The best wisteria plants for small gardens that will thrive and beautify the smallest of spaces

These wisteria varieties will flourish in the smallest of gardens, patios and outdoor spaces

Back garden with wisteria and lavender
(Image credit: Getty Images/owngarden)

If you are attracted to the regal Bridgerton wisteria look but don't think you have the space think again. Even small gardens can be adorned with the waterfall of the climber’s blooms. Just as long as you choose the right variety - which is why we found the best wisteria for small gardens. In fact, we found four of them for you to choose between.

if you're working in a tight space the first thing to know is that you can grow wisteria in a pot or the ground. That might come as a surprise since we’re used to sprawling wisteria covering the entirety of garden fences and building fronts.

Wisterias are fast-growing plants so the key to making them work in your small garden ideas is knowing how to prune wisteria to control the size. However, to help you keep on top of this we've rounded up the least aggressive and smallest type of wisteria plants best suited to a small space.

A patio with wisteria

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Best wisteria for small gardens

‘Wisteria can thrive in small spaces, especially when trained along trellises,’ says Jamie Shipley, gardening expert and managing director at Hedges Direct. ‘Compact varieties are particularly suited for this purpose, as they can adapt well to confined areas.’

You can also add them to small patios by choosing container-friendly varieties. ‘You can grow wisteria in a small space, especially if you go for a variety you can grow in pots. You just have to keep on top of pruning them, in order to prevent them from growing excessively,’ says John Clifford, gardening expert at Gardenstone.

John Clifford
John Clifford

John Clifford is a director of Gardenstone, a leading garden landscaping retailer based in the UK. With over 30 years in the gardening industry and continual work alongside The National Trust, John has amassed an extensive range of gardening and planting knowledge. Alongside his younger son, John has built a strong reputation for Gardenstone as a trusted source for both high-quality garden products and expert gardening advice. 

1. Wisteria Floribunda (Domino)

Back garden with wisteria and lavender

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Similarly to the Floribunda roses being some of the best roses for a small garden, the Wisteria Floribunda Domino is ideal for compact outdoor spaces too.

‘One of the best wisteria varieties for small gardens is the Wisteria Floribunda (Domino). This is because this variety is less aggressive with its growth habits, and is generally well-suited to smaller spaces,’ John advises.

This wisteria variety is especially great if you’re a fan of the classic light purple shade of flowers largely associated with wisteria. And it boats probably the longest strings of blooms out of all on this list.

Where to buy Wisteria Floribunda (Domino):

2. Wisteria Frutescens (Amethyst Falls)

Wisteria on the front of the house

(Image credit: Getty Images/Sebastien Mercier)

If you’re wondering whether there’s a dwarf wisteria, then let us introduce you to the Wisteria Frutescens (Amethyst Falls).

‘There are dwarf wisteria varieties available. One popular option is Wisteria Frutescens, commonly known as the American wisteria. It has a more restrained growth habit compared to other wisteria and short, compact blooms, making it suitable for smaller gardens or even container cultivation,’ Jamie says.

Make sure that you choose the largest possible container to give your wisteria’s roots enough space.

‘Wisteria uses up nutrients and water supplies very quickly and will often exhaust the supplies in a container. If you only have the space to grow a wisteria in a pot, choose the largest one you have to allow the root system to properly develop and enough water and nutrients to be absorbed,’ Jamie adds.

Where to buy Wisteria Frutescens (Amethyst Falls):

3. Wisteria Floribunda (Macrobotrys)

White wisteria in the garden

(Image credit: Getty Images/Rosmarie Wirz)

But Wisteria Frutescens is not the only wisteria that can be grown in a container. There are others, like the Wisteria Floribunda (Macrobotrys), which is a lavender-coloured Japanese variety which can be grown both in a pot or let loose and climb as high as 30 feet. So if you do keep it in a pot, you will need to keep an eye on it and prune it regularly.

‘You could also opt for wisteria that can be grown in a container, such as Wisteria Floribunda (Macrobotrys). Growing your wisteria in a container will mean that you have more control over its size, and can pick it up and move it if necessary. This makes them great for smaller spaces,’ John says. ‘The more compact varieties such as the ones that can be grown in pots require less frequent pruning, whereas other types of wisteria are usually more vigorous.’

Where to buy Wisteria Floribunda (Macrobotrys):

4. Wisteria Floribunda (Rosea)

Purple wisteria

(Image credit: Getty Images/KiltedArab)

Named after its rosy pink hue and large drooping clusters of flowers, the spring-flowering Japanese Wisteria Floribunda (Rosea) is another wisteria plant that can be grown in a pot.

‘You could also opt for Wisteria that can be grown in a container, such as Wisteria Floribunda (Rosea),’ John suggests.

But much like the Wisteria Floribunda (Macrobotrys), this type of wisteria also needs to be regularly pruned to keep it from overgrowing. Jamie recommends the summer and winter as the perfect times when to prune your wisteria.

‘I recommend pruning in the summer - as soon as flowering has finished so the sunlight can ripen next year’s wood and the plant can concentrate its energy reserve on next year’s growth - and once in the winter during the plant’s dormant stage to get rid of straggly and dead growth and encourage the formation of lots of flowering spurs,’ he says.

Where to buy Wisteria Floribunda (Rosea):

Now even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can plant a beautiful wisteria in your garden.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.