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Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Parthenocissus tricuspidata

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Zones A2, A3, 1-24, 26, 28-43
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Regular Water

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia Creeper
Deciduous, Vines, Decorative fruit or berries


These vines are valued for handsome foliage: green in summer, reliably turning to superb orange or red shades in fall. Blossoms are insignificant; more noticeable are clusters of small blue-black fruits that form in late summer or fall and hang on into winter if not consumed by birds.

Vines typically cling to walls by suction disks at ends of tendrils. All but the fairly restrained P. henryana are said to grow to 50–60 ft., but they are really limited only by the size of the support. All thrive in organically enriched soil. Think twice before letting them attach to shingles, clapboard, or mortared brick or stone. At repainting time, their clinging tendrils are hard to remove, and vines can creep under siding. They also hasten deterioration of wood and mortar.

When vines reach the desired size, prune each dormant season to restrain spread and—for those trained on buildings—to keep them away from doors, windows, and eaves. Cut out any wayward branches; likewise cut out any that have pulled away from their support, since disks will not reattach. Trim as needed during the growing season.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

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Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Native to the eastern United States. Big, vigorous vine that clings or runs over ground, fences, trellises, arbors, and trees. Looser growth than P. tricuspidata; has a see-through quality. Leaves are divided into five 6-in. leaflets with saw-toothed edges. Foliage is bronze tinted when new, matures to semiglossy dark green, turns crimson and burgundy in early fall. Good groundcover on slopes; can control erosion.

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