Can you grow wisteria in a pot? Absolutely, but there are 5 things to consider first

Good news, everyone! You absolutely can grow these fragrant purple climbers in a pot...

Close-up of wisteria growing around an English home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Can you grow wisteria in a pot? It's a question that has undoubtedly crossed the mind of anyone who's fallen for the climber's iconic mauve blooms, and dreams of it adorning the side of their home.

The answer is yes, but if you want to learn how to grow wisteria in pots, there are more than a few things to take into consideration. And no, we're not talking about learning when to plant wisteria.

There are 5 golden rules when it comes to sussing out whether you can grow wisteria in a pot, because you're going to need to commit them to memory before you even think about wrangling one of these beauties into your container garden ideas.

Can you grow wisteria in a pot?

Wisteria was first introduced to the UK in 1816, and it's proven to be one of the most popular flowering plants ever since – and little wonder: its large, drooping clusters of pastel-coloured flowers boast a sweet and strong scent that's truly unforgettable.

Exterior of the detached 5 bed house taken from the garden with the decked area under the glass awning and the lawn. A renovated and extended 1930s two bedroom bungalow, extended to a five bedroom family home, then renovated a second time after a fire, home of Amanda Arkell, interior designer, her husband Steve, family and two pets in Christchurch, Dorset.

(Image credit: Future PLC / Polly Eltes)

Traditionally, these vigorous climbers are either trained up a tree or pergola, or encouraged to creep up and along the wall of a house. 

Don't worry, though, because you can grow a wisteria in a pot, too. All you have to do (as mentioned already) is follow these rules...

1. Pick the correct specimen

If you want to grow wisteria in a pot, you’ll need to train yours as a standard (a small tree). This means that you'll ideally want to look for a specimen like wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria), wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria), or Wisteria brachybotrys (silky wisteria). 

American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) is also a good option, as it grows less vigorously than many other varieties.

2. Buy the largest pot you can

'Wisteria can be grown in pots, but you need to ensure that the pot or container is large enough to accommodate the plant's extensive root system,' says Julian Palphramand, Head of Plants at British Garden Centres.

To that end, then, it's best to use a pot that is at least 24 inches (60cm) in diameter and depth. At least. That's why we recommend this gorgeous terracotta olive pot from Crocus – it's every bit as big as it is beautiful.

3. Choose the right soil

Much like an azalea, it's important to make sure you're planting your wisteria in the correct soil.

'You need a very well-draining potting compost, such as John Innes No. 3 from Amazon,' says Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the co-directors at Gardens Revived.

Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the directors of Gardens Revived
Christopher O'Donoghue

A gardener with over a decade of experience under his belt, Christopher set up Gardens Revived with his brother, Andrew, in 2018  to create a thriving family business. Together, they have worked on residential gardens, listed buildings and gardens, flower shows and large estates with some exceeding 70 acres – many with historical significance.

'Just make sure it's a peat-free option,' he adds, noting that you should plant your wisteria at the same level it was in the original pot it came in.

4. Find a seriously sunny spot

Wisteria growing up and over a front door

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you want to grow wisteria in a pot, you will need to adhere to one piece of advice that's every bit as vital as Monty Don's wisteria tip: sunshine, sunshine, sunshine!

'Be sure to place the container in an area that receives ample sunlight, preferably 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily,' advises Julian.  

'If you can only find a spot that's slightly shady, it can still work,' adds Christopher, 'but just know that flowering will be reduced.'

5. Be prepared to give it a lot of TLC

Can you grow wisteria in a pot? Of course you can, so long as you're prepared to show it all the love and attention it deserves.

'Consistent watering is crucial for wisteria, so ensure that the soil remains moist but not waterlogged,' says Julian. 'Regular pruning, especially in late winter or early spring, helps shape the plant and encourage flowering.'

Speaking of winter, Julian adds that wisteria is one of those plants you need to protect from killer frosts, which means you need to cover its container with horticultural fleece to prevent root damage. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Your wisteria will also need a sturdy support, such as a trellis, for the vines to climb. And Christopher suggests you give it a good dose of a lower-nitrogen feed, such as Ecofective Organic Tomato Plant Feed Concentrate from Homebase, every spring to encourage further flowering.


Does wisteria grow well in pots?

Wisteria can grow in pots, so long as you tailor the conditions to suit it perfectly: think plenty of sunshine, a roomy pot for its roots to grow, a consistent watering and pruning schedule, and a good dose of low-nitrogen plant food each spring.

You'll also want to pick the right wisteria variety for a container – try a Japanese or Chinese wisteria plant if you want things to go your way.

Can you keep wisteria small?

A regular pruning schedule is essential if you want to keep your potted wisteria on the smaller side, as they're vigorous growers. It'll improve their flowering display, too!

So, yes, you can grow wisteria in a pot – so long as you're happy to put the work in, of course. And that's no bad thing, we promise. After all, nothing ever comes to one that is worth having, except as a result of hard work... or so the saying goes, at least!

Kayleigh Dray
Acting Content Editor

Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.