The Plant Edit

Wisteria frutescens flower cluster-1-
Wisteria is somewhere between a vine and a shrub. It is a fast-growing, sometimes invasive plant that must be pruned heavily to keep it from taking over. It may take six or more years to establish itself before it starts flowering, but can produce ten feet of vine per year. Wisteria requires full sun and prefers moist, well-drained soil with added compost. While wisteria will grow in poor soil or partial shade, it will not flower under these conditions. [1]

How to Harvest Edit

Wisteria can be pruned heavily. Half the prior year's growth can be removed in late winter, leaving just a few buds per stem. Rampant shoots can be pruned every two weeks during the summer. Hard cut-backs are not recommended, as it could take several years for new growth to flower.[1]

How to Extract Color Edit


A blanket dyed by Ravelry user ishkalmen using wisteria and the Gerber dye method to obtain a number of different colors from wisteria.

Twice as much plant material by weight is recommended to be used for dyeing. Chop the leaves and stems into small pieces before adding to a dye pot. Simmer, but do not boil, until the color comes out into the water. Soda ash can be used to set the color, but any traditional mordant can be used. [2]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wisteria. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2015, from
  2. Rostaing, J. (2013, May 1). DIY: Make a Natural Fabric Dye From Wisteria: Gardenista. Retrieved July 28, 2015, from