The Wonder of Wisteria: From Nuisance to Resource

Community gardeners, farmers, and home gardeners alike are all too aware of the often annoying pervasiveness of wisteria vine. The crawling, climbing vine is persistent, and it seems to propagate with a vengeance, spreading exponentially whenever it is mowed over or pruned. In fact, just yesterday, Adam and I fought for the better part of a day to free our beloved mulberry tree from the vice grip of a wisteria thicket.

Given our youthful industriousness, our desire to utilize all resources on the farm well, and our dwindling supply of twine and rope, we discovered that, when harvested and processed, wisteria vine can make a fine, sturdy cord to be used for trellising or other garden purposes.

Moreover, it’s a very simple process!

First, using pruning shears or a knife, harvest several lengths of wisteria vine. Be careful to select vines that are green; brown vines are already dead and will become brittle when boiled later. After cutting the vines, clear the leaves off.

wisteria harvest

Place a few of the stripped vines in a pot of boiling water, and let them boil until they lose their color (approx. 25 minutes). Boiling the vines will give them added strength and help make them more flexible. Take them out and lay them out to cool.

photo-15After the vines have completely cooled and dried, they are ready for use. Now we have endless lengths of our own (free!) trellising cord.

photo-16

There are many other ways to use wisteria as well. For example, check out this recipe for wisteria blossom wine.

Peace!

-Andrew

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One thought on “The Wonder of Wisteria: From Nuisance to Resource

  1. Pingback: Fun Flower Facts: Wisteria | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

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