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Hi guys

Looking to plant some Virginia creeper, i know all about it's aggressive nature, but don't know about it's rooting system ie will its roots choke other plants, as im looking to plant it between some laurel bushes and a screen/fence i want it to grow up the fence, the laurel bushes are about two feet in-front of the fence...

Thanks in advance



Virginia creeper is easy to grow but I am having a problem getting it to cling to my

brick wall. I don't think it is particularily invasive though!


  Be a bit careful as it can send out shoots underground which tend to pop up un noticed and grow elsewhere.

  It can over time damage walls and fences if left to it's own devices. Cut it back when all the leaves have fallen each year to keep it in check.

  Also make sure that it doesn't cover any Central Heating Flue on the side of the Houseas this will lead to problems.


Thanks Hoon and Robbie,

When i read about Virginia creeper it frightened the life out of me Hoon i'd say it was pretty darn invasive put it this way i don't want it anywhere near my house, but think it would make a lovely back-drop over my fence, if kept in check and under control, have you tried giving it a help to establish itself on the wall by putting up some mesh or something similer just to get it started Hoon?..

Thanks for the tips Robbie i will keep a close eye out for shoots popping up, tis more than my life is worth if it ruins Mrs Growers beloved laurel bushes...

Thanks again guys


Hi Percy,

Virginia creeper should grow between the laurels, but I wouldn't worry about its roots taking over from them. In fact, if the laurels are large, then it might be difficult for the creeper to establish without a bit of TLC. Dig in plenty of compost when planting and water regularly until the climber has established, as the soil around mature laurels is usually dry and poor in nutrients.



Ivies and creepers do not cause damage to walls. They take advantage of damage caused by weather etc and grow into it, often making the damage worse. In themselves they do not cause damage.


I've got virginia creeper climbing over one side of my house, and I love it! The new leaves are so beautiful, and the colour in autumn amazing. I think people are afraid of it because it does grow quickly, but being deciduous it's really easy to cut back in winter, as the stems are thin. I've never had any shoots popping up anywhere.


I bought a medium sized Virginia Creeper two years past and after changing my mind about where to grow it, one of the long stems fell off during transplanting. I put the stem in the compost bin and left the moved plant to settle in (this year should see it whizz away since I noticed its roots are very thick when I under planted this spring) but the stem in the compost bin started growing last summer, so I chopped it up into pieces and potted it up. It survived the winter nicely without protection and I just planted baby Virginia Creeper opposite Mummy, so they can wave at each other . Those five or six stems all rooted and are ready to shoot off this year!

Alina W

The only real problem with Virginia creeper is if you let shoots fall down onto the ground, as they will root where they fall. They are pretty easy to uproot, though.


I've had a virginia creeper in a huge wooden tub for the last four years and it seems quite happy.  I know it will outgrow it one day but for now it is giving me the privacy I want and if I need to move it I'll take a couple of shoots for future.  It doesn't cling to anything though - I put up a bit of metal trellis to create a panel at a right angle to my shed and it covers it beautifully and has a wander over the shed too but I wind it round the trellis for maximum effect.  It is really spectacular in autumn.


I had this once growing up a fence, it was pretty and not scary.

Ivy is scary esp the green type it grew through our flat roof and caused lots of damage.

Hi all, just planted a Virginia creeper as I love the colour, to hide ugly expanse of side wall of house. Suddenly really worried as thought it may damage the mortar.....are my concerns justified??


It will only cause trouble if there's already trouble there. It's a common myth that climbers damage brickwork and mortar. As blairs says above, they're opportunists.


I have the Virginia creeper with 5 separate leaves, not the more controllable palmate one (which I also have). Mine is absolutely rampant, not planted by me, planted by a previous owner over 30 years ago. It's popped up by wandering roots in flower beds where I don't want it, it's trying to suffocate the wisteria, hydrangea petiolaris, honeysuckle and a Felicité Perpetué rose. I've tried digging it up, cutting it down, spraying it, to no avail. It's now got into the veggie garden on the deer fence and it's growing in the woods. How did it get there? seeds? I hate it.

Hi folks,hope everyone is doin fine,been reading all the comments about the creeper,I've just bought one online,its about 2ft tall am gona plant it against a bare wall,about 20ft long and about 7ft plus a 6ft metal railing on top of it,my soil is clayish,any tips on planting and getting it going would b great fully welcome,hi to every1 from belfast ireland


HELP We live in France and 10 years ago bought a house that was covered in Virginia Creeper which looks amazing in the autumn.  At this time of year the leaves have now all been shed and we've clearing up which has caused us to be concerned.  When we bought the house the previous owner had cut the plant off at it's base which resulted in the branches dying back which my husband removed.  Over the following years the plant began to grow again and now has finally fully recovered the walls which we love.  However we are concerned that the rather "mature" branches are causing damage at the their base.  They have become quite substantial and are right up against the wall of the house forcing a concrete run-off gutter away from the wall. The house is 17th century so doesn't have foundations.  We are thinking that it might be necessary to once again cut the creeper off at it's base. We both love the look the plant gives the old house and don't want to remove it because the house was cement rendered many years ago and is not the prettiest!   Advice please!!!!


I live in France too. There are lots of houses covered with it here. I would get a local builder to have a look at it, he could tell you whether your house is being damaged by it.

Thanks BL  The house had the creeper on it well before the people we bought the house from and it looked really healthy, the house looked like a green box. We feel that it's more a gardening issue and our lack of knowledge.  We can't see how we could have pruned it(?) There are some rather thick branches that have grown up  the walls and if we cut them at a low level what  might die off!


It's hard to kill. It will probably grow new shoots if you cut off the old branches. I can't get rid of mine.

I dislike Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) but I love Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata), the two are very different indeed.    Boston Ivy is far more manageable and much more attractive too, well I think so.    It has smaller leaves and the stems are much shorter too.  Virginia Creeper projects out from a wall by as much as 18" whereas Boston Ivy projects out from the wall by only 6" / 8" at the most, it has a smaller and much more of a true leaf shape apposed to a palmated leaf.

As I understand it they don't damage walls or bricks or blocks as such unless they themselves are damaged in someway but I think they love the lime in lime mortar which is where I think they get there bad name from.  Cement mortar still has lime in it I think but at a greatly reduced content and therefore it's not a problem.