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trouble with grafted wisteria

I had bought this wisteria plant on December 20th, 2015 & had planted it on the same day.

The plant was watered weekly, leaving no stagnant water. After around 15-20 days the leaf-ends started to turn brown & black. It seemed like leaf rot to me.

I prepared a solution of .75 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon mustard oil, 2 tablespoon of dish-washing liquid in 500 ml water & sprayed very lightly just once as it covered most of the leaves. Now the leaves look really sick & the issue seems to have spread more.

I am from India and temperatures now range between 23-10 C. Please tell from the image what seems to be the problem from some of the pictures. The stem seems green though..









  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    You may be watering too much shraman. Let the soil dry out before watering it again. I appreciate your temperatures will mean regular watering, but I'd be a little less generous if I were you. Leave it a few weeks then scratch back some of the bark with your fingernail, if it's green under the bark then it'll live, if not then take it back. It may also be suffering from shock. Some plants resent being moved from pot to ground ,but a little less water would be my suggestion.

  • Thanks a lot, Dave. I was at my wits end on what to do. Your quick reply really brightened it up for me. I will not water the plant for 2-3 week or unless the soil dries out a lot. The soil seems to remain moist where i have planted. I hope i will have a live plant after that waiting!!

  • Thanks a lot for the very warm welcome!! it is really nice being in the friendly forum..
    I have uploaded some pictures of the stem, below the graft. The area around & above graft seems slightly green. There has been no growth below the graft yet.

    I had sown some pieces of bone meal & mustard cake on the soil. Some fungus growth has happened on the mustard cakes.

    I did not find white powdery growth on the leaves or lines around the leaf veins. There are some white remains which seems to be of the baking soda I had applied. The initial colours & symptoms looked a bit like leaf rot.

    I had bought 5 wisteria seeds from the seller & none germinated so he offered me this plant at a discount. i am afraid he will not give me any refund..

    Please let me know if i can share any more pictures. It would be really great if i can save the plant..








  • ohh.. Any idea what disease could the plant have caught? I have only sprayed the solution once & have not done it again. I thought maybe the solution did this.

    I fond some links which said baking soda & dish washing liquid is a good home remedy to remove leaf rot.. I hope I have not messed up..


  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,024

    Hi Shraman!  image

    I'm probably being stupid here...  is it summer with you at the moment?  Here in northern Britain our wisterias have lost their leaves for winter.  And before the leaves fall they can look pretty grotty.

    Thinking about what you used to spray your plant - the dish washing liquid might be used in the solution as a "wetting agent" so your spray didn't run off the leaves so quickly.  Maybe the mustard oil is for the same purpose.  We don't use baking soda in Britain against fungal diseases (we're not allowed to use substances not approved as fungicides - we have a nanny state!) but the Internet tells me it has some effectiveness.

    It's possible that your wisteria had powdery mildew.  Apparently on wisterias it often doesn't produce the white "dusting" you get on other plants.  But I'm wondering if you sprayed it when the sun was shining on it?  The brown leaf tips look burnt, which might be a result of this.

    Once mildew has affected the leaves, those leaves won't recover whatever you do.  Collect up any leaves which fall off the plant and burn them, and if you're lucky it'll produce new leaves soon.  Feed it in the spring.  It likes well-drained soil but needs regular watering especially when young (a bit of a balancing act so it doesn't dry out completely or get waterlogged!)  

    So fingers crossed that it'll recover!  And it's probably a good thing your wisteria seeds didn't germinate - seed-grown plants can take 20 years before they flower...

    Happy gardening!  image

    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Shraman, that graft isn't the best I've seen that may be the problem. However it's not the worst! Just try doing what I've suggested see how it goes. It doesn't look like powdery mildew though.

  • Hi Liriodendron,

    It is winter here, now & this is pretty much the lowest temperatures we get image. So I am hoping maybe my plant is shedding its leaves. Some of the trees around are shedding leaves too, but those are yellow. The wisteria leaves are yellow & also has some black/brown patches. They turned like that a few days after i sprayed ..

    My family does not want to bring commercial fungicides into the house. We have a very inquisitive dog & wanted to avoid any poisoning. That is why i tried the mix from internet. Yes, i too read the oil is to hold the baking soda so that it does not run off. I sprayed the mix in late evening to avoid burning the leaves. The quantity was very small too.

    Some leaves are falling off, on touch. I am throwing them away from the plant. The plant is in a place which receives 2 hours of direct sunlight in winter & a bit more in summer. So the soil stays moist mostly. Once the plant starts growing, I will try to train the plant so that it receives around 8 hours of sunlight.

    Yes, 20 years is a very long time.The plant is received seems to be a pink wisteria sinensis. I am checking every day just to see if some new leaves are emerging. Thankfully, the stem has a green tinge to it. 

    Thank you so much. I am hoping too that the plant is just shedding its leaves. image

  • Dave, I was worrired about the graft failing. When i bought the plant the stems were white. Few days after planting, The stems started to have a green tinge & part of the stem above the graft turned green too. Now the green tinge has reached till the steam supporting the leaves. I have not tried scrapping the bark, maybe to not to hurt the struggling plant image I am still trying to control it image

    The place where i have planted receives only 2 hours of direct sunlight now in winter. So, the soil mostly stays moist even without watering. Pinching some amount of soil does not leave dripping water on the finger but just wet enough to put "mud-mark".

    I will wait & water when the soil dries out as you have suggested.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Sounds like shock shraman, if the stems are greening up it means its taking up water, so it may well be OK.

  • Thanks Dave. The plant had to bear the travel from the seller to me. It is not disturbed much now & the root ball has been placed quite deep. I hope it will settle down & spread its roots soon.

    I have read wisteria is a hardy plant & people often intentionally damage roots to promote growth. I hope mine will take the shock in stride. I guess there is nothing much i can do from my side now rather than checking everyday..image

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