Growing Japanese Wisteria in Containers in Zone 5
I planted a Japanese or Chinese wisteria in a small container and it is growing well. Will it survive my zone 5 winter outdoors?
The Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) is hardy in zone 4or 5 through 9. The Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) is hardy in zones 5 through 8. The problem is the flowers buds are not reliably winter hardy in the northern regions. I have only seen these bloom in southern Wisconsin about 2 or 3 times in the past 30 years. The beautiful climbing foliage makes a nice background plant or screen for the summer garden. Those in the south may tire of the regular pruning needed to keep this "vigorous" grower in bounds. Keep your oriental wisteria outdoors for the winter. Bury the container in the ground in a protected spot in the landscape this fall. This will protect the roots over winter. Next spring you can plant it in its permanent location. Or you may want to forget the oriental wisteria and grow a Kentucky wisteria (Wisteria macrostachys) instead. These plants are hardy and more reliable bloomers, once established, than the oriental wisteria in cold regions.