How to prune a Virginia creeper

Updated February 21, 2017

Virginia creeper is a climbing vine that spreads and covers its supports quickly. Pruning Virginia creeper annually is the only way to control its size. Without pruning, the plant overruns its supports and may become much larger than the area to which you wish to limit it. It is a hardy vining plant that tolerates being cut back to any shape you prefer.

Wait until early winter to prune. The Virginia creeper loses its leaves and goes into dormancy, making the stems easy to measure and trim.

Cut off any dead, diseased or insect infested vines. Inspect the plant for vines torn loose from their support and cut off the loose vines. They are not able to reattach themselves to the support.

Cut back any stems growing outside the bounds you designated for the plant. Cut the stems back to the height you desire. Always make the cuts with sharp pruning shears, just above a leaf bud.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
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About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.