How To Grow Your Wisteria - From Seed To A Blossoming Tree
Wisteria are popular for their beautiful flowers that are used in flower arrangements. They are one of the most popular flowering plants in Japan. However, it can be difficult to find a wisteria plant in the store. This is because they need to be grown from seeds.
Growing a Wisteria Bonsai from seeds is not difficult at all. It only takes about three months to grow one and you can do it yourself at home with some simple steps!
Wisteria (Fuji 藤) Seeds Germination
While some seeds, such as our Sakura require a longer germination period and more aggressive scarification to weaken their hard outer shell, Wisteria seeds have little to no dormancy period and can begin sprouting very quickly. A prior treatment with Scarification (weakening the hard outer shell) and is recommended by some for Wisteria seeds to achieve high germination rate, but with simple germination methods it is possible to have high success without scarification.
The Simple Steps to Growing Wisteria
What You Will Need
Your Wisteria Seeds
A Jar or Container
For starting the germination process, put the Wisteria seeds in a jar and soak them for 3 days in water that's left at room temperature. Some recommend wounding the outer shell or using lukewarm water to help germination - although this is often not necessary for Wisteria. If you would like to scarify your Wisteria seeds you can see the methods listed in our growing Sakura guide here
After 3 days, make sure your seeds are well hydrated. Then drain all the water from the jar leaving just enough to maintain a humid environment - you don't want too much moisture trapped in there!
The container should be inspected on a daily or semi-daily basis to allow fresh air in and check to see if there are germinated seeds. You may start to see some after 2-3 days of inspecting, but after several days you'll likely notice quite a few.
Look at the size difference between a dry seed as it comes out of the pod and a freshly germinated one.
Now that these seeds have sprouted, they need to be potted. For the Wisteria seeds, you'll want regular potting soil. Gently place each seed in a small hole below the surface and then cover them with a thin layer of soil. The final step in getting new plants potted is watering. Especially if the soil is dry.
*If some seeds don't show signs of germination, they'll go back in the jar for a longer germination time.
In a few more days, little Wisteria plants should start to pop up from the soil.
And this is how the Wisteria seedlings will look like after growing for a few more weeks.
A Wisteria plant has developed from each seed and they should grow well as Wisteria is such a fast growing plant. If the outside temperatures are still too low for your plants. Try growing these seedlings inside.
Wisteria is a fast growing, and wide spreading tree. There are houses here in Japan overtaken by Fuji plants, and while they look beautiful in the spring, you may want to make sure to trim them if you do not keep them as a bonsai. Their fast and easy growing nature makes them perfect for bonsai since you can trim them and experiment with different styles without needing to wait as long as some other types of trees.
Feel free to watch the video below for a video guide to starting your seeds.
Wisteria Fun Facts!
Wisterias produce seed pods that contain flat, round seeds. The plant has an interesting way of distributing the seeds. As Wisteria seed pods dry out during the Spring they start to twist. There is an increasing tension in the pods which eventually causes them to pop open and release their seeds into the wind. If you bring Wisteria pods inside and hear something go "POP" in the middle of the night, it's just seeds that you collected from four Wisteria pods trying to spread out to be planted.
It’s a Bean
Not exactly, but Wisteria is part of the legume family. The legume family is also home to peas, beans, lentils and clover!
It Will Outlive You
It's a perennial plant that can live from 50 to 100 years or even longer.
Don’t Eat The Seeds
The seeds are carried in long, narrow legumes and are poisonous.