The Q&A Archives: Will Wisteria grow in Tampa?

Question: I am curious whether wisteria would do well in Tampa, Florida. I have seen it in Atlanta growing all over the place, covering trees, etc. It is very pretty to see in the spring, but this couldn't be good for the trees, and shouldn't be intentionally grown to climb trees I would imagine. Does wisteria harm or kill the trees it climbs and appears to take over? How/where would you plant a wisteria vine? A trellis?

Answer: Wisteria sinensis is a native of China that has escaped and naturalized throughout the south. It will grow well from hardiness zones 5-9, so you should have no problem making it feel at home.

Wisteria can harm trees in two ways: first by covering and shading out the treetops, second by encircling a tree trunk when the tree is young and strangling it over time as the tree trunk increases in diameter.

It is a beautiful spring blooming vine that can quickly fill an arbor or large trellis. I have seen some beautiful specimens trained down fences and kept in bounds by removing most of the previous season's growth in late winter. It can also be trained to a post and allowed to create a bushy top. In time the trunk will grow strong enough to stand on its own. However you grow it, plan to prune it heavily.

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