Wisteria Bonsai – Valavanis Bonsai Weblog


Wisteria creates an excellent splash of shade within the spring backyard with their candy perfume, particularly when educated for bonsai. The autumn season brings a transparent yellow foliage show. There are two predominant species generally educated for bonsai, the Chinese language and Japanese. In North America, the Chinese language wisteria is the most well-liked. The first variations between the Chinese language and Japanese wisteria are the flowers, foliage and development behavior. There are over 100 completely different Wisteria cultivars chosen for flower dimension, form, shade and fragrances. Some have been chosen for variegated leaves and completely different development habits.

Chinese language Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis educated by Bob Blankfield

Chinese language Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis

The Chinese language wisteria is hottest in North America, and plenty of have naturalized in southern states. They are often invasive. Chinese language wisteria blooms often concurrently, maybe the explanation for its reputation. Often, the leaves seem throughout the late interval of move­ering. The flowers are a lot fuller than the Japanese species, and far shorter as nicely. Since they’ve naturalized in some areas it’s straightforward to search out previous heavy trunks. They are often simply and shortly developed into pleasing bonsai. Only a few if any small roots. Outdated overgrown Wisterias from the backyard panorama are sometimes dug, drastically pruned and educated for bonsai. The trunk wooden tends to rot so there could also be future design challenges.

Chinese language Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis

Chinese language Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis

Chinese language Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis educated from a collected wild stump

Japanese Wisteria, Wisteria floribunda

Japanese Wisteria, Wisteria floribunda

Japanese wisteria tends to have the higher a part of the raceme with out flowers (naked stalk), the center part in full bloom and the decrease part with unopened buds because the blossoms open from the highest down. Typically it takes two weeks for your entire plant to blossom. Usually, they flower a few week after the Chinese language species. 

I’ve been rising each species for nicely over 50 years and haven’t discovered any distinction of their coaching for bonsai and care. Though the coaching is similar for each species, most bonsai hobbyists in all probability are usually not sure (or care) which they’ve. Most Wisteria are in all probability mislabeled, however the stunning and aromatic blosoms are the primary causes for enjoyment.

A dependable technique to distinguish between Chinese language and Japanese wisteria is to watch the foliage and the course the vine grows, each are completely different. 

Rokushaku Wisteria, Wisteria floribunda ‘Rokushaku’

Rokushaku Wisteria, Wisteria floribunda ‘Rokushaku’

The unique reducing from Saichi Suzuki

Wednesday, Might 22, 2024

Rokushaku Wisteria, Wisteria floribunda ‘Rokushaku’

One among my favourite Wisteria cultivars is the Rokushaku Wisteria. The Japanese phrase “roku” means six, and “shaku” is an previous Japanese measurement of about 12”, so the identify means six toes lengthy. Sure, this cultivar is meant to have floral racemes six toes lengthy! I’ve solely been in a position to develop one measuring 57” in my backyard. 

This cultivar was given to me by the Japanese bonsai pioneer Saichi Suzuki who took cuttings from a plant in a close-by temple in Okazaki, Japan. Mr. Suzuki additionally launched Zuisho Japanese five-needle pine over 50 years in the past and pioneered the methods for growing quick needles on Japanese black pine bonsai within the late Nineteen Thirties. His grandson, Toru is now the proprietor of Daiju-en Bonsai Backyard and continues his father’s and grandfather’s excellence in bonsai. He might be one of many judges and demonstrators on the subsequent 9th US Nationwide Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester, New York on September 13-14, 2025.

Throughout a go to with him he graciously gave Chase Rosade and Lynn Porter who had been touring with me every a small reducing of his particular Wisteria which was in regards to the dimension of a chopstick. This was bout 50 years in the past and I planted my reducing in my mom’s backyard for a couple of years. After I married Diane we moved our backyard, I transplanted it subsequent to the “nice wall” in our show backyard The trunk has thickened significantly and is now over 18” in diameter, with appreciable motion as nicely.

I’ve taken quite a few cuttings of this cultivar and planted one younger skinny specimen across the flagpole in entrance of our dwelling about 30 years in the past. In 2017 it produced a spectacular show for the primary time. Wisterias are inclined to “exhibit” each couple of years. This spring it was my unique reducing which introduced a spectacular and aromatic show for our Spring Open Home & Sale final weekend.

Screenshot

June 2023

June 2023

Might 2024

June 2023

The backyard specimen in entrance of our dwelling has grown to about 15 toes in diameter and has been pruned many, many occasions. Final 12 months in early June, in full leaf, my associates helped me to drastically prune the plant to appear like a large bonsai within the floor. Throughout the many years the tree was leaning over to a lot for my style, and we wanted the assistance of a 4-wheel drive Ford pick-up truck with an orange cable to boost the tree and put it again on the flagpole. Definitely, neighbors and individuals who handed the bare tree thought I used to be loopy (maybe they’re appropriate.) By September the newly formed Wisteria wanted to be trimmed two occasions as a result of it grew so vigorously. By the best way, it has by no means been watered or fertilized. It now wants one other haircut after we end trimming the bonsai.

Amethyst Falls American Wisteria

American Wisteria Species

There are a few native North American wisteria species. The American Wisteria, Wisteria frutescens, has a number of named cultivars. The cultivar ‘Amethyst Falls’ is a well-liked backyard vine in North America and is educated for bonsai. It’s not as vigorous as different species, nonetheless, has shorter, smaller flowers which frequently bloom all through the summer time. 

The Kentucky Wisteria, Wisteria macrostachya, is native to the southern states and infrequently present in swamps from Louisiana north to Illinois. There are a couple of cultivars of the Kentucky Wisteria, however I’ve not had the chance to develop and prepare this species.

Dwarf Wisteria millettia japonica

Dwarf Wisteria millettia japonica

Summer season Wisterias

There are a couple of Wisterias which bloom throughout the summer time season, which aren’t really within the Wisteria genus however relatively Millettia. There are another Millettias that are named “Natsu Fuji” and “Satsuma Fuji.”

Included inside this grouping is Millettia japonica, which is grown for summer time shows. Widespread names for this small-treasured jewel embody “Dwarf Wisteria, “Ko Fuji (small,) “Hime Fuji” (princess) and “Mekura Fuji” (blind.) This cultivar isn’t seen in blossom, nonetheless Boon despatched me a photograph of 1 in blossom. I despatched the photograph to Japan and the response was “I might be a millionaire in Japan if I had one.” Nonetheless, the Dwarf Wisteria is appreciated for the tiny, dainty foliage which appears similar to bigger Wisterias. They’re primarily displayed within the sizzling summer time season as a result of it presents a “cool feeling.” This can be a nice plant, if you will discover it and would require one other article to do it justice, maybe sooner or later.

Chinese language Wisteria

Chinese language Wisteria, solely 3 years in coaching from an previous stump

Chinese language Wisteria

Japanese Wisteria

Benefit from the stunning, colourful aromatic flowers of your Wisteria after they flower later-on in spring!

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