Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Virginia Creeper Stunning In Autumn


Our Virginia creeper comes in to its own just now, in Autumn. It shines a stunning vibrant red. We value it as much as the Daffodils in Spring. 


Most of the year it is hardly noticed but now it shouts out and is beautiful. A plant swan song before it too loses its leaves completely here. 


I love its rich red shiny leaves at this time of year. The way it trails up and over structures and other sturdy plants and shows off its amazing colour.


On a bright sunny day the leaves seem to shine and I think they look very beautiful. Even dark, dull rainy days are brightened up by its glorious display shining out for us to see. The vibrant red giving us a a boost at a time many of us start to slow and slumber.  


Virginia creeper is quite an easy plant to grow. It likes sun or shade and is not fussy about soil type either, wet or dry it does not worry it, it can even grow in slightly alkaline soils. A lovely plant to have in the garden.


Obviously in a very dry spell it is advisable to water it and in its first year especially keep a close eye on it but it really is easy to look after. 



Being a vine it likes to creep and crawl and grow up structures or along the ground. The stems attach themselves onto surfaces with like small feet structures. It climbs by means of aerial roots. It can provide a lovely vertical feature in the garden.


 I would certainly not advise planting it too near guttering or  important structural features as it can become quite heavy and may break the guttering or structure. 

The trick is to plant in the right place and keep it under control before it gets to that point, which is quite easy with simple pruning.


Do watch for the little feet getting into and breaking away in between weak crevices.  To be on the safe side we do keep ours away from the house. We have not found it a problem anywhere.


Most of the year it has green leaves and flowers in summer with tiny green flowers. It is in Autumn that it reveals its true beauty with its vibrant reds and what a beauty!  So bear in mind when you are planting, it is not for spring or summer colour.


I have found that as long as it is in the right place, i.e. away from sensitive structures and happy, it needs little, if any care. I simply prune it back if it gets too big and remove any dead or dying shoots.



 It can grow over fifty feet so its a good idea to give it a bit of pruning each year just to keep control but it is not difficult and the plant is very forgiving in my experience. Early Spring is the best time to prune. 


The little fruits it produces after flowering can be toxic so bear that in mind if you have children. The fruits can be simply cut off if its an issue- but if you are happy to leave them the birds like them and is a welcome added food source for them. 




There are several types of Virginia Creeper, the links here are to plants available on Amazon. As we inherited our plant I do not know its specific type so may not be not exactly the same that I have in my garden.



Do You Like Virginia Creeper?


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