Wisteria: Evil Overlord of the Plant Kingdom

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Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash

I know, I know…wisteria is beautiful. Beautiful blooms, beautiful smell, blah blah blah. Wisteria is also the Evil Overlord of the Plant Kingdom. If you have wisteria in your yard, I want you to know that this plant’s primary goal is to destroy everything — including your house.

Think I’m joking? I am not. My proof:

*Wisteria is a legume. That means it looks like a flowering plant, yet it’s closely related to baked beans. It’s been tricking us for years — and that, right there, should be your first tip-off that something sneaky and dangerous is growing in your yard.

*Wisteria makes minions. I have three wisteria trees. Three is enough. But every week, hundreds (I kid you not — hundreds) of wisteria suckers pop up all over my lawn. Every week, I mow them down. Every week, they pop up again. If my lawnmower breaks, I’ll have to move.

*Wisteria is weaponized. I have black weed barrier spread all over my flower beds. I bought the thickest, strongest, best-rated weed barrier I could find. The first summer after I painstakingly measured, cut, laid it out and covered it with a thick layer of mulch, wisteria vines punched right through it. Turns out wisteria pods contain seeds — plus tiny little pocket knives.

*Wisteria kills. Wisteria tendrils look pretty, but they grow several feet every day in the summer months. If you don’t trim them back — fast — they’ll wrap around innocent trees and tighten like psychotic little boa constrictors, turning a yard that was once a beautiful green oasis into a forest of dead tree stumps.

*Wisteria is vindictive. I’ve been aggressively trimming back my three wisteria, trying to stop them from choking the life out of everything else in the yard. They’ve retaliated by growing thick, ropy roots across the surface of the ground — roots that these evil plants now use to trip me every time I walk by.

*Wisteria has attachment issues. If you try to pull a wisteria vine off a brick wall, it will bring bits of brick and mortar down with it. Ditto paint, window trim and gutters. Try to pull a long wisteria vine out of a tree that it’s invading, and it will snap off large branches and hurl them at your head as it crashes to the ground.

Yes, wisteria is beautiful. But be forewarned: If you plant one in your yard, you’ve invited a selfish, destructive tenant into your life — one that will refuse to be evicted. It’s a legume with an attitude. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’m a health writer for Woman’s World and First for Women. I also write humor and books for kids. Find me at http://brendakearns.com

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