Chinese wisteria is up to 20 m high noble funicular with a stunning floral scent. The flowers are white, pink or blue-purple, grouped in up to 30 cm long clustered inflorescences. Because we grow it from seed, it will take a few years for the first flowering, but you will be richly rewarded with its stunning scent. It blooms in the spring and less intensely in early fall too. The trunk can grow up to 20 cm in diameter in nature. It grows very fast and needs height support. It thrives well on all drained nutrient-rich soils. It likes sunlight with a lot of heat but prefers shelter from the wind. Frost tolerates well. It should be watered regularly during dry periods, as the soil should never be drained. We fertilize sparingly. Watch out! The seeds of Chinese wisteria are toxic if swallowed.

CHINESE WISTERIA: Germination and cultivation

Level of difficulty: 2

Chinese wisteria seeds usually have under the right conditions more than 50% germination. They need a lot of moisture and heat to germinate and don't require winter rest. You can start with the germination immediately. The initial food is stored in the seeds.

Pour warm water into a pot and put in the seeds, cover with a lid and leave in a warm and sunny place, preferably a window sill, for 24 hours.

If you are germinating Chinese Wisteria seeds for the first time, we recommend germinating 2 or 3 seeds at a time and repeat the process if necessary. You can germinate seeds by the method as Pinus pinea, just soak them in warm instead of cold water, for 24 hours. 

With a spoon remove the seeds from the germination pot and gently place them on the lid. Pour the water out of the pot and put 4 germination papers in it. Moisten them with warm water. The papers should be moist but not soaked as in this case the seeds would start to mold.

Place the seeds on germination paper, fold it, so the seeds are well covered and close the cup with a lid. Place it in a warm and bright place but not in the direct sunlight of the window sill.

Every day check if germination paper is still moist and moisten it more if it is necessary. The seeds will start to germinate within 14 days.

When the first root is about 2 cm long, it is a good time to plant your future bonsai. This requires a sowing pot and four sowing substrates.

Take the sprouted seeds with the germination paper from the germination pot. Place the four sowing substrates one at a time in a pot and pour with warm water. Let them soak for about 15 minutes. Then remove them from the water with a spoon and place them in a sowing pot. Spread them gently with a spoon to get a slightly moist substrate.

Gently place the seed in the pot, as shown. Take care that not damage the root and cover it with 1 cm of the substrate.

Place the sowing pot on the lid of the sprouting pot and place it in a warm and bright place, but not in direct sunlight. Be careful not to let the substrate dry out, but never leave water in the lid. In a few days, the first leaves will knock out of the ground.

1. week after the beginning of germination
1. week after the beginning of germination
14 days after the beginning of germination
14 days after the beginning of germination

When you will notice small roots in the bottom of the sowing pot, transplant Wisteria in a larger pot for a few years. There it will be able to develop a strong root system that allows the stems and branches to thicken quickly.

You can start bending the trunk very early as the plant needs support until the stem is wooded. We recommend using sticks and soft straps to help you get started, but be very careful with any wiring, as the shoots can break very fast despite their flexibility.

2 months and 3 weeks after the beginning of germination.
2 months and 3 weeks after the beginning of germination.

Because Wisteria grows very fast - individual shoots can grow up to 2 meters a year, it needs to be trimmed regularly. Always prune the plants with clean, sharp scissors to reduce the risk of disease. When pruning, be as bold as possible, to get the exact shape as you want.

The trunk in the picture reached the size we wanted - about 60 cm, so it was time to remove the top. We recommend that you always shorten the plant about 1 cm above the new shoot.

You can plant the remaining sprouted seeds in your garden if you live in a favorable climate. If you are going to grow the plants as a container, make sure that the roots do not freeze during the severe winter. But never plant them in nature or forests. 

Finally, here are some ideas that may inspire you to design your bonsai.