After combing the internet, (and geez, I went from top to bottom), I found there was just NO information on how to secure a Wisteria to a wall. The plant has a habit of growing 18 inch+ trucks, and destroys trellises it is climbing upon. It’s no joke growing a Wisteria.
Enter the book “Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls” By Nigel Dunnet and Noel Kingsbury. Some good ole boys from Germany who love to talk about vines and roof grass. Who would have thought there are German Hippies? Well, it takes a German Hippy to figure this stuff out. The book is first part – roofs, second part heavy vines. Most references in the book are related to Wisteria,which is why it works so well.
Google has portions of the book online, here: “Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls”
So let’s get to the data. Firstly, a chart right out of the back page:
- Size: 30 m – 99 feet (difficult to get them to grow horizontally).
- Profile: max of 1.2m – 4feet
- Zone: 5
- Vigour: Very strong
- Weight: light, maximum of 15kg (about 25 pounds) per square meter (1.4 pounds per sq foot). Although this may be exceeded by weight of trunk at lower levels, which carries much of its own weight.
- Support: vertical supports, round cross section, trellis with right angle mesh.
- Min Height of support: 15 meters
- Optimum width of support: 3m – 9.9 feet
- Distance from Wall: at least 15 cm with the possibility of a sizeable trunk developping in later years at the base. (Up to 1.5 feet thick)
Notes: “Supports need to be of a material whose surface roughness will eliminate the possibility of the plant’s wt causing it to slip. Steel cable and fibreglass both offer enough surface friction. … In some cases, vertical cables are actually designed to break at high tension. the plants are held at the top and firmly rooted at the base, so this does not matter.”
Wall Support Types:
Great page right out of the Book:
Material for Trellis
Their recommending Metal, because it doesn’t fall apart after 25 years like wood. But these guys are engineers, so you expect them to push “common Sense”. In my case, I prefer wood as it is so much more beautiful and alive. Regardless, they make the great point that industrial steel cables are meant for this type of work, are easily available and do a good job.