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Silver Lace Vine

Silver lace vine is a popular but somewhat controversial twining climber due to its extremely vigorous growth habit. This makes it an ideal plant to cover extensive areas quickly, but it can also grow too vigorously! It should only be planted in places where enough space is available, or in a pot to restrain its rootstock. High maintenance: it needs to be pruned often, so take this into consideration when you are planning for a high greening.>>> Price

Also known as: Fleece Flower, Fleece Vine, China Fleece Vine, Silver Fleece Vine, Russian Vine. Polygonum (Fallopia) aubertii

Flowering Fleece Vine
Flowering Fleece Vine

Requirements / Price

Happy in a sunny, semi-shaded, or shaded location. Is not very fussy in terms of soil, but moist and nutrient-rich soil will encourage growth and longer lasting foliage in autumn. Distance between plants: 4 - 8 metres when planted in the ground.   >>> Price

Characteristics and Pruning

This is a strong twiner-- in fact one of the most vigorous climbers-- and can grow up to 20 meters high... up to 8 meters per year, forming dense leaf mats with overhanging/cascading or trailing shoots. As stem development is considerable, overgrowth on downpipes, lightning conductors, etc.. must be avoided at all costs, similar to the wisteria. The trunk quickly becomes very thick. When planted together with other climbers, it will quickly and strongly displace other plants. New shoots from March / April. With enough water and mild weather (and/or in a protected position), the foliage will last until November. Flowering is continuous from July to September, the fruits are rare. Vigorous pruning towards the end of winter usually benefits the silver lace vine. Silver lace vine should be planted only in areas which provide adequate space for its vigorous growth habit.

Climbing Supports for the Facade

Silver lace vine needs sturdy and rigid rod-like growth supports designed for the anticipated plant height and width. Lightning conductors, downpipes, eave gutters, and the like should not be reached by the plants, so growth supports should have a distance of at least 1.5 m to all such building structures-- to the side as well as to the top. Follow the 'parallel trunk/stem guidance' as described for wisteria; shoots will need to be unwound from trellis rope. For suitable rope systems, see below. Use only a heavy / massive trellis system, or when planting in a pot: an easy basicbasic-s, or medium system.

Compatible wire rope systems?

Please click the icon to see the full suitability chart

Silver lace vine on wire trellis, Püchau caste / Saxony
The back of a cubical multi-storey carpark, which has been embellished with a gable roof and a timber pergola to blend in with the historic district, both overgrown with silver lace vine on wire ropes.
Street greening with silver lace vine
Three vertical greened trellises with Polygonum aubertii

"Wild" silver lace vine greenings

View this gallery for examples of unpruned greenings with silver lace vine...

Unbelievable but true: a single silver lace vine can become such a creature!
Russian vine has overgrown this old building.
Silver lace vine is sometimes regarded as an aggressive plant.
This small building is covered completely by Polygonum aubertii
Greened organic food store
Silver lace vine on a small gable
A whiff of sub-culture: silver lace vine overgrowing a trendy pub
Street greening with silver lace vine, Wagnergasse in Jena / Thüringen
Small alley (Wagnergasse) in Jena / Thüringen
Wild sprawling silver lace vine
Greenery on a holiday mansion
Greened villa
Greening of a WBS-70 building in Germany
Silver lace vine camouflages 2 ventilation ducts. However, overgrowing of the eave gutter must be avoided.
Silver lace vine threatening roof drainage
The typical winter "decoration" on houses, so delightful to many of us, is, however, not everybody's "cup of tea..."

"Half-wild" silver lace vine greenings

Here you can see greenings where climbing aids guide the vine as it spreads, yet keep it away from the edge of the roof (eaves) and other sensitive structures.

Greened facade, Russian Vine
Russian vine on an old workshop
Silver lace vine on an apartment building
Silver lace vine on a wire rope system, renovated GDR building from the GDR era (Germany)
Greening of an insulated wall
Silver lace vine on a wooden trellis, budding in spring
Silver lace vine on a building
Another greened building, silver lace vine
Silver lace vine and other climbing plants at an entrance
Polygonum aubertii greening a facade
'Wall garden' with silver lace vine
Silver lace vine growing into shaded grids-- an effect intended here
On this wintry night, the poorly pruned sliver lace vine above the street light exudes a rather romantic and "Christmasy" air...
Unpruned silver lace vine on wire mesh system in winter

Well-trimmed greenery with silver lace vine

Facade greenings with silver lace vine can look very neat and tidy when trained correctly and consistently pruned.

Young silver lace vine on a wire rope system 4020 (heavy construction style)
This is how well-pruned and trained silver lace vine greenings can look
Well-trimmed greenery with Polygonum aubertii
Strictly-pruned greening on a house
Green wall, strictly-trained silver lace vine
Polygonum aubertii on a trellis
Well cared for wall trellis with Polygonum aubertii
'Facade garden' -- Russian vine
Even a large facade greening can look neat and tidy thanks to the cut, as with this silver lace vine on wire ropes.
Russian vine climbing a wall, supported by wire ropes

Greening other structures and objects with silver lace vine

Green walls, pergolas, banisters, fences, privacy screens...

Good example of the vigorous growth of Russian Vine on wire rope system 5040, shortly after planting
Same wall as in the previous picture- only 1 year later!
Green wall, Polygonum aubertii, overhanging growth
Overhanging greenery - silver lace vine
Greened embankment/retaining wall
This Russian Vine has climbed over a wall and overgrown a chimney.
Silver-lace vined archways
Green roof with polygonum on a rubbish site area
Pergola with silver lace vine
Greening up gates, etc.. with silver lace vine is not the most efficient choice; it requires quite a bit of maintenance because of its vigorous growth.
Russian Vine on a pergola
Fire exit stairs with silver lace vine
Silver lace vine is well suited for cultivation in pots, here as a green screen in a street cafe. In pots it grows to much less gigantic proportions than when planted in the ground.

Botanical Features

Here some details to flowers, stems/trunks, pruning, and also possible structural damage. For preventing damage, silver lace vine should be guided parallel to wire ropes, as described for wisteria.

Flowers of Polygonum, enlarged
These (not always so obvious as here) knotty thickenings in the old wood give the plant its German common name ('knöterich' - 'knot-weed').
Russian vine on a fence before and after pruning
Silver lace vine and other plants after pruning
Silver lace vine pushes even sturdy steel cables off their axis, over-loading/stretching them, which can also cause damage to the mounting brackets.

Wire Rope Systems for Silver Lace Vine

Please click on the graphics for details!

suitable             = of limited suitability             = unsuitable