Plants that fall in the genus Fabaceae commonly go by the name "wisteria," a fast-growing vine that sports numerous cascading violet flowers. Not many problems affect wisteria, a hardy, long-lasting ornamental. Wisteria plants present gardeners with a mostly disease-resistant option that doesn't attract many insects. Keep wisterias in tip-top shape by planting them in the right environment and performing routine maintenance, including regular pruning and training.
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Black aphids, or plant lice, may attack the flower buds of young wisteria plants during humid seasons. Dry weather naturally eliminates these pests, though dry seasons may bring about red spider mites, which give adult wisteria leaves a drought-ridden appearance. Cold weather kills red spider-mite eggs. Pesticides remedy both black aphids and red spider mites, but should only be applied in cases of extreme infestation.
Mild fungi such as oidium, cercosporae and phyllosticta cause irregular blotches and spots on plant leaves, but don't pose a serious threat. Low-nutrient content causes chlorosis, a discolouration of leaves, in wisteria plants. Fight chlorosis with a biyearly application of iron sulphate and the removal of any buried debris competing with the plant's root system. Very rarely, the incurable disease agrobacterium tumefacens attacks the root system of wisteria plants, causing death. Avoid infection by keeping your pruning tools clean.
Green fingers growing wisteria commonly face blooming failure. This occurs when the plant remains in the juvenile period for too long, preventing it from blooming at the expected time. Lack of sunlight, too much nitrogen-based fertiliser, competing roots, improper pruning or over-pruning -- especially in winter or spring seasons -- inhibit wisteria blooming. Remedy non-blooming wisterias with a hardy application of superphosphate, or heavy pruning of new growth in the early summer season. Wisterias reproduced from seed may take as long as 15 years to bloom; avoid the wait by planting from cuttings or using grafted plants.
Environment and Care
Avoid wisteria problems by keeping plants in an ideal environment for growth. Fabaceae plants need full sunlight -- at least six hours of daily direct sun -- to bloom at their full capacity. These vines prefer well-drained, nutrient-rich soil that is kept consistently moist. The plants tolerate most soil types, but grow best in slightly acidic soil with a pH of about 6.0 to 7.0. After flowering, prune wisteria plants 6 inches back from the main stem, and remove shoots that appear at the plant's base.
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