Virginia Creeper, Boston Ivy
Virginia Creeper • Boston Ivy, Parthenocissus
Virginia creeper and Boston ivy are handsome vines that establish quickly and provide an air of age and permanence, even on new structures.
Growing: These vines can grow in full sun but perform best in light shade to full shade. The soil should be fertile and well drained. The plants adapt to clay or sandy soils.
P. quinquefolia (Virginia creeper, woodbine) has dark green foliage. Each leaf is divided into five leaflets, and they turn flame red in fall.
P. tricuspidata (Boston ivy) produces glossy, dark green foliage reminiscent of grape leaves. The foliage turns shades of orange and red in fall. This self-climber can grow quite tall in a short time.
Features: summer and fall foliage; clinging tendrils
Height: possibly 30–50', but limited by the size of support
Spread: equal to height
Hardiness: zones 3–8
Tips: Virginia creepers do not require support because they have clinging rootlets that can adhere to just about any surface, even smooth wood, vinyl or metal. Give the plants lots of space and let them cover a wall, fence or arbor. They can also be used as groundcovers. Virginia creeper can cover the sides of buildings, helping to keep rooms cool in the summer heat. Cut the plants back to keep windows and doors accessible.