Today’s pick is climbing more and more in popularity. Back in the early days, trying to get one of these to flower was a real challenge. And if they liked where they grew, it became massive. Then the question was, ‘how do I control it – but I still want it to bloom?’Well, a few years ago the answer came along and today is becoming a true favorite in the world of vines. Its’ Wisteria frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’, or commonly known as Amethyst Falls wisteria. It’s an American Wisteria, native to eastern North America, grows much slower than the Asian Wisteria, and is a profuse bloomer with lavender blossoms in the late spring to early summer, with a rebloom in late summer! And flowers at an earlier stage than most wisteria. It’s a larval host for several Butterfly species, and those lightly fragrant flowers will attract some pollinators! Sun / part sun – Zones 5-9 – Water when hot and dry - flowers on wood that was produced the previous growing season (one-year-old wood). It's thinner, lighter in color, and more flexible than older wood. Be careful not to remove all the flowering wood when pruning. Regular pruning is key to keeping your large vine full of blooms. Prune the vine twice each year: once before the plant leaf’s out in the spring, and again just after flowers fade. After blooming in the summer, cut back that year’s growth to around 6 inches. This will help control the vine’s growth, as well as encourage thick blooming.
American Wisteria Varieties: 'Nivea': This variety produces short clusters of white flowers. Its main bloom appears in the summer, but this vine is known to sporadically bloom afterward. 'Amethyst Falls': As suggested by the name, Amethyst Falls produces beautiful purple flowers with a light fragrance. This variety blooms at a younger age, making it a good choice if you're in a hurry for a flowering wisteria plant. 'Alba': Another variety with white blooms, Alba produces large white flowers in short, full clusters.
Interesting note: The branches and stems of American wisteria and those of Chinese wisteria twine in a counterclockwise direction – Japanese wisteria twines clockwise.