How to Grow Wisteria floribunda 'Alba' Plants in your Garden

Wisteria floribunda Alba, commonly known as White Japanese wisteria, belongs to the pea family Fabaceae.

This flowering plant is native to Korea and Japan and grows best in USDA hardiness zones 5-9; UK H6. It is a twining vine that twists from left to right.

White Japanese wisteria
Wisteria floribunda (Wisteria) flowers at Crater Rd Kula, Maui, Hawaii photograph by Forest and Kim Starr.

As a fast-growing woody vine it loves to grow up trellises, arbors, walls, and fences.

Wisteria floribunda Alba can grow to be 8 m (27 ft) tall and generall spread to about 4 m (13 feet) wide.

White Japanese wisteria
White Japanese wisteria photograph by yewchan; CC.

Not only do people love this plant for its fragrant white flowers in spring and the start of summer, but for the beautiful green pea pods that follow the flowering stage.

Not to be upstaged are the light green leaves that turn yellow in the autumn. One of the fun attributes of the Wisteria floribunda Alba is that it can be trained to be a free-standing plant in a container.

Wisteria floribunda Alba blooms
Wisteria floribunda var. Alba, image by *FlowerGirl*; CC.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing White Japanese Wisteria

Flower production is most abundant when grown in full sun, but it will grow fine in partial shade.

However, it does not produce flowers until it reaches the adult stage. This can be anywhere from five to ten years.

A moist, well-drained, alkaline soil is preferred.

Use a nitrogen fertilizer sparing to encourage flowering.

It is important to protect a flowering plant from an early frost. A frost can damage the next year's flowers.

Give then a prune after the flowering season is over. Pruning not only helps to promote more flower growth, but it helps to keep the plant to a manageable size.

Further plants can be propagated from softwood or hardwood cuttings, by layering in spring or autumn, or though grafting.

Be aware that Wisteria floribunda Alba is very heavy and will need to have sturdy supports for growing.

Wear gloves when handling this plant as they are toxic when ingested.

The plant commonly lives 50 years, reaching its full height after about 20 years.

White Japanese wisteria flowers
White Japanese wisteria flowers in bloom, photograph by yewchan; CC.

Wisteria floribunda Alba Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Wisteria floribunda Alba
  • Common Name: White Japanese wisteria
  • Growing Zone: USA: 5 to 9; UK H6.
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Shrub, Vine

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 180 to 720
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 480 to 600
  • Time of Bloom: Spring
  • Flower Details: White
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Spreading or horizontal, Variable height, Variable spread

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Partially shady to full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Quick
  • Suitable Soil Types: Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Slightly alkaline, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Moist

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Medium
  • Propagation: Layering, soft- or hardwood cuttings, grafting
  • How to Prune: Regular pruning required
  • Pests: scale insects
  • Diseases: leaf spot, powdery mildew

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of: Deer
  • Best Garden Use: Arbor, Espalier, Pollard
  • Family: Fabaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Bean Family.

  • Miscellaneous: Is not a native plant of N. America, Invasive, Naturalizing, Some parts are poisonous, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy
  • Genus Detail: Wisteria
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on Wisteria floribunda Alba. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Wisteria floribunda and Wisteria sinensis plants in the garden.