune long tendrils back to three buds. At the same time, cut back any branches that are too long.

After flowering, cut back hard, removing about half of the flower-bearing stubs.

During the early spring or after late summer, do not prune as there are chances that you will unknowingly remove next year’s flowering buds.

pruning Wisteria bonsai tree

After you have hard pruned post flowering stage, you can allow all subsequent growth to continue until you begin to notice the quickly growing shoots becoming a concern.

Then you can cut them back to two or three buds. This can be repeated several times throughout the year.

Pinching Wisteria Bonsai

No pinching of growing tips is recommended for Wisteria Bonsai tree.

By pinching, you will simply promote the growth of weak laterals, which will not set flower buds.

Repotting Wisteria Bonsai

When to repot Wisteria bonsai?

Wisteria bonsai tree can be repotted every other years in early spring. You can also repot the plant immediately after flowering.

However, check regularly if the roots are container bound.

In case the plant is pot bound, repot immediately irrespective of the repotting cycle.

Choose a deep plant so that roots have access to as much moisture as possible. This will also keep the roots cool.

You can use a free-draining, bonsai soil mix (with extra organic matter) or Akadama.


You can also use a soil mix consisting of 40% grit and 60% organic matter.

Must Read: Bonsai Soil Recipes

Must read : Choosing the right bonsai container

Feeding Wisteria Bonsai

After flowering, fertilize with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.

In late summer, feed again with a low-nitrogen fertilizer.

Wisterias grow particularly well with Japanese rapeseed fertilizer.

Adding a large handful of rapeseed fertilizer to each pot after flowering should ensure repeat blooming.

Read more about applying fertilizer to flowering bonsai tree in bonsai fertilizer and its application.

Diseases and pest of Wisteria Bonsai

Wisteria trees are generally trouble free.

Scale insects and aphids are common pests. Use a systemic insecticide to control them.

If the soil is too dry, bud-drop may occur.

If the soil is too alkaline, chlorosis will occur (yellowing leaves). Add an acidifier to the soil.

Wisteria bonsai care

The roots will shrink and die if they are exposed to hot weather and allowed to dry. This can even cause the death of several parts of the plant.

When the flowering phase finishes, the plant starts to grow. This plant is a vigorous grower and the overextending branches and shoots will try to reach for any support they can get. Control these branches by pruning.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself pruning the tree 4 to 5 times in a single growing season.

It is possible that a wisteria tree which is not flowering is grown from a seed. May be it is not old enough to flower. And, if the plant was grown from cuttings, and still not flowering, then apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer to the plant. See if that helps.

What to look for when buying Wisteria Bonsai

When looking for a bonsai to purchase, select a tree with a strong-looking root system and a tall trunk with flowing curves.

Unless they’re collected from the wild, climbers like Wisteria rarely have very thick trunks.

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