Texas Purple Japanese Wisteria Grows Incredibly Fast

wisteria growing up steel pergolafast growing wisteriaOne of the concepts we designed the back of the house around was a porch/pergola with wisteria growing on it. Wisteria have a reputation of taking years to get established and bloom, so we wanted to get the wisterias started early.

A couple weeks after we moved in we went to a couple nurseries trying to find wisteria plants to buy. The second place we went was Sam Bridge Nursery in Old Greenwich, CT. As we were approaching I knew it was going to be incredible. I had figured it would be on the outskirts of Greenwich, but no – it’s smack dab in the center of one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country. The mansions around the nursery were humbling.

Needless to say service was incredible. There was always someone close at hand to give advice – they even insisted on loading the stuff we bought into the car, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

They had a few different types of wisteria to choose from. Cell service was pretty bad, but we were able to validate what was on the tags by looking things up online. We had a few criteria – it needed to grow to 25+ feet since the top of our pergola is about 20 feet off the ground. “Fast growing” was a big plus, as was “blooms quickly” (since wisteria can take years to actually bloom after being planted). “Texas Purple” Japanese Wisteria was available and seemed to fit all those criteria.

The web sites said that Texas Purple could grow “up to 10 feet a year”. WRONG. It grew 10 feet the first month after we planted it and one of the plants has actually reached the top of the pergola – which means it’s grown about 15-16 feet in two months! (They were about 4-5 feet tall when we bought them). The other plant is just a couple feet behind it. The faster growing plant actually has three shoots coming up, the slower growing plant has just one (so far). They’ve probably got another month and a half of growing this year – so they may very well grow 25 feet this year alone – which is absolutely stunning.

We got two different types of mulch from Sam Bridge plus top soil that looked incredibly rich. I’m sure they have helped by giving the wisteria lots of nutrients. We should probably go back for more mulch – it seems to do wonders for the plants.

Other than those two wisteria, the back yard is still a complete mess…

messy back yard of Harlem townhouse

But hey, we’ve got two wisteria 🙂

The contractor is starting to wrap up construction, we have our big end-of-project inspection Thursday. We’re hoping to have a TCO (Temporary Certificate of Occupancy) shortly after that. They still have to finish the stoop. Dan’s fabricating the missing pieces out of fiberglass (another blog post), and after not liking the “brownstone finish” our contractor picked out, we think we’ve found one. We even had them do color matching to the original brownstone.

6 thoughts on “Texas Purple Japanese Wisteria Grows Incredibly Fast

  1. For good nutrient rich compost/mulch you can get worms and feed them all your kitchen scraps, they eat through organic matter very quickly producing black gold, which you feed your plants and then mix in the worm poo to improve and maintain good soil. I had two wormeries in London as I was so excited by the fast production and the results from my plants, which greatly benefited from this form of composting. We can talk about it more if you have any questions, but I highly recommend this form of green gardening and plan to do it myself once we are living in Harlem!

    • Let’s talk! One of Jay’s clients brought us a basil plant from the farmer’s market. I was just thinking that I’d like to begin an herb garden and was wondering what soil would be appropriate for plants we’d consume.

      • Hi,

        I am glad to hear from you again – and a bit envious about your wisteria already happily occupying the pergola…
        We are, though, a bit ahead with the kitchen garden – though the space is smaller than last year due to the construction site moving out of the house, we have incredible tomatoes and runner beans … the carrots are also nice, and I should have sown more!
        If you are about to start now, you could still have some herbs and even lettuce and radishes this year. And yes, compost is a great thing and a littele miracle – you do not need anything but a couple of scrap boards to keep the pile in place 🙂


  2. Hello Dan! I have been following your house reno progress for the past 6 months or so. Glad to see you are getting settled! I am taking on a house renovation myself – up around City College. We are getting sarted w/ demo next week. The project includes changing the use – SRO to two-family – and will require the issuance of a C of O; the building never had one. Just curious how you were able to move in w/o a temporary C of O? Was it an exception given to you by the DOB? Just curious because I know how long the logistics might play out in the end and of course will want to move in as quickly as possible. Thanks for any advice and tips you can give!

    • Mariah,

      I’m Jay, my partner is Dan.

      Yes, you’ll need a new C of O.

      Even if you have a vacate order you are usually allowed a caretaker in the building. Which allows homeowners to live in their own homes even without a C of O. Basically, the City isn’t in the business of throwing people out of their own homes.

      You will need a C of O to have rent to other people though… At least you should have one…

      Take care.

      • Thanks Jay! Sorry for the mix-up.. best of luck to you and Dan in your new home. Post some final pics soon… dying to see how it all turned out!

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