A native North American vine, the Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), grows like a woody perennial vine. It tolerates shade or full sun. The shrub grows rapidly to a height of up to 50 to 90 feet. During the fall months, the vine's foliage displays brilliant shades of red. The vine also sports blue-black berry clusters that birds and wildlife adore. It requires virtually no maintenance to survive and prosper.
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The Virginia creeper grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 9. It can quickly climb a tree, trellis, fence or structure --- hiding it --- by utilising its tendrils, which expand to adhere like small suction cups to the surface. The vine spreads rapidly across the ground and easily roots as it traverses the soil's surface. Consider using it on slopes as a ground cover.
Propagate the Virginia creeper by seeds. The seeds will require approximately 60 days of cold stratification to successfully germinate. The plant easily transplants from nursery containers. It grows best in soil rich in organic matter. The Virginia creeper prefers moist soil but can also tolerate dry areas. It grows in rocky areas or across gravel well. The plant may become weedy. It can also prove invasive and promptly sends up shoots. Remove the unwanted shoots quickly before they become established.
Plant the Virginia creeper in an area to attract birds and butterflies. The vine does produce flowers, but they hold remarkably little ornamental appeal --- although, butterflies do enjoy them. The birds will flock to the garden to enjoy the vine's abundant berry production. The vine's ability to grow just about anywhere makes it a valuable landscape asset. Consider using it to hide an unsightly rock pile or to grow across a dead stump. The cultivar, Monham, offers green and white variegated foliage.
The Virginia creeper holds excessive moisture in its foliage and can cause damage to siding. Removal of the plant's tendrils from surfaces may prove difficult and can cause damage. The Virginia creeper can suffer from outbreaks of scale and leaf hoppers. Monitor the plant closely for indications of pest infestations. Promptly treat using an insecticide. Follow the directions on the label for application instructions. The Virginia creeper may also exhibit cankers or leaf fungal spots. Consider removing diseased canes and treating with a fungicide. The vigorous growth of the vine can pose problems for shrubs or trees. It can quickly shade out other plants.
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- University of Florida IFAS Extension; Parthenocissus Quinquefolia Virginia Creeper; Edward F. Gilman; October 1999
- Floridata; Parthenocissus Quinquefolia; Steve Christman; July 2004
- University of Connecticut: Parthenocissus Quinquefolia
- University of Florida: Virginia Creeper
- US Department of Agriculture: Parthenocissus Quinquefolia
- American Beauties: Parthenocissus Quinquefolia