Why are my wisteria leaves turning yellow or wilting?

Why are my wisteria leaves turning yellow or wilting?

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Along with some pests and diseases, there are a few other problems that might be the cause of your wisteria leaves turning yellow or wilting. Common ones include honey fungus and Phytophthora root rot which are both root diseases. Waterlogging can also lead to root rot that can cause both wilting and yellowing of the leaves. Another one I have personally had issues with when growing wisteria in pots is vine weevil, as their larvae feed on the roots. Finally, Wisteria scale can also cause yellowing and wilting leaves when the infestation is more serious.

Read on to learn more about some of these possible issues and, more importantly, what to do about them.

Biological problems

Pests and diseases

Wisteria Scale Insect and How To Control Them

I have a detailed guide called Wisteria pests and diseases to watch out for. Most pests and diseases discussed can turn your wisteria leaves yellow and cause them to wilt. My guide details what to do for each pest and disease problem. Focus especially on scale insects, powdery mildew and root rot as these are the most common problems.

Environmental problems

Lack of sun

Wisteria grow best in a full-sun location. That’s four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. Any less than this – partial shade – and flowers won’t bloom as readily. And being in less sun than partial shade means that the wisteria can’t generate enough energy to produce foliage. The leaves can start to turn yellow and may even wilt, especially if they also become dry.

What to do

Try to arrange its environment so that the wisteria receives more sun per day. Remove any plants or temporary structures that shade it. Ideally, it just needs to be planted in a sunny position.

Your care problems

Wisteria prefer full sun as too much shade can lead to wilting and even yellowing leaves


Wisteria leaves turning yellow or wilting can be the result of both over or under-watering. Watering the plant too much can lead to water-logging the soil which, in turn, creates the perfect environment for the root rot fungal disease (see the Wisteria pests and diseases to watch out for article for more information). This disease leads to the plant not receiving enough water and nutrients and the leaves failing because of this.

On the other hand, not watering the plant enough has the same effect, especially if they’re grown in pots.

What to do

Review your watering schedule. Only water when the top 3cm or so of the soil is dry. And check after each watering session that the soil doesn’t become water-logged. Don’t forget that poor draining soil can also cause root rot which leads to yellowing leaves and wilting.


Wisteria growing in pot needs enough sun to prevent wilting or yellowing leaves

If the wisteria’s soil is full of nutrients, you shouldn’t have to fertilise it beyond the once a year application in the spring but honestly, most people when even need to do that. However, wisteria grown in pots are water and nutrient hungry. Any fertiliser that you apply is frequently washed out through the soil by watering.

What to do

Regularly, even every couple of months over summer, give your potted wisteria fertiliser. A fertiliser intended for roses or shrubs is a good choice.

See the article Growing Wisteria in pots and containers for more information.

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