Wisteria Out of Control! - Knowledgebase Question

Providence, RI
Question by MaryH1010
September 2, 1999
I found 2 small wisteria growing wild in my yard. I transplanted them 2 years ago with plans to have them wind around a fence I have yet to put up. I know wisteria are aggressive growers, but this is scary! I went out to check on them recently and discovered many ground runners coming from the base of the plant growing just under ground and popping up 8 feet away in my neighbor's yard! I didn't know it would do that! The plants are each about 3 feet tall. Will they always be sending underground runners out like that? I can deal with the above ground stuff, but I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up with those runners. Is there a way to prevent them from growing from the base like that?


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Answer from NGA
September 2, 1999

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Isn't wisteria amazing! In many cases a vine that has been damaged at the top will sucker like mad from remaining roots over a wide area, in other cases this vigorous grower will simply do that in its natural bent to conquer the world. Usually trimming them off regularly (eg by regular lawnmowing) will stop the sprouts as long as the main top is allowed to grow unfettered. This vine is strong and heavy and requires an extremely sturdy framework for support; it can grow thirty feet long! It can also grow woody and as thick as a man's arm and crush any but the strongest of permanent trelliswork. (My favorite support for it is an unused telephone pole or a large boulder.) It is so beautiful that many gardeners are willing to accomodate it, but caution and planning for its needs are important.

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