Planting Virginia Creeper?

I want to grow Virginia creeper (or similar plant) up the walls of my pebbledashed, two-storied home. Our climate is (usually) temperate, but with strong winds from time to time and the occasional severe winter.


I plan to rake back gravel, dig into the builders' rubble, back fill with planting medium before putting in the young plants and finally mulching by putting back the gravel. What size of hole should I dig? What planting medium is best? How far apart should I dig my planting pockets (i.e. what is the expected lateral spread of each plant)? How far out from the wall should I plant? How should I secure the plant to the wall, at least initially? What, if any, subsequent training and/or pruning is needed? How and when should I fertilise?
Many thanks in anticipation of any help you might offer.

By David Clark

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July 4, 20110 found this helpful

Well! I was trying to change some funny inserts that came up in my post-preview, an' something glitched everything out! Will try again--maybe a bit shorter?


You don't say where you live, David, but it sounds much like here in Tehachapi, California. We have vines around town that I've been told is Virginia Creeper. It grows like a weed! We don't really do anything to 'keep it up'...don't even intentionally water it. In winter, it looks quite dead. Then when the weather warms up the green growth starts popping out. Then y'd better stand back! You can almost visibly see the plant growing and reaching out for something else to grab onto! We have it growing on a chain-link fence, as do many in town.

I don't know what to say about planting an' such because the vines were here with the house (built in 1915) when we bought it. Depending on the construction of your walls, I mean if there's anything for the vines to grab onto, you might want to add some string-lines or criss-cross some line or wires for the vines to climb on. Be prepared for a very dead-looking appearance in winter tho. You might check with a local nursery if you have one for more information (not that mine has been much help!). I'll try to check back an' see how you're doing. Good Luck!

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

Make sure Virginia Creeper does not make you itchy before you decide to plant it! Some folks (like me) react to the oxalic acid in it with a very itchy rash.

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

Don't do it! Some people are highly allergic to Virginia Creeper (me, included), and it can cause a rash that will last for over a month and several cortisone shots. I am not allergic to poison ivy or poison oak, so I never dreamed this plant would affect me, but it did.


Here, we just kill the "creeper". When you plant it, it will take over everything, so be careful and to paraphrase an old song by the Blue Oyster Cult, "Do Fear the Creeper....".

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February 18, 20170 found this helpful

That might explain which plant gave me a rash on my forearm...also the song by BOC is Don't fear the Reaper (unless you were making a pun, then carry on)

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July 7, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for these responses so far. I live on the Ards Peninsula, Northern Ireland, about one mile from the Irish Sea and just over a mile from Strangford Lough. Not as warm and much rainier than California!

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July 17, 20110 found this helpful

Hi David! I've been away from my computer a bit lately, but want to let you know: do not fear Virginia Creeper! Just to make sure, I checked with my nurseryman, what we have all around town, and he has surrounding his nursery, is definitely Virginia Creeper. We've never heard of anyone having allergic reactions. Rick, thought perhaps someone had it combined with other alergies (don't know how, perhaps general plant allergies?). There is another plant very close, called Boston Creeper, don't know about that one.


Perhaps in Ireland plants are different, m'be not! But you could definitely check out the plants before you buy. It is a gorgeous plant, some leaves turn red, it has little berries, and it definitely likes to climb an' reach out to latch onto anything it can! If I had the capability, I would take some photos and send to you, not sure how, tho! I noticed your 7/7 response with an email address. M'be I can chat atcha there? It caught my eye because I have a nephew by name of David Clark. I know it's not uncommon, just interesting coincidence here tis all.

Good luck with the Virginia Creeper, or any other vines you choose.

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