Training wisteria on a pergola

Asked August 14, 2015, 4:22 PM EDT

My two wisteria plants are nearing the top of the columns and are ready to climb on the pergola. Where should we train the plant to grow on the pergola, for what is the best for the plant, appearance, and stability? Should it wrap around each beam coming from the house? Should it climb and grow on top across all the boards, perhaps with a net laid on top of the boards parallel to the deck? Really want to train it so it fully covers the pergola in the future and looks good, and I know we are at a crucial point! Any advice appreciated.

Ramsey County Minnesota

3 Responses

You may wish to put something a bit more durable than netting. Perhaps you can find some type of fiberglass flexible fencing or something on that order that will cover the boards and allow your vines to grow and spread across the top. Regular netting will probably sag and something like chicken wire will rust. Try visiting some of the big box stores and talking to one of the more experience people in fencing to see what they can come up with.

Thanks, Barbara, appreciate the advice. I was hoping for something less permanent so when the plant matures, it will be less noticeable and potentially cut away from branches.

Would your advice be to train it to grow perpendicular to the boards and on top of the pergola, right? I wasn't sure if it should wrap around the boards, or live mostly on top. Thanks again.

If you wish to have your vines spread evenly across the top, you want them to be on top, not wrapped around the beams. As far as being noticeable, once the vines wrap around and in and out of your support (and they will) you won't be able to see it.