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Parthenocissus tricuspidata "Veitchii"

After ivy, this three-lobed wild vine is the "dearest child" in facade greening. The Boston Ivy Vine (also known as Japanese Creeper) is a self-clinging climber that covers extensive areas quickly. Its striking red autumn colouring and the fact that it does not require growth supports make it a popular climber. It can be used to fully cover walls on facades, masts, and poles; with regular pruning it can also be used for partial greening and on small, limited wall surfaces. In short: an excellent facade plant!

(Veitchii Boston Ivy, Japanese Creeper, Japanese Ivy)

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Boston Ivy slowly changing colour, new light shoots
Boston Ivy slowly changing colour, new light shoots

Requirements / Price

These vines need a sunny (full sun) to (semi-)shaded location, as they will develop more beautiful autumn colours in the sun. Distance between two plants: 2.5 - 5 metres.

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Characteristics and Pruning

This is a climbing vine with adhesive pads that cling onto nearly every surface. The growth is broad and fan-shaped; the shoots will grow horizontally as well as vertically. This ivy can reach a height of 20 metres and more, with a yearly growth of 1 - 2 metres. The shoots may hang over/cascade. Foliage is from May to October; has inconspicuous, tiny green-yellow flowers in early summer and small black berries which will feed bees and birds. Summer prune as needed to restrain the vigorous growth habit; winter prune as illustrated and described in photos.

Climbing Supports for the Facade

The Boston Ivy, unlike other "wild vines," usually has no need for a climbing support. However, in some cases and especially on wind-exposed walls, rope systems (see below) in the easy or medium range which 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 main framework may need to be attached as per rope system 1010.


Boston Ivy can cause significant damage to buildings! The plant grows in a light-shunning way and, as the shoots get into nooks and crannies and increase their stem girth, they 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 vines. The only solution is to burn them off / torch them and then repaint the wall!

Suitable wire rope systems?

Please click the icon for showing the full suitability chart

Japanese creeeper on an exterior insulated wall of a prefab apartment complex
Boston Ivy, Quedlinburg / Saxony-Anhalt
Japanese Creeper soon after proliferation, still in the typical light green colour
Japanese Creeper soon after proliferation
Japanese creeper on a windowless fire-break wall
Japanese creeper
Autumn colouring
Autumn colouring, Parthenociccus tricuspidata

Full Greening

The following pictures show just how suitable Boston Ivy is for greening whole walls and buildings!

Picture-book facade greening
Wall greening with tri-lobed (3-lobed) creeper
This whole gable is covered with Boston Ivy; the shoots are beginning. to grow over the eaves
This Boston Ivy has already reached the roof drainage area, which can lead to clogged gutters.
Much better then in the last picture: here the eave-area is not overgrown.
Leipzig / Saxony, 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...
Green inner courtyard, Boston Ivy
Japanese Creeper on the city hall of Eisleben / Saxony Anhalt
Church greenery in Stralsund / Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
With this greened work-shop, the overhanging growth (of Parthenocissus tricuspidata) at the roof's edge is pronounced.
Full- and partial greening side by side
Only one area has been fully greened on this building.
Beginning of autumn colouring
Boston Ivy with autumn foliage
Berlin, Prussian State Library: autumn colours; lower areas in the shade have more yellow.
Greening on a windowless facade

Partial Greening

Partial greening can be created by vigorous pruning or other methods of inhibiting/slowing growth.

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 most greenings like this are the result of rigorous pruning
This Japanese Creeper has conquered almost the whole building; what looks like a free-form growth is due to careful pruning!
This greening maintains dynamism by not covering the facade completely; with more yellow wall showing, it would be even more attractive! Halberstadt / Saxony-Anhalt
Facade greening is part of German architecture - even on the federal chancellery, Berlin.
Without constant pruning, this well-trained creeper would soon reach the roof.
A horizontal cornice as a 'growth break'
Clever: growth 'breaks' can also be arranged vertically; in this shopping market, climbing fields are defined by wall breaks/projections.
Well-pruned Veitchii
Strictly formed and pruned wall greening with Boston Ivy
Veitchii on a building with many windows
Greening in a special formation
For maintaining a certain form of the greening, more then one summer pruning is necessary.
This greenery requires 2-3x pruning per year, but is still cheaper then a full "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.
Greenery on a brick house
Old farmhouse with autumnal Partenocissus tric. veitchii
A remedy for the dreariness: autumnal Boston Ivy on a tenement block

Botanical Features, Pruning, and Collapse-Protection

In this gallery, you can see the 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 lignify, and are then quite difficult to remove from the wall!
Four young plants start taking on a fire-resistant wall
When it blooms, you'll hear buzzing-- the vine becomes a bee's glee!
Eaves are especially threatened by vigorous growth.
If pruned too late (i.e. autumn or winter), the meanwhile lignified adhesive pads can't be removed so easily.
The autumn leaves often appear in several shades of colour: scarlet red at the top and yellowing at the bottom. Maybe it has to do with shade (shadier at bottom) or with different vitality levels of the plant.
Leaf colour can sometimes become complete orange instead of wine-red.
Leaf fall in two stages: first the leaves, then the petioles (leaf stalks)
The appearance in winter is not everyone's cup of tea.
If Boston Ivy reaches the roof, then every year at least, a 1 m wide strip should be cut free, which is best done while without foliage. A summer cut may also be required. Such maintenance can become complicated/costly when lifting platforms are required.
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 fruit often lasts longer then the leaves-- to the delight of birds!
Sometimes parts, or even whole greenings, can fall off; therefore, wire ropes as collapse protection are strongly recommended!
Collapse protection with wire rope system in our medium construction style
A Bosty Ivy can live up to 100 years old!

Wire Rope Systems for Boston Ivy (Japanese Creeper)

Please click on the graphic illustrations for details!

 = suitable             = of limited suitability             = unsuitable