Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) is a popular climbing plant. Thanks to its anchoring feet it quickly climbs up house walls and greens it without any growth support. Virginia creeper bears dark green leaves throughout the year. In autumn Virginia creeper decorates walls with fire-red leaves. Thanks to its big leaves it keeps houses cool on hot summer days. But where does Virginia creeper come from? How do you plant it and what should you consider before and while planting?
Virginia creeper comes from a region in Asia and thrives on sunny to half-shaded walls. The more sun it gets, the redder it becomes in autumn. If the leaves of the shrub do not get any sunshine, they will not change colour that vibrantly. But before you garnish your house with this climbing plant you should check the wall for cracks, shoots could get in and cause damage.
After you checked your wall, you can get ready for planting. A suitable period is between April and September. It is best is to begin with only one plant as they tend to build new shoots quickly. The fast growing Virginia creeper can grow up to 20 meters in height. If you still wish to prick in more plants at once, you should keep a minimum distance of 2 meters between each one. The plants can be purchased at DIY markets, garden centres or tree nurseries.
Scoop out a hole about 50 centimetres in depth as well as length. Virginia creepers prefer a permeable and clayey garden soil which is slightly humid. That is why you should put some clay and water in the hole if required. Now you can prick in the plant. Fill the hole with soil and press it. When this is done, water the plant. Over time you can watch how it climbs up your walls.
You should apply fertiliser as required because an excess could hinder the wonderful formation of colours. Virginia creeper carries blue black berries in the early summer. Caution, do not eat them – they are poisonous! Only birds tolerate them and are quite happy to get these pea-sized fruits.
In late summer Virginia creeper can be cut back to inhibit the strong growth. The old branches can be removed and the young shoots shortened. By doing this you have better growth control which allows you to prevent the bush from damaging gutters, shutter boxes or walls. After trimming, adhesive disks could remain on the walls. You can burn these away with the help of a gas burner. With a brush and cleaner you get rid of everything else. You should always give careful consideration to where to plant your Virginia creeper. It could damage your wall due to the shoots and adhesive disks. Despite all of this, it is still a true feast for the eyes.