Wisteria Bonsai Tree

What is Wisteria Bonsai & Care Guide

Learn all about Wisteria Bonsai Trees and how to take care of them.
Scientific/Botanical NameWisteria sp.
DescriptionWisteria trees have vine-like tendencies, but with thicker trunks. The trees grow vigorously, and the branches climb and curve, from which the blooms will hang when they appear in the spring. The blooms are fragrant and can be colored blue, lavender or white. Leaves are small and green.
PositionThe tree performs well in full-sun or part-sun. It does need to be protected from strong winds when grown outdoors, however.
WateringThe wisteria tree needs a great amount of water when it is growing, especially just prior to and during its blooming cycle. Ideally, the pot should be set in a tray of water, allowing the tree to take in all the water that it needs via its roots. When the top of the soil is wet, the tray should be removed.
FeedingWisterias are heavy feeders. Nevertheless, the tree should be fed with a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen because wisteria fixes its own nitrogen from the atmosphere, and an excess of the nutrient will promote foliar growth at the expense of flowers. Use a fertilizer that is made specifically for wisterias, and follow the feeding guidelines.
Leaf and Branch Pruning As a minimum, the Wisteria should receive an annual pruning in the fall. Hard pruning should only be carried out when no blooms are on the tree. Cut away all the shoots that will not be needed as branches. The object of pruning is generally to create or maintain a weeping or cascading habit, which is ideal for displaying the flowers when they are in bloom. For more abundant blooms, remove the seed pods as soon as they appear so that growth will be diverted to the flowers, and not to the development of seeds.
Re-potting & Growing MediumRe-pot young trees once a year, either in the early part of spring or in the fall. The roots should be teased out and pruned severely. More mature trees should be re-potted every two years. Wisterias perform best when planted in wide, deep pots, and the use of fresh soil each time re-potting occurs will minimize the risk or spread of disease.
WiringWiring to create the desired shape and style should not be undertaken until blooming has been completed.
NotesWisterias trees will not bloom until they are at least 10-years-old. The wisteria seed pods and seed are highly toxic if ingested: Exercise care around children and pets.

Gardeners who enjoy flowering trees can appreciate growing Wisteria bonsai. This miniature tree is a smaller version of the flowering shrub found in many countries of the world such as China, Japan, and the United States. It does require a great deal of care and patience in order to produce its fragrant blossoms, so people who choose this plant should be aware of its needs beforehand.

Here are some interesting facts to know about Wisteria bonsai:

1. It takes at least ten years before the plant will produce blooms. Until that time, this tiny tree will have glossy green leaves but will not flower.

2. The tree will grow rather quickly and requires repotting every two to three years.

3. Wisteria bonsai should be pruned at least once a year, preferably in the fall.

Trunk & Branches

The Wisteria bonsai tree has woody branches, which grow in a somewhat curved pattern. The trunk is also curved and may have between one to three different sections. The branches and trunk are both covered with a medium to dark brown bark that is generally smooth to the touch.


The leaves of a Wisteria bonsai tree are medium to dark green in color. These leaves are oval-shaped, yet slightly pointed on the ends. They appear on either side of long strands, with a single leaf being attached to the tip of the strand. The leaves have a light gloss to them, and the veins are only slightly noticeable.


Most of the time, the flowers on a Wisteria bonsai tree are lavender in color. Even so, they may occasionally be blue, white, or a combination of different colors. The blooms generally appear to be drooping and actually consist of several tiny petals that are very close together. They usually bloom in late spring or early summer if kept in outdoor containers, but can bloom any time of the year if grown indoors. The blossoms have a moderate floral fragrance, which also attracts birds and butterflies if the plant is left outdoors.


A Wisteria bonsai usually grows between one to two feet tall in most instances. It may grow larger than this if left unchecked, which is why pruning the plant is extremely important. This specimen can reach a circumference of around 18 inches. The leaf strands generally reach a length of around 14 inches, while each individual leaf on the strand is approximately 2 inches long. The blooms can grow anywhere from 12 to 14 inches long.


Along with the flowers, a Wisteria bonsai tree also produced pods. These pods are long, flat, and narrow and somewhat resemble pea pods. Inside them are tiny seeds that look much as beans do. These seeds can be transplanted in order to grow another Wisteria bonsai tree. Since both the seeds and the pods themselves are poisonous, the plant should be kept away from children and animals.

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This tree can grow in different types of light, but it prefers full sunlight. If placing the tree in direct sunlight is not possible, then it should at least have filtered sunlight for most of the day. Outdoor trees must be protected from the wind because they can be knocked over whenever high winds prevail. This is not normally a concern when the plant is grown indoors.

Wisteria bonsai needs constantly moist soil, but standing water could result in root rot. Daily watering is recommended to soak the soil and maintain constant moisture. A watering tray can also be used provided the roots are not given more water than they are able to absorb naturally.

A healthy Wisteria bonsai plant needs to be fertilized from time to time. The best fertilizer to use is one that is low in nitrogen. This is because the tree can naturally absorb nitrogen from the air surrounding it. Adding a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen can sometimes prevent the tree from blooming. Fertilizing should take place from late summer through the end of fall and does not need to happen while the specimen is still blooming.

The tree should be pruned with a set of hand-pruning shears after the blooms drop off. This is done by making a cut in each shoot approximately six inches from the trunk. Ideally, there will be a few leaves left on each shoot after this is accomplished. Gardeners can also use pruning shears to help them modify the bush into a more pleasing shape. Wisteria bonsai may need more than one pruning session, but over-pruning is not recommended. Each instance should be done two to four weeks apart if possible, with the last one occurring in mid-winter just before buds appear.


It is important to choose the right container for a Wisteria bonsai tree. The ideal one will be wide enough to allow the plant’s roots to be fully extended with some room remaining all the way around. The container does not have to be exceptionally deep, but should nonetheless be between 12 and 18 inches deep. There should be plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the container.

The container used to transplant the Wisteria bonsai should be clean when doing so. If the pot has previously been used, it is a good idea to wash it thoroughly with soap and hot water in order to kill any bacteria that may be present. When using a new container, this is generally not necessary.

Good quality potting soil should be used for transplanting the Wisteria bonsai. One designated for flowering plants is ideal for this specimen, but regular potting soil may also be used. Fresh soil should be used at each transplanting in order to prevent the spread of disease to this tree.

Wisteria bonsai is a beautiful plant that can provide years of fragrant blooms with the proper care and attention. Growing this tree will add visual interest to any area of a home or garden whether indoors or out.