Boston Ivy

(Veitchii Boston Ivy, Japanese Creeper, Japanese Ivy)

Parthenocissus tricuspidata "Veitchii"

The Boston Ivy Vine or Japanese Creeper, a self-clinging climber, covers extensive areas quickly. The fact that it does not require growth supports and its striking red autumn colouring make it such a popular climber. Apart from the English Ivy, it is the "German's favourite child" for façade greening.

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Wild vine slowly changing colour and new light shoots

Requirements

Sunny (full sun) to (semi-)shaded Position, will develop more beautiful autumn colours in the sun.

Characteristics and Pruning

A vine with adhesive pads that cling onto nearly every surface. Yearly growth 1 - 2 metres. Foliage from May to October.

 

Flower and Fruit

Inconspicuous, tiny green-yellow flowers in early summer, then small blue-black berries, after defoliation, favourite bird food.

 

Pruning

Summer pruning as needed, to restrain the vigorous growth habit, winter pruning as illustrated and described in photos.

Climbing Plant Support System

The Boston Ivy, unlike other "wild grapes" usually has no need for any growth supports. However, in some cases and especially on wind-exposed walls, rope systems (see below) as Easy or Medium Support Systems to prevent collapsing may be required. In cases of very tall walls, Heavy or even Massive wire rope systems may be required. In very old specimens, the stem structure may need to be attached as per rope system 1010.

Further Notes

Boston Ivy can cause significant damage to buildings! In parts the plant grows in a light-shunning way, and, as the shoots increase their stem girth, can blast apart building elements, block roller-shutter boxes and lift roof shingles. Insufficient removal of foliage may also block roof gutters. A frequently asked question during the restoration of a façade is how to deal with the remaining adhesive roots of torn-off plants: the only solution is to burn them off / torch them and then repaint the wall!

Appropriate wire rope systems?

Please click the icon for showing the full suitability chart

Japanese creeeper on a exterior insulated wall of a prefabricated house
Boston Ivy, Quedlinburg / Sa.-Anhalt
Japanese Creeper soon after proliferation
Japanese Creeper soon after proliferation, still in the typical light green colour
Japanese creeeper on a gable
Japanese creeeper on a fire break wall
Autumn coloring, Parthenociccus tricuspidata
Autumn coloring
 

Full Greening

The following pictures show, how much Boston ivy is suitable for full greening whole walls and buildings!

Greenery as in a picture-book
Wall greening with trilobate creeper
This whole gable is covered by bosten ivy
This boston ivy already reached the roof drainage
Way better then on the last picture: Eave is free and not overgrown
Leipzig / Sachsen, University Clinic: Greening on such a massive scale is of course an ideal climbing paradise for insects (spiders!), mice (yes, indeed) and habitat for sparrows chirping away all day. An aspect that deserves thorough consideration... Sti
Green inner courtyard, boston ivy
Japanese creeper on the city hall of Eisleben / Saxony Anhalt
Greenery of a church in Stralsund / Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Wall greening with overhanging Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Full - and partly greenery side by side
This building is covered by boston ivy only in a certian area
Starting autumn coloring
Boston ivy with autumn foliage
Berlin, Prussian State Library, the lower wall areas are more in the shade, hence the foliage has a more yellow autumn colou
Greening on a windowless gable
 
 
 

Partial Greening

Greening buildings and walls only partial by the use uf rigorous pruning, or other techniques - here you can see examples

Green wall in Neuenburg / Saxony-Anhalt
This green façade is particularly charming because the wall is not completely overgrown. Only regular maintenance and pruning will maintain this appearance.
Looks like untamed growth, but mostly greenings like this are the result of rigorous pruning
The japanese creeper conquered alsmost the whole building
Green facade in Halberstadt / Saxony-Anhalt
Facade greening is part of german architecture - even on the German Chancellery
Without constant pruning, this well trained creeper would soon reach the roof
A horizontal cornice forms a barrier to the vigorous growth.
Barrier to the vigorous growth can also appear vertical as shown here
Well pruned veitchii
Rigorous pruning made this greenery look so perfect
Veitchii on a building with many windows
Greenery in special formation
For maintaining a certain form of the greening, more then one summer pruning is neseccary
This greenery requires 2-3x pruning per year, but still cheaper then a "living wall" of this size
Gera / Thueringen: A Japanese Ivy, obviously re-attached after the restoration of the façade. Here, too, complete cover of the wall can only be prevented with constant care.
Green wall on a brick house
Old farmhouse with autumnal partenocissus tric. veitchii
Against all tristesse: autumnal boston ivy on a tenement block
 
 
 
 
 
 

Botanical features, pruning and collapsing protection

This picture gallery shows leaves, adhesive pads, flowers, fruits and autumn foliage of the trilobate partenocissus.

Boston Ivy climbs with extremely efficient adhesive pads, hence in Austria, the plant is also called "wall cat"...
After some weeks the adhesive pads are lignified, and then hard to remove from the wall!
Four young plants start conquering a fire-resisting wall
Bees like blooming boston ivy!
Especially eaves are threatened by vigorous growth
If pruning is made to late, the adhesive pads already lignified and cant be removed so easy
Usually the upper parts of a veitchii-greenery are the ones which start coloring fist and therefore become more red in late autumn then the lower parts
Leaf coloration can sometimes be red as opposed to red
Leaf fall in two stages: first the leaves, then the leaf stalks
People often see the appearance in winter as a problem...
If Boston Ivy reaches the roof, then every year at least, a one metre wide strip should be cut free, which is best done while without foliage. If that is not enough, then a summer cut will also be required. Such work is not only time and energy consuming,
Pruning should be repeated every year, because the area cut free will be overgrown in no time again, and the plant will try yet again to get into the eave gutters.
The fruits often last longer then the leaves. To the delight of birds!
Sometimes parts, or even whole greenings can fall off, therefore wire ropes for collapsing protection are strongly adviced!
Collapsing protection with wire rope system in medium construction style
Bosty ivy can turn 100 years old!
 
 

Appropriate Wire Rope Systems for Bosten Ivy

Please click on the graphic illustrations for details!

 = suitable             = of limited suitability             = unsuitable