Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by bcislander, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. bcislander

    bcislander Member

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    Location:
    Campbell River, BC, Canada
    My wife and I recently moved from a large acreage to a small, urban lot and would like to turn it into our private 'garden oasis'. A key component is screening with hedges and climbing vines - allowing for a variety of light conditions.

    We have always admired the Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) but fear that it is now a 'condemed' or soon to be condemed plant due to its hardy and parasitic nature. Is there a suitable alternative which has equal hardiness and beautiful colouration? We are open to all suggestions - but prefer a climber that embodies ease of maintenance (versus yearly cutbacks) and maximizes screening properties. Thanks
     
  2. Ginger Blue

    Ginger Blue Active Member

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    Location:
    Ozarks, USA
    Clematis is spindy in parts and most types must be cut back at least part way. Honeysuckles (NOT japonicus!!) are not exactly good screeners. Akebia is gorgeous, but some people consider it invasive. Wisteria is a thug. Though there are native wisterias that might be worth looking into. I don't have personal experience with them. The ivies are invasive and re-seedy. Hmmm...I can see where you're in a standstill.

    What about Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia)?

    If you're growing up a building or up an established (tall) tree trunk, I personally find Parthenocissus to be unbeatable. I don't find that it reseeds or is unruly. Of course if it's outlawed, that's another story. Sometimes lack of govt intervention is a plus...around here such a thing would be unheard of.

    If you're growing up through a variety of shrubs, I think you can't beat clematis. So many types and with the added bonus of flowers. Of course there's not the fall foliage.

    I've been considering the same thing. I'll be interested in others' responses.
     
  3. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, usa
    If you like the look of Virginia creeper but are wary of its vigor, maybe you should look for Parthenocissus henryana, or Silvervein Creeper. It's much more restrained, and IMO even prettier, and you still get that incredible fall color.
     
  4. bcislander

    bcislander Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks - I was unfamiliar with the Silvervein Creeper, it sounds like a reasonable alternative and it does look equally as pretty as the Virginia Creeper. Considering that it was one of Seattle's "Great Plant Picks" in 2004, I doubt I will have much concern about its invasiveness or suitability - since I reside nearby on Vancouver Island. Good suggestion, much appreciated.
     

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