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A small genus of about ten climbing plants and a number of cultivars. Wisteria is best known for its long clusters of fragrant flowers that appear in spring. The majority of forms have blue flowers but there are also white, purple and pinkish flowers. The dark green leaves are also attractive and they make a good wall cover when the plant is not in flower. Wisteria is usually grown as a woody climber, either against a wall or over a pergola of some sort. A less common way is to grow them as a free-standing tree. The stems of the climber become very thick and gnarled with age, which add to its charm. However, they will eventually weigh a considerable amount so make certain that the wall or pergola will be able to support them. It is a very rampant climber and will produce growth and leaves at the expense of flowers. To ensure a good flowering and to restrict its growth, wisteria should be pruned twice a year. The first prune is in the summer after flowering when all the shoots are cut back to within 4-6 leaves of the main branch. In the winter these are further reduced to 2-3 buds.

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