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Virginia Creeper

Stands between the Thicket Creeper and the Engelmann Ivy. The plant is decorative and has gorgeous autumn colors, but its main value could be its vigor and growth height (up to 30 m!). It is suitable for high greening, for large pergolas, stair towers, grids, railings and walls.

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(lat.: Parthenocissus quinqefolia)

Virginia Creeper with older and younger leaves
Virginia Creeper with older and younger leaves

To Thrive...

Thicket creeper needs a sunny (full sun) to (semi-)shaded location; will develop more beautiful autumn colours in the sun. No particular soil requirements. Distance between plants: 4 - 8 metres.

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Characteristics and Pruning

Native to the eastern United States. This vine with tendrils (climbing shrub) and adhesive pads has a yearly shoot growth of 3 - 5 metres. Can also overhang / cascade like a bridal train. Very healthy foliage, appearing May - October. Has inconspicuous, tiny green-yellow flowers in early summer, then small deep-blue berries on very red stalks. Readily eaten by birds, followed by the birds' dark-coloured droppings which can stain hanging laundry or terrace decks. Summer and winter prune as needed to restrain the vigorous growth (branch formation). The plants are very easily shaped into any form. At times, pruning in late autumn is required to shorten the long shoots, followed by spur pruning as for grapevines.

Climbing Supports for the Facade

Compatible with all types of rods, trellises, and cables. For compatible wire rope systems, see the chart below. Easy basic wire rope systems are good; medium systems are optimal; for high greenings > 5 m, heavy or even massive systems are recommended.


Appropriate wire rope systems?

Please click the icon to see the full suitability chart

Greening with Parthenocissus quinqefolia
Here the plants have already climbed to a height of approx. 25 metres.
Parthenocissus quinqefolia with autumn colours
Old spinning-factory covered with 5-lobed Virginia creeper, Leipzig / Saxony

Facade greening with virginia creeper

Parthenocissus quinqefolia is highly flexible and therefore, with or without the help of wire rope supports, can be easily trained into various shapes for facade greening. 

Facade greening with a height of approx. 22 m, Virginia creeper in the center of Halle / Saale // Saxony-Anhalt
Facade greening with a height of approx. 25 m, Virginia creeper in the center of Halle / Saale // Saxony-Anhalt, 2006
Greening with Virginia creeper in Halberstadt / Saxony-Anhalt, 2011
Parthenocissus quinqefolia on the city hall of Quedlinburg / Germany
Façade greening with Virginia Creeper in Halle / Saale // Saxony-Anhalt
Virginia creeper on a wire trellis system, similar to our system 4040
Same plant as shown in previous photo in winter (before pruning)
Parthenocissus quinqefolia
Small greening with Parthenocissus quinqefolia in an alley in Kronach / Bavaria
Two young vines were each planted on a wooden trellis, which quickly became too small for them. Since they weren't cut back, they now "go their own way" on the wall...
Virginia creeper in Erfurt / Thüringen
Virginia creeper in Erfurt / Thüringen
Greened archway
Two floors are quickly not enough for the strong plants - they want to grow higher!
After some years, overhanging / cascading growth is possible
This building is almost completely covered by green 'fur' (5-lobed ivy).
Beginning of autumn colors in Rothenburg / Bavaria
Autumn foliage of the five-lobed Virginia creeper
Autumnal Virginia Creeper on an building
Autumnal Virginia Creeper on an apartment building
In the end, the foliage turns scarlet.

Greening other structures, objects, parts of buildings...

Virginia creeper is also ideal for balconies, pergolas, stair rails and fences...

Parthenocissus quinqefolia
Balcony greening with virgin vines growing from below
Greened fire escape
Detail of previous picture: the plant is attached to the wire ropes on the staircase and led up.
This lush cascading/overhanging plant creates an arbour beneath the balcony
Lush greening of a pergola with Parthenocissus quinqefolia
Overhangnig growth on a rock-face 'wall' in Greiz / Thüringen
Parthenocissus quinqefolia overgrows outbuildings and a wall

Botanical Features

Enter this gallery to see the leaves, tendrills, fruits, autumn-colouring, phenotype in winter, and budding in spring of the Parthenocissus quinqefolia.

Virgin vine grows on an arbor
Growth pattern of Parthenocissus quinqefolia
Left: the very similar Parthenocissus quinqefolia "Engelmannii", right: Parthenocissus quinqefolia, Meissen / Saxony, 2010
Virgin vine "Parthenocissus quinqefolia" - detail on the photo above
Wild Parthenocissus quinqefolia: young shoots have longer tendrils, which can wrap themselves more easily around twigs, etc..
Adhesive feet
Adhesive pads of Part. quinqefolia on a clinker brick wall
Instead of just climbing on the rope, the plant likes to use its adhesive disks and then goes "its own way" on the wall.
The tendrils also twine around each other.
Greening of a wall with Parthenocissus quinqefolia
This plant can also quickly develop overhanging growth.
Wild vines on trees in early autumn, Spreewald / Brandenburg, 2017
Early autumn leaf colouration of the young Virginia Creeper
Virginia Creeper in autumn
Autumn foliage color and fruit
Beautiful scarlet leaves in autumn
In the shade the foliage develops a stronger yellow colour
With increasing age and height, foliage mats can fall off the wall from their own weight and/or the force of winds.
Maidenvine tries to enter a ventilation grille.
Virginia creeper likes to crawl into cracks and crevices and then come out again somewhere else, thus growing 'negatively phototropic.' This can lead to structural damage, e.g., on facades with open joints as in this photo.
Detail of the previous photo, the tendrils of Parthenocisuus quinqefolia are visible.
Another related variety is Parthenocissus henryana, slow-growing and less frost resistant.

Wire Rope Systems for Virginia Creeper

Please click on the graphic illustrations for details!

   = suitable              = of limited suitability              = unsuitable