Chinese White Wisteria Wisteria sinensis var. sinensis f. alba

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
white-form Chinese wisteria


The plant known commonly as White Chinese Wisteria is a stunning deciduous vine that is admired for its striking and elegant beauty. This variant, characterized by its white flowers, gracefully adorns structures or climbs trees when given support. The cascading flower clusters, known as racemes, are particularly noteworthy and are a sight to behold. They dangle elegantly, creating a romantic, weeping effect and can be quite long. The individual flowers are delicate and pea-like, with a soft white hue that can add a touch of serenity to any garden space. These blooms also give off a delightful fragrance that can be quite enchanting, drawing in passersby. Flowering typically occurs in mid to late spring, creating a magnificent display that heralds the arrival of warmer days. The foliage consists of shiny, bright green leaves that are pinnately compound, meaning that several small, oblong leaflets are arranged on either side of a central stem to form each leaf. This creates a lush, feathery canopy that remains attractive even after the blooms have fallen. In autumn, the foliage may turn a golden yellow color before shedding, adding another layer of visual interest to the plant. With proper care and a suitable structure to support its climbing habit, White Chinese Wisteria is a plant that can bring an unrivaled level of grace and beauty to any landscape setting.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Chinese Wisteria, White Wisteria

    • Common names

      Wisteria sinensis f. alba, Rehsonia sinensis f. alba.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Chinese wisteria is known to be toxic to humans if ingested. All parts of the plant contain toxic substances called glycosides, specifically wisterin. The seed pods and seeds are particularly poisonous. Symptoms of poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and dizziness. In severe cases, poisoning could also lead to confusion, speech problems, and collapse. Consumption of large amounts could result in significant toxicity and require medical attention.

    • To pets

      The Chinese wisteria is also toxic to pets, including dogs and cats. Like in humans, all parts of the plant contain toxic substances, but the seeds and pods pose the greatest risk. If ingested, symptoms in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and depression. More severe signs might include tremors, collapse, and seizures. It is important for pet owners to prevent their animals from consuming any part of the plant, and to seek veterinary care immediately if ingestion is suspected.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      10-25 feet (3-7.6 meters)

    • Spread

      10-30 feet (3-9.1 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Wisteria sinensis var. sinensis f. alba, commonly known as White Chinese Wisteria, offers aesthetic appeal through its cascading white flower clusters, adding elegance and beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Shade Provider: Its dense foliage and vining habit make it an excellent natural shade provider when grown over pergolas or trellises, creating cooler areas underneath.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The plant can provide habitat and nesting sites for various species of birds, as well as being a nectar source for pollinators like bees and butterflies.
    • Longevity: White Chinese Wisteria is a hardy plant that can live for many years, offering a long-lasting addition to the garden.
    • Seasonal Interest: The plant has seasonal interest with its showy blooms in spring, lush green leaves in summer, and potentially appealing seed pods in autumn.
    • Screening: Due to its robust growth, it can be used for screening purposes, hiding unsightly structures and creating privacy.
    • Growth Habit: White Chinese Wisteria's climbing habit allows for versatile garden design, as it can grow on various vertical structures, providing dimension and height to garden spaces.
    • Soil Erosion Control: Its root system can help to stabilize soil and control erosion on slopes or banks.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Biodegradable pots: The fibrous bark of wisteria can be used to create biodegradable plant pots, offering an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic pots.
    • Crafts and basketry: Flexible wisteria vines can be woven into decorative baskets, mats, and other handcrafted items.
    • Fabric dye: Wisteria blooms can be used to produce a range of natural dyes for textiles, imparting soft purples and mauves to the fabric.
    • Natural fencing: The strong, intertwining growth habit can be trained to form living fences or privacy screens in gardens.
    • Water garden feature: Floating the highly fragrant flowers on water surfaces can add an aesthetic and sensory feature to ponds and water gardens.
    • Support for climbing plants: Sturdy, older wisteria vines can serve as natural trellises for supporting other climbing plants like roses or clematis.
    • Traditional musical instruments: In some cultures, wisteria wood has been used to make parts of stringed musical instruments due to its durability.
    • Study material for botany: Wisteria's rapid growth and flowering patterns make it an interesting subject for botanical studies and education.
    • Erosion control: The extensive root system can help stabilize slopes and banks, preventing soil erosion in certain landscapes.
    • Soil improvement: Fallen wisteria leaves decompose into nutrient-rich compost that can be used to improve soil fertility.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Chinese Wisteria is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Chinese Wisteria is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Longevity and Immortality: Wisteria is known for its ability to live for a very long time, often growing for over a century, making it a symbol of longevity and endurance.
    • Love and Romance: The captivating and cascading blooms of white wisteria are symbolic of romance, love, and the blissful intoxication they bring, often used in weddings and romantic occasions.
    • Welcoming: In some cultures, wisteria is planted at the entrance of homes as a sign of inviting good fortune, hospitality, and friendly welcome to guests.
    • Spiritual Ascension: Since wisteria vines grow upwards, they are often associated with seeking higher understanding or spiritual elevation.
    • Patience and Dedication: Wisteria can take years to bloom, representing patient endeavor and the rewards of dedication and hard work.
    • Release of Burdens: The way wisteria blooms fall freely from the vine is sometimes seen as symbolic of letting go of past woes or burdens.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    White Wisteria should be watered thoroughly once a week, allowing the soil to become moist but not soggy. During active growth in the spring and summer, especially in the first few years after planting, it is essential to maintain consistent moisture. Provide approximately 1 gallon of water for younger plants and up to 2-3 gallons for established vines during each watering session. In hot or dry weather, monitoring the soil moisture is important, and additional water may be necessary. However, in the winter, reduce watering as the plant goes dormant and requires less moisture.

  • sunLight

    White Wisteria thrives best in full sun exposure, requiring at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily to flower properly. The ideal spot for this plant is an open area away from shadows cast by trees or buildings. Partial shade can be tolerated, but it may reduce the abundance of blooms.

  • thermometerTemperature

    White Wisteria is hardy and can withstand a range of temperatures; it thrives in conditions between 60°F and 80°F. The plant is capable of surviving winter temperatures as low as -20°F, making it suitable for growth in a variety of climates. However, temperatures exceeding 95°F may stress the plant, so providing some afternoon shade in extremely hot climates can be beneficial.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning White Wisteria is necessary to control its vigorous growth and to encourage flowering. Prune in late winter, removing at least half of the previous year's growth to spur flower development. Prune again in late summer, after flowering, to tidy the plant and cut back any unruly shoots. Pruning can be done annually, but established plants may benefit from additional light pruning throughout the year to maintain shape and size.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    White Wisteria thrives in a deep, rich, and well-draining loam soil mix with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. To create the best soil mix, combine garden soil, compost, and a handful of granular slow-release fertilizer to ensure proper nutrition. Perlite or sand can be added to improve drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    White Wisteria should be repotted every two to three years during dormancy in late winter or early spring. Younger plants may require more frequent repotting as they grow quickly, whereas mature plants can be repotted less often.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    White Wisteria is tolerant of most humidity levels but performs best when outdoor conditions mimic its natural environment. Maintaining average outdoor humidity levels will support its growth, without the need for specific humidity adjustments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use large pots, place in sunny spot, and keep well-pruned.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, ensure support for climbing, prune regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Wisteria sinensis var. sinensis f. alba, also known as Chinese wisteria, begins its life as a seed, which germinates in favorable conditions of warmth and moisture. The seedling emerges and establishes a robust root system while developing its first shoots and leaves. As it enters the vegetative stage, it grows rapidly, producing woody stems that can climb trellises or other supports with its twining growth habit. After several years, when mature enough, it enters the reproductive phase, producing long, pendulous clusters of fragrant white flowers in late spring, which are pollinated by insects, leading to the production of seed pods. These pods mature in summer and can burst open in the fall or winter to release seeds, completing the cycle. While the plant is perennial and can live for many years, this reproductive cycle of flowering and seed production occurs annually once maturity is reached.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating Chinese Wisteria, particularly the white-flowered variety Wisteria sinensis var. sinensis f. alba, is by softwood cuttings. This technique involves taking new growth from the wisteria, typically in spring to early summer when the stems are green and flexible. Cuttings should be about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) length, with several sets of leaves. The bottom set of leaves is removed, and the cut end is dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting is then planted in a moist potting medium like sand, perlite, or vermiculite, ensuring at least one node is below the surface where roots will form. The pot is kept in high humidity and in indirect sunlight until roots have established, which generally takes several weeks.