Wisteria in the kitchen!
By Jennifer Holmes

Wisteria in the kitchen!

Wisteria – an unwanted guest

Who knew this rather beautiful climber with its delicate clusters of lilac or white flowers could make its way into your kitchen!

Yes, that’s right, this month our team were called in to treat an unusual case of wisteria that managed to bore its way through a property wall. As you can see from the pictures it entered underneath the skirting board, pushing its way through brick and cement to finally trail along the kitchen floor.

You can clearly see the shoots appearing which, if left alone, would continue to grow inside the house, as the root system would supply water and nutrients to the growing shoots.

This is an interesting one for us, we don’t get many requests as unusual as this but we’re always happy to help control species that cause invasively issues. Wisteria is not native to the UK the Chinese and Japanese wisterias (Wisteria sinensis and Wisteria floribunda) if allowed to grow in the wild have been known to smother areas of forestation and harm the biodiversity of those areas affected by cutting out light and nutrients to other species. Wisteria can also cause issues closer to home (or indeed inside your home)!

what you should know

There are also a few facts that we think you should know about this plant:

  1. ALL parts of the wisteria plant are toxic, especially the pods and seeds – just a few seeds can cause severe irritation such as oral burning, stomach cramps and vomiting. There have been reports of ingestion of seeds causing vertigo.
  2. Wisteria can suffer from a tiny beetle. The Wisteria Borer create holes and tunnels in the woody part of the stems where they live, lay their eggs and happily breed, but the real issue is when the boring severs the plant’s root system.
  3. Wisteria is an extremely strong and vigorous twiner which can reach a height of 20 metres, it’s tendrils can work their way into tiny structural cracks causing a significant amount of damage.
  4. Wisteria’s prolific growth and canopy like structure can block out light to other plants, or effectively strangle them.
  5. Different species of wisteria vines twine in different directions; Chinese wisteria twines counter clockwise, while American and Japanese species climb clockwise.

still want wisteria?

And finally, if you do want to have wisteria adorn your property here’s some tips:

  • Opt for planting the American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) and evergreen wisteria (Millettia reticulata) which are non-invasive.
  • Ensure you have the right support structure in place for the plant to grow around.
  • Prune your wisteria every year to avoid it getting top-heavy and damaging the structure it’s growing on, and to stop the plant sending out runners from the base which can invade other areas of either your land or encroach onto a neighbours land.

If you happen to spot this unwelcome guest in your house or property, let us know so we can help.

Contact the team