Beautify your wall with Virginia creeper

Garden Life
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) is a popular climbing plant. Thanks to its anchoring branches it quickly climbs up house walls without any growth support. Virginia creeper bears dark green leaves throughout the year. However 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 whilst planting?
Virginia creeper comes from a region in Asia and feels very comfortable on sunny to half-shaded walls. The more sun it gets, the redder its colour come autumn. If the leaves of the shrub do not get any sunshine, they will not change colour so dramatically. But before you garnish your house with this climbing plant, you should check the wall for cracks as shoots can get in and cause damage.

After you've checked your wall, you can prepare for planting. A suitable period is between October and March. It is best to begin with one plant because it might grow in width very quickly and build new shoots in a quite a short space of time. The fast growing Virginia creeper can reach up to 20 meters high. If you still want to grow in more plants at once, you should keep a minimum distance of 2 meters. The plants are obtainable at DIY markets, garden centres or tree nurseries.

Growing in

Scoop a hole from a size of 50 centimetres in depth and 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 plant it in the soil, filling in the hole and pressing it. Once done, water the plant and you can watch how it climbs up your walls over the coming months.

You should apply fertilizer en masse because an excess could hinder the formation of vivid colours. Virginia creeper carries blue black berries in the early summer. Caution, do not eat them – they are poisonous! Birds tolerate them and are happy to consume these pea-sized fruits.

Cutting back

In late summer Virginia creeper can be cut back to prevent it overgrowing. The old branches can be removed and the young shoots shortened. By doing this you have a better growth control. Alongside that you can prevent the bush damaging gutters, shutter boxes etc. After trimming, adhesive disks may still be attached to your wall. You can burn these away with a gas burner, then using a brush and cleaner you can get rid of everything else. You should carefully consider where to plant Virginia creeper  as the adhesive disks may damage your wall. Despite these small drawbacks, it is truly a feast for the eyes when the plant is fully grown.