The yard of the Ordinary House has been owned by wisteria for years. I cut one vine last fall that was nearly 8 inches in diameter at its base. It’s an absolutely beautiful plant while it’s blooming in the spring, but it gets out of control fast and is nearly impossible to eradicate completely. I didn’t reach all our vines before they produced fuzzy seed pods that fell to the ground, dried up and deposited nickel-sized seeds all around the yard. I figured that a handful of the seeds would sprout come spring, but baby wisteria plants are popping up everywhere. The photo below is proof of how tenacious wisteria’s grip on your landscape can be.
I estimate that the plant pictured here is less than a week old. In that time, the seed has sent out a thick, well-developed root system and three clusters of leaves. When you see this, it’s easy to imagine how a vine can grow to eight inches think and extend to the top of a 50-foot tall tree. I’ve also learned that you can’t casually fling wisteria cuttings to the ground. Nearly any portion of the plant seems to be able to take root if it comes into contact with bare soil. I managed to get the bulk of the vines cleared, but I expect the last 10% to linger for years before they’re completely gone.