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Great Design Plant: Millettia Reticulata

http://decor-ideas.org 10/19/2015 23:13 Decor Ideas 

Evergreen wisteria (Millettia reticulata) has a confusing name, because it is not a true wisteria, nor is it evergreen everywhere that it grows. It is a gorgeous, reliable, fragrant flowering vine that will climb to a height of 30 feet in favorable growing conditions. Plant it with support to provide lush shade over a walkway or patio, or use it to create a thick living wall on a trellis or cables.

Unlike the lavender-blooming Chinese and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis and W. floribunda), evergreen wisteria is not an invasive plant. Plant it in autumn to establish the roots through the winter. It will quickly cover a pergola, provide a perfumed scent and attract pollinators throughout the spring and summer.

by Falon Land Studio LLC
Botanical name: Millettia reticulata
Common names: Evergreen wisteria, summer wisteria
Origin: Southern China
Where it will grow: Hardy to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 12 degrees Celsius (USDA zones 8 to 11; find your zone); evergreen throughout the winter in zones 9b and 10; semideciduous in zones 9a and 8
Soil requirement: Adaptable to any well-draining soil
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Mature size: Can reach 15 to 30 feet high and 15 feet wide (3 to 6 feet wide at the base)

Shown: A cluster of pinkish-purple flowers on evergreen wisteria

Traditional Landscape by UpCountry Inc
Benefits and tolerances: Very fragrant flowers; blooms during intense summer heat; drought tolerant; attracts pollinators; a good noninvasive alternative to Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (W. floribunda)
Seasonal interest: Large, colorful blooms all summer
When to plant: Autumn is preferable to establish roots during the winter, but it can be planted year-round.

Shown: Young evergreen wisteria vines being trained onto the posts of a pergola

by Falon Land Studio LLC
Distinguishing traits. Evergreen wisteria is a woody climbing vine that will cover large areas with lush, almost shrub-like, growth. Its foliage is finely textured, with compound leaves of pointed leaflets that are a dark, glossy green. Prolific clusters of pea-like flowers appear throughout spring and summer. The flowers can range from a dark lavender-purple to a reddish maroon.

Shown: The finely textured foliage of an evergreen wisteria climbing up a large pergola

Contemporary Landscape by UpCountry Inc
How to use it. Evergreen wisteria is best used on a large pergola or trellis. It has excellent heat tolerance and blooms profusely throughout the summer. This is a robust plant, growing quickly up and over structures. Use it to provide living shade on a pergola over a patio, as pictured here.

by Falon Land Studio LLC
Planting notes. Evergreen wisteria is a vigorous climbing vine and a rapid grower. Take care to plant it by itself — not near any trees or shrubs — so that it does not spread over other plantings. If it does get out of hand, simply shear it back. It is easy to train up a trellis or pergola as long as you give it support cables or posts that it can wrap its twining stems around. Evergreen wisteria responds well to annual pruning, so shear it as you like to keep it from sprawling.

Plant transplants 6 to 8 feet apart for an instantly lush effect. The vine can also be spread by air layering, which is best done in early spring. If you live in the colder parts of this plant’s prime growing zones, be sure to heavily mulch the root crown to reduce potential frost damage.

Shown: The base of a mature evergreen wisteria vine

See how to grow other attractive flowering vines
Grow Your Own Privacy: How to Screen With Plants and Trees

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