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My giant Wisteria, over 30 years old, covering two sides of a large house and up 'til 2008 healthy, vigorous and rampantly growing and flowering is now in extremis. In 2008 it flowered magnificently then sent out long tendrils as usual. Then suddenly these tendrils died back and the leaves fell. The second flowering in August did not take place. In 2009 there were very few flowers and few leaves and many brances had died. This year 2010 whole branches, some 20ft long are dead and rotten while on others green shoots have sprouted somewhat weedily from parts of the main trunk. There were a few flowers and branches with leaves and these are green at present.....I have searched the web for information on pests and diseases, checked images of the likely culprits and then checked my wisteria with a magnifying glass on its leaves, stems, branches, trunk and going to the main root. I cannot find any sign at all of the scale insects (re recent news 2010) nor of phytophora ramorum (recent news re oaks and ornamental trees and shrubs) nor of honey fungus or crown gall. There is no sign of a graft below which I might search for suckers and I cannot see any healthy suckers either. The plant is not over or underwatered, it has been properly and regularly pruned. I am a microbiologist by training and I do recognise fungi when I see them and I do not see any of these mentioned. However the leaves are mottled and the bark has a slightly rusty red colour in parts so there could be a systemic infection and/or physiological condition. I now see that many gardeners all over the country are having similar problems with their Wisteria and when 30 year old specimens go down all over the country I do think that the RHS could attempt a far better response than they have done to James A-S. We can all access the web and I'm sure that most of us have already checked out these basic facts accordingly so general so-so advice is just not good enough. What we need from the RHS is specific help with this problem that shows a more pro-active approach. I am not a member, but how about the RHS has a look at a Wisteria of an RHS member, or indeed several members with this now common problem, attempts to identify a specific cause scientifically and then gives more specific advice in an on-line article - that I would certainly join up to access. Many of us are not new gardeners and are frustrated and sad at the obvious sickness of these plants and a lack of knowledge about what to do with them.
My 6 year old wisteria flowered beautifully this year, though the leaves didn't seem to develop fully and it has now, quite suddenly, withered and appears to be dying. No new shoots at all. We have had an incredibly dry Spring and Summer. Our soil is clay. I'm so very sad. It hurts. It does help to know that other gardeners are experiencing similar problems. Early signs of climate change?
Think I have found the culprit. Severley pruned back the wisteria today. (Husband holding the ladder) Found something that looks a wee bit like a woodlouse, only much smaller. Rather the size of a slightly squashed' in shape, ladybird and a brownish red in colour.Easily dislodged with finger,then explodes with hundreds of white egg looking things. The host appears to be an empty shell. We have burned all cuttings. These 'parasites'? appear to be more on the tips of the plant. Not as numerous as I would have expected to devastate my wisteria so easily and quickley. What is the prognosis please? Will the plant renew itself?
My wisteria has been in for about 4 years and has always had really healthy leaves. It flowered for the first time this year followed by lots of heathly looking leaves. Over the last few days the leaves have fone really limp as is underwatered. I have had a look but cannot find any bugs on it. I have sprayed it anyway with an insecticide and will let you know what happens over the next week.
Penny: In their defence the RHS does not know everything. They are generally very diligent in hunting down the causes of things like this. They are just a bit stumped at the moment. Beryl: I honestly don't know if your plant will revive. It seems unlikely that these bugs have caused the demise of your plant: especially as there is no other record of other wisteria wilt sufferers reporting bug infestation. If you have any bugs left then the RHS will definitely be able to identify the pest. Val: Keep us informed.


two years ago my wisteria decided not to flower, last year it again decided it wasn't going to flower and in summer the leaves turned a pale yellow and went crinkly and generally just wilted - I blamed the weather! This year no flowers but the leaves were a really good colour and looked really healthy then....late june the leaves went all yellow and crinkly again and the new shoots just died back. I had a look at the stems and although I didn't notice them at first I found some scale insects at the end of last years growth. I had a look on the internet and found pictures of the dreaded wisteria scale.....Yup looks familiar!!!!! Armed with systemic insecticide its had two thorough coatings and so far so good, its lost the crinkly look and the new leaves and shoots are looking really healthy. A bit worrying if the RHS think its confined to London area because I'm pretty sure thats what was going on with mine and Im in Hampshire
Seems like this is the problem, and the outlook does not look good:
my whisteria is wilting and the leaves are falling off it flowered earlier this year and every year for the past 10 year
There is some good advice to be found here:
Thank you for your messages.The Telegraph report says it all. My once beautiful wisteria appears to be completely wiped out.Almost certainly wisteria scale. No sign of life whatsover. Last year the foliage was so dense we had blackbirds and pigeons happily nesting there. I too cannot believe that something so small could have done so much damage. Many thanks... BerylM
My wisteria has the same problems as the recent comments, one day ok the next crispy, crinckly and very sad looking. However, where the wisteria is planted its bottom 2 feet are covered by my lavender bush and the few stems from this area growing through are not affected. Can you comment on this, my other wisteria at the front of the house is not affected, as yet!
Our Wisteria is 30years old & suddenly the leaves have turned yellow, dried up & are falling off. It has happened very fast. Seems we are not alone:( I have read about Crow gall bacteria, but is there anything we can do?
I'm in Oregon and my 14-yr-old wisteria 'tree' has suddenly crinkled up and is dying, too. It's been perfect for all this time, with blooms throughout summer. I can see no evidence of any of the problems mentioned above. What could possibly kill such a healthy plant inside of a week?
my wisteria is loosinf its leaves they have gone yellow and are fallinf off does this happen getting ready for the winter?
Irene: Yes. It is Autumn and you will find that many trees are losing their leaves. Don't panic.


After 20yrs part of our lovely Wisteria that covered the front of our cottage, slowly started to die off. We checked it for blight and scale but it seemed fine. The other side of the 'plant' leafed up this year but didn't flower and now that also looks very poorly. Out gardening last week, my Husband happen to lean on one of the branches and it just was totally rotten and inside the dried out branch were two white grubs (alive). We tried other branches and they were exactly the same, all contained these white grubs. We heard a report last year, mainly occuring in London and the South of England, concerning a 'sap sucking bug' that attacks and kills Wisteria's, has anyone else heard of this.? We have now had to cut the whole Wisteria down and burn all the branches, such a shame.
Hello from Australia. I live in the colder parts in the Australian alps and we have coldish winters and unbearably hot nasty summers 90 C up to 110C. I have a three /four year old Japanese wisteria florabunda which is on the back fence and is thriving and flowered in full for the first time this spring ( sping now for us ) the blooms were lovely and the smell just heavenly. . last sping, I planted a Japanese senensis on the side fence which is shady .. its a little plant but it was growing well now some of the leaves are turning light brown and the growth seems to be retarded... this little one is pathetic, its only one year old but the growth is also pathetic.. oh yes, our winter just past was a deluge, we had inches and inches of rain with only a couple of frosts its been raining buckets this spring and were now just into 26C - 32 C weather which will get hotter as the days go by. The leaves havent crumpled up , they are soft and brown, not all, but it does look like it might kick the bucket. Luckily the Japanese florabunda is amazing , the neighbour has a thing for chopping back anything hanging over her side of the fence so I hope her hacking at it wont kill it. . my side its flourishing of course. It was beautiful to see many flowers for the first time this year. The sinsenis * spelling* is the worry .. its only young though, I am wondering why it even had two long blooms when its only about 12 months old.. maybe even not even 12 months old, any info will be appreciated.
I forgot to mention that our spring has been 'tropical' we have been getting lots of hot tropcial rain from northern Australia, the humidity and warm rain has made the garden' go off' it looks like a jungle, I am wondering whether this rain and humidity has made the little wisteria go brown -ish .. the other one is thriving. The rain was out of control. Thanks.
i have a wistria vine been flowering every years for 3 years a very healty vince at actually covered my whole gazebo house and makes beautiful flowers but this year i notice the bud came out on november and did not bloom, there no leaves no buds nothing now is already march it should be flowering now but the vine looks like dead and not a single leaves in there , i have no idea what had happen. please adviced
I have a 12 year old wisteria which did not flower for the first 6 years. However, once it started flowering we were treated to two bursts of flowers one in June and then a further flourish in August/September. Now this year there is no sign of life. Not a leaf, bud or anything. We did have an extremely cold winter and I wonder if this is the reason although the wisteria is on the side of the garage so protected from the elements. Should I remove the wisteria which has a 9inch diameter trunk or do you think it may come back? Your advice would be most welcome as I am so sorry to have lost such a spectacular plant.