Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Virginia Creeper, Woodbine
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Family: Vitaceae (vee-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Parthenocissus (par-then-oh-KISS-us) (Info)
Species: quinquefolia (kwin-kway-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Vitis quinquefolia

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

51 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Vines and Climbers

over 40 ft. (12 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:
Light Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 64 photos.
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61 positives
22 neutrals
117 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative MWBSky On Aug 5, 2014, MWBSky from Richmond, MI wrote:

Well, it is pretty but ...
I am a tree lover and I noticed that this vine (which covers my entire hillside) had killed some of my trees near Port Sanilac Michigan.
So, barefoot, barehanded and in shorts I pruned the thicker vines and proceeded to pull it down out of a tree it was killing. I felt justified in interjecting my influence on nature. (still do since I am part of nature too)
A week later I thought I had poison ivy symptoms but it was different.
Calamine just makes the itching worse (as very specifically is pointed out in other posts)
Very itchy blistery rashes are in the tender skin areas (inside of knees and top of feet) but not on hands.
Shower with hot water helps a lot.
I would put this plant in the same category as nettle - a nuisance.
I do not believe in the word "weed" and I do not believe in chemical weed killers, but I might make an exception for this one in select areas.
Avoid it, but God put it here for some good reasons or it would not be here ;-)

Negative gardengirlinmd On Jul 13, 2014, gardengirlinmd from Hagerstown, MD wrote:

I have lived in the east for 15 years and have been weeding the seedlings of this highly invasive and prevalent weed by hand almost everyday of the growing season. After reading this I will definitely be using gloves. Fortunately I have not had a reaction, but I believe those of you who tell your stories of no reaction for many years and then having a reaction. This is common with poison ivy and many other chemicals or allergens
I actually came to this site because I was considering transplanting some to grow up a wall, having had no success locating Boston ivy plants. Well, I will wait to locate the Boston ivy!
I just can't believe I have never heard of this chemical sensitivity--especially since this vine coats the forests of western Maryland where I live. Birds spread it into everyone's yards and it is a weed for all gardeners, suburban, urban and rural.
My husband and I are both doctors and he has also never heard of this. He was a Biology major in college and we both love plants and are very surprised that we have never heard of this toxicity. We are aware of other plants that have oxalate in them, but not this one. So we are very glad that I just happened to look this up today.
I actually saw this plant for sale at a nursery recently and my hand wanted to reach out instinctively to weed it out of the pot! To me it is like selling a dandelion. Why would anyone buy a plant available as a seedling under every bush and tree?
I have one vine that was on my property when I moved in 10 years ago. It was small and I pulled it out to the ground and thought I got the root. I have subsequently sprayed it with weedkiller and pulled it out every year and it still comes back. I actually don't know if you can kill the plant once it is past the seedling stage.
After reading this thread I wonder if there are parts of the country that have a subspecies that is more virulent than others. I am definitely going to read up on this and learn more about it.
In the meantime all I can say is I am very sorry for those of you who have the sensitivity to the chemical and I hope I never develop it or I might have to move.

Negative MaryArneson On Jul 6, 2014, MaryArneson from Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I hadn't realized that people can have a bad reaction to the oxalate crystals in this vine. I'll be careful when trying to remove it from our house. We had allowed it to cover our north wall, and we enjoyed the lush green summer foliage and the gorgeous red fall colors. What we didn't like is the way it grew out onto the electric wires, requiring professional removal, and the way it clogs the gutters and promotes ice dam formation. It has to go!

Positive Rickwebb On Jan 18, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a pretty vine climbing by tendrils or a groundcover with excellent red autumn color. However, like most vines, including those sold at nurseries as wisterias, trumpetvines, small-flowered clematis, English-Ivy, etc., It is best in landscapes to keep vines isolated from other plants, buildings, and other stuff on a fence or trellis surrounded by lawn or mulch with nothing else growing in it. I have never had any bad reaction to touching this species, but some have reported bad allergic reactions. Its 5-leaflet compound leaves are different from the thicker, shinier, 3-leaflet compound leaves of Poison-Ivy, though very young Virginia Creepers can have some three-parted leaves for awhile.

Positive Daphne36 On Oct 3, 2013, Daphne36 from Cushing, ME wrote:

OMg (oh my goodness)! I was taken aback by the negative views of this wonderful plant. My disappointment of moving to Maine, semi-rural woods and meadow environment, and not finding Va. creeper, was alleviated when I planted a bit. This is a plant which plays a vital role in nature, if not your yard. It is beautiful, and in the woods or wild margins should not be removed. Invasive? I haven't seen that... invasives that I have seen, honeysuckles, multiflora rose, autumn olive, suburbanites who arrive with a full supply of Round-Up, these worry me. However, anyone who has had an adverse highly-allergic reaction should obviously avoid the "culprit". It's going too far to label such a plant "evil", or suggest that it shouldn't be planted, when it belongs in a way that none of us will, ever. Plants don't have morals. People should. And common sense. I have had poison ivy infections, and simply avoid the plant. There is no sense in becoming hysterical about its place in Nature. I plant for beauty, to encourage natives and the relationships that have been formed between plants and animals for thousands of years, and to be a witness to it all.

Negative NorthSC On Jul 21, 2013, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

In 2012 this plant went from absolutely absent to absolutely present on all my properties that are miles away. I also noticed a lot of comments on Virginia Creeper on here are dated 2012. Several people told me there is a conspiracy, where this plant's seeds were recently dropped from airplanes onto millions of acres across the country for certain environmental or unknown reasons.

I see them growing up in the very tall trees and palm trees, without any connection to the ground. Those seed must have been either blown up by a very strong wind or fell down from somewhere.

Just to mention, also look up "chemtrails" on Google and Youtube. No connection, just for public awareness.

Positive PupillaCharites On May 24, 2013, PupillaCharites from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I am reading about various home remedies to treat alleged "allergic" reactions to Virginia Creeper and wanted to give those people who have problems with it something to think about. It is better described as a "Chemical Irritant Contact Dermatitis". This is very different, initially; from allergies to urushiol dermatitis from Poison Ivy which is an organic liquid that gets absorbed into the skin and then systemically causing a global immune response.

You cannot get an allergic reaction touching the leaves of Virginia creeper, or the vine stems unless you directly touch open wounds on it where sap is coming out. So in that sense, if you don't subject it to the Texas Chainsaw massacre, you'll be fine... This is unlike poison ivy in that you barely brush against poison ivy anywhere and the ubiquitous allergen oils start immediately to absorb into your skin.

First, there is confusion with poison ivy, but those who are confused are the ones that think all their fellow gardeners are unable to tell the difference. Poison ivy causes an allergic reaction, but Virginia Creeper would be better described as having chemical spines, like a microscopic cactus. Anyone can be irritated by Virginia Creeper since it is physical damage, not allergy which is more variable of a response. Still, some people have tougher skin though, and are less punctured.

The culprits are the calcium oxalate crystals. What happens is they crystallize out of the sap like micro-spines and imbed in the skin like miniature cactus spines.

Then, after what the plant would consider a hacking vicious attack upon it, people get the rash and try all kinds of home remedies, some equally vicious on their skin. However, the home remedies are almost without exception, terribly exacerbating the situation by *promoting infection and further damage*, although the victims don't know it, you should have left it be. That is initially not an allergy, but you are getting infected on your wound. If you read commentors’ actions, you see someone tried bleach, for example, which further dissolves and damages skin. Calcium oxalate is not soluble in bleach. It is the same chemical as kidney stones, and dissolving kidney stones is near impossible, no good solvents for it.

So on a microscopic level in the skin people are damaging and inflaming skin already with microcrystalline needles in it. Now for the kicker. Although the calcium oxalate broke the skin, many other plant chemicals now go into the breaks caused by the crystals, and these may cause secondary allergic reactions from the sap. This is not specific to Virginia Creeper, and actually could be from other plants, too if you are in a mess of vegetation, weeding for example. If another weed happens to be poison ivy, then you get the double whammy screw - open the skin and the poison ivy concentrate goes directly in *oops! ouch! itch!*

The best protection is not to rub, or use anything except putting it under running water for a long time and just waiting for some of the spine-mineral crystals to wash off. Rubbing will just imbed them in the skin further and other remedies cause further damage and irritation.

Finally after well-irrigated, a gentle application of hydrocortisone only useful and recommended if your skin has developed a terrible rash all on its own (or if you lost the battle by exacerbating it now you can only sit back and suffer the consequences, as now the immune system was forced into reaction after you did all that 'helpful' stuff (which is less likely if you don't rub the crystal needles in).

Hydrocortisone is not to treat the mineral, but rather to numb the immune system (you've lost the battle with the spines) - which you should avoid unless intolerable. The people with severe reactions here have possibly tender skin, higher oxalate concentrations in their Virginia Creeper, or have exacerbated it thinking they were 'treating' it (Do you think application of calydryl or dissolving you skin with Clorox would help a handful of prickly pear cactus micro spines? Same deal here basically.)

Further, hydrocortisone is a two edged sword, since it also stimulates the further breakdown of skin and mucosal parts, which you don't want (for example, ulcer patients avoid the drug)! I wouldn't use even Aloe vera, because even it will introduce some phytochemicals through the broken skin. About the only thing maybe is a little antibiotic ointment, but that's iffy. The damaged skin is now also getting rash from infection since it's filled with micro punctures, so the ointment is good ... but, the ointment will tend to move around the crystalline spines aggravating the injury no matter how careful you are and perhaps make it more difficult for them to fall off on their own for some time. So something not tacky you can irrigate it, maybe aqueous based would be better. I'd go for Bactine spray and consider it like an abrasion, but only after 5-10 minutes under tenderly running water...

Virginia Creeper is only one plant that has calcium oxalate issues, and many bulbs do, and daffodil picker's ("Daffodil Itch") or Lily Rash - all from the same calcium oxalate, which btw, forms in plants for similar reasons in people - ridding or moving excess calcium ;-) Funny there don't seem to be any negatives for them ... Poor Virginia Creeper, native to the SE USA, with such pretty leaves and ability to cool a baking Southern Sun by sucking up all that brutal solar radiance into shade and biomass of such pretty leaves --- getting such a bad rap for this. Maybe its flowers aren't as showy, but the red foliage at the ends of the season is fantastic and woodsy. It deserves more respect IMO. Since calcium oxalate is not an allergen, it only takes the understanding of this hardy native American vine, to exercise basic care not to get splattered with sap. Gloves are extremely helpful, and minor amounts, unlike poison ivy are not going to send your body into an allergic attack.

I know this post won't help much after the fact, but keeping it in mind may reduce or even eliminate your reaction next time.

It could be worse; someone could have put calcium oxalate crystals on your toilet seat. Yes, that is a form of torture ;-(

Best luck!

Neutral Asdfgr On May 17, 2013, Asdfgr wrote:

A recently purchased VC, nobody's allergic yet. Not throwing it away, but will warn anybody going through my house to not TOUCH the vine. See how it does. Atcually, if you have this plant, is not doing damage to any other plant/housing/other-things and you like the plant's apearance, but you're allergic, you can just leave it and water it WITHOUT touching the plant! No offence to the people who are allergic, it's like being allergis to peanuts.

Negative Jajawakef On May 6, 2013, Jajawakef from Wake Forest, NC wrote:

Also @ bubbleyum. Beware of this plant! I know what poison ivy looks like so when I first encounter Va Creeper/Woodbine I wasnt concerned. It was growing on my fence when I lived in Jax Florida. I did get a itchy rash from it so I used gloves to try and remove it later.
Now we live in NC and bought a house that the previous owners had neglected for a while. Besides fixing up the house the yard had been overgrown w this vine. I wore gloves and was careful but still got such a bad reaction I had to get a steroid shot and take oral meds too.
Thought I had learned my lesson but we tackled our backyard this spring and removed trees, broken limbs, and mulched about 3 years of leaves. Our new puppy found this woodyvine growing up a tree and started to pull it off the tree (big puppy and quite strong). I helped him finish pulling it and to my surprise it had grown all the way to the top of the tree and when it fell it landed on my face. Woe to me it was the dreaded Virginia Creeper vine and a very old one too. Needless to say I have an even worse reaction this time- it looks like acid was thrown on me. Both arms, my neck, some of my stomache and my face are all bright red, itchy, burning, and have bumps. Not the poison ivy or sumac type weepy rash (thank goodness) but an exptremely painful and uncomfortable one. I am heading to the doctor today, cant even wait this one out. I would say if you react to this plant it does look like additional exposures cause a worse, more aggravated rash than previous exposures.
I think someone should have another look at this plant and classify it as "extremely dangerous" for persons sensitive to it!
PS This vine may have its place in nature, but it DOES cause serious illness for some of us and should be handled with caution. Its so silly to read peoples comments who insist that its not this plant that causes severe dermatitis, its poison ivy. Ivy rash is totally diff, ivy looks different, and some of us, believe it or not actually know what poison ivy looks like and for that matter all the rash inducing plants-like sumac and poison oak. Unfortunately VaCreeper/Woodbine is a cool looking plant with the capability of causing extreme skin rashes and allergic reactions for some folks! Looks like more than less too is we just go by this site alone.

Positive Belen1648 On Aug 17, 2012, Belen1648 from Belen, NM wrote:

Live in mid NM and love the hardiness of this green vine during our hot hot summers. Have a question. Does this vine produce a toxicity that makes it incompatible with certain vegetables? I have the creeper growing on a fence. I dug a vegetable bed about 3' feet from the creeper. The eggplants, squash and tomatoes are thriving. My green bean didn't. Before I explore other reasons, I am wondering if there's a possibility that an incompatibility may exist.

Negative cuthugas On Aug 9, 2012, cuthugas from Despard, WV wrote:

@ Bubble Yum

Sorry to tell you, but there are people who are in fact very allergic to this plant.

I have lived at my house for 10 years. This vine, along with English Ivy grow on my porch. There is no Poison Ivy whatsoever on my property.

I break out in burning itching hives, unlike the rash I get from Poison Ivy.

So, don't spout out that people are wrong just because you are not allergic to this thing.

Neutral LakeViewFlorist On Jul 24, 2012, LakeViewFlorist from Chicago, IL wrote:

I don't usually post comment but since there's so many negatives about this plant. I just wanna share my 2c.

1. According to the scientific name that listed by the vendors. YES it is for the Virginia Creeper.

2. I think they probably use the WRONG name for the VINE that they're selling. (Which is kinda funny b/c they're the SELLERS right?) ..

This is what people usually MISUNDERSTOOD about these 2 plants.
- The TOXIC one is Virginia Creeper (Five-leaved ivy, or Five-finger "Parthenocissus Quinquefolia")
- This one can CLIMB smooth surface b/c of the small forked tendrils tipped with small strongly adhesive pads 5 mm in size.

- The NON-TOXIC one is False Virginia Creeper (Thicket Creeper, Woodbine, or Grape Woodbine "Parthenocissus Vitacea")
- This one CANNOT CLIMB smooth surface b/c it DOES NOT have a sticky pad on its tendrils tip. ONLY on shrubs and trees

** They both CLOSE RELATIVES (same FAMILY) .. so they look VERY VERY SIMILAR. Maybe this is the reason why people confused between these 2 vines. Btw, their berries are both contain oxalic acid (crystal liquid thingy), yet they provide an important winter food source for birds **

The FALSE VC is growing on my fence right now and yes VERY PRETTY in winter..
I have a 3 and 5 yrs old so i pay very GOOD attention in my yard. All these info you can get them on google.. but most of all, many thank to my prof. biology Mommy :) .. which is why I'm in the floral industry now.

P.S.: People aren't mistaken these to POISON IVY.. that's another diff. type of vine. even the leaves are diff. but YES they do give u the similar effect. And to those that said they're not ALLERGIC to PI or VC... apparently you haven't TOUCH the right one yet.

Negative justsaynotovacreeper On Jul 8, 2012, justsaynotovacreeper from Moultrie, GA wrote:



Let me tell you the treatment that worked for me and then I will tell you of my experience with Virginia Creeper.

If you experience a bad reaction to virginia creeper (mine set in within 32 hours of exposure) call or go to your doctor immediately. I broke out in painful itchy hives from head to toe.

I was given a weeks Rx for prednisone 20 mg and Hydroxyzine HCL 25 mg for itching. My doctor had me take a triple dose of the predisone for a first dose and 2 tabs daily thereafter. Within 12 hours of the the first triple dose the hives disappeared. Within 2 hours of taking the hydroxzine the itching was ok. The second day I was back to normal.

I pulled one large vine of virginia creeper off our wooden fence with my bare hands. I was wearing flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt. It was hot and I was wiping the sweat away constantly picking up pine cones.

Previously I have pulled this stuff for years without problem. Then a couple of years ago I volunteered at church clean up day and pulled a pile of this stuff wearing gloves. Two days later I was on vacation in Aruba and broke out the same as this time. I thought I had been exposed to poison ivy so I bought some calamine lotion and self treated. After we got home from a miserable week (sorry Aruba it wasn't your fault) I went to my doctor but the above treatment didn't help as quickly. GET TREATMENT QUICK!

Negative neverknew On Jul 2, 2012, neverknew from New Berlin, NY wrote:

Be aware of this plant!! I never knew of it until it was to late, I did a small patch of weedeating, and this plant was in the patch, I was shirtless at the time, this was a friday morning, saturday it was turning red and irritated, sunday turning to blisters, monday=unbearable!!!! Even though I was wearing sunglasses, my eyes are very dry and burn, and blisters keep coming.... I will post a picture of the plant and the results to my skin reaction, please check them out.

Negative Sandwichkatexan On Jun 23, 2012, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:

It was growing wild on the empty acres next to us , It has now spread everywhere . it pops up in my flowerbeds but I still pull it up everytime I see it . It is quite an annoyance .

Negative LMays62 On Jun 8, 2012, LMays62 from Chesapeake, Ohio
United States wrote:

I registered for this site specifically to share my experience with this horrible plant! My husband and I have been trying to help his elderly parents clean up around their property, and they repeatedly warned us about the "poison ivy" covering the back of their house. I knew this was not poison ivy when I first saw it. I know poison ivy, and this vine had 5-lobed leaves rather than 3, so every time they warned us, I repeated that it was not poison ivy and was nothing to worry about. After a Google search, I identified the vine as Virginia Creeper, and everything I read initially indicated it was often confused with poison ivy, but was harmless. I assured them of what I had learned, and proceeded to tear the vine off the back of the house. This was on Sunday. On Monday, I started getting a few itchy bumps and now, on Friday, I have itchy, burning, oozing, RED patches and blisters on my hands, arms, legs and face, and am still developing new blisters daily. All week, I've been thinking there must have been some poison ivy somewhere that I just didn't see, although I was very careful to watch for it and saw nothing at all growing in this area except the Virginia Creeper. Now, after doing more specific Google searches, I am finding that some people are sensitive to the oxalate crystals in the vine. The posts on this site are confirming for me that I am indeed having a reaction to VC. I am concerned mostly about the patch on my face as it is very near my eye, so I called my doctor's office this morning, and he has prescribed a course of prednisone. I am hopeful this will help. We'll see. I would advise anyone coming into contact with this vine for the first time to limit exposure until you know whether or not you are sensitive to it. Don't do as I did and start ripping it out with your bare hands. I am very surprised that so much of the information out there says it is harmless! Not everyone is allergic to poison ivy, either, but everyone knows what it can do. VC should be included in that same category of noxious plants.

Negative bonnigrrl On Jun 3, 2012, bonnigrrl from Lakewood Park, FL wrote:

Virginia Creeper is distinct. It is not Poison Ivy. It is worse.
It is long lasting and scars and extremely uncomfortable. The smoke can damage lungs. Pull out the root.

Negative camarojen On May 21, 2012, camarojen from Waterloo, IA wrote:

I have had this plant in our yard since the day I moved in two years ago. I've been battling it ever since. This plant grows in about every type of environment. It has killed out a number of plants and is working on a tree now too. I am very allergic to this plant. If I barely touch it at all, three days later I will be at the doctors office getting steroids and corticosteroids. This plant has now taken over about 1/8-1/4 of my yard and we have 3/4 of an acre. I am deathly afraid of this plant. I suggest everyone I know to stay away from this plant. My fiance isn't allergic to it thankfully. I'm afraid to go into several parts of my yard because of it. It starts out as little bumps and then spreads. Both times my skin has turned beet red and has swollen up about 1/4 of an inch and itches like crazy. I suggest to stay away from this plant if at all possible. My brother now works for a lawn care company and said that the only thing that will work on this is concentrated round up (not the ready to use) or total weed killer.

Positive ladyangel4 On May 15, 2012, ladyangel4 from Round Hill, VA wrote:

Simply brushing against this plant (and Trumpet creeper which also has the crystals) and then washing with Dawn soap/cold water as a precaution is fine in my experience. After reading so many stories, it's clear breaking the vines and leaves by weeding and pulling CAN be DANGEROUS, releasing those crystals.

From a medical treatment page, "No specific antidote or clinically useful diagnostic test exists for calcium oxalate rash, eye exposure, or ingestion."

Note: burning or breaking up DEAD plants that contain these crystals can ALSO cause irritation; be careful!

Also noting studies on poison ivy/oak and it's ability to propagate subspecies and noticing our recent "crop" of VA Creeper has very waxy looking leaves, I am *suspicious* that we MAY be dealing with a NEW subspecies of Virginia Creeper that is much more noxious than its predecessor. Most especially wild vs. cultivated.

It's possible that not ALL Virginia Creeper is equal! Good luck from former Biologist o/

Negative emilierowe On Apr 21, 2012, emilierowe from North Valley, NM wrote:

I have been in my house 24 years and have fought virginia creeper from chopping it down from the telephone pole to replacing destroyed fences and removing it from flower beds and trees. I had noticed an itching on my hands after working with the removal Three days ago I found a remnant in my euonymous(sp?) and in my honeysuckle so I began removing the virginia creeper. The next morning, I woke up with subcutaneous bumps. After my attempt treatments from my vast years of being an allergic person, I realized nothing I did helped and was worse by the next day. I looked like I had been beaten, purple and red in the face, swollen and had hives near my eyes. I went to the doctor and have been on steriods, antihistimines, anti-itch pills and cream. (Now, on the fourth day, I just look ruddy.) I hope others will understand how virulent virginia creeper can be and like all allergies, the reaction can be compounded with recurring exposures.

Negative vossner On Apr 18, 2012, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

not a problem in my garden, but I yank it the second I see it.

Neutral SRMColo On Apr 17, 2012, SRMColo from Brookside, CO wrote: provides more definitive information about Virginia Creeper causing rashes: "Some literature suggests that Virginia Creeper is not poisonous, but the sap of the plant contains oxalate crystals and can cause skin irritation and rashes in some people." More information can be found from this authoritative source @

Negative ellis9899 On Apr 15, 2012, ellis9899 from Lexington, SC wrote:

While Virginia Creeper is often confused with poison ivy, this does not mean someone with a rash from 'weeding' is confused where they got it from! I just bought a new home with established landscaping that has been neglected for about 2 years. The wooded areas of the lot had both poison ivy and Virginia creeper and the garage door was covered by VC. While I was aware of the oils in poison ivy (which I already knew I was highly allergic to) I have never heard of anything about a reaction from Virginia creeper.

Before weeding, I did cover what I thought was appropriately but it started to rain and I wanted to finish weeding. I went in, took all clothes off and washed them in hot water, showered with Dawn, and used new linens. But it was too late. I either was not careful enough or the rain helped the poisons soak in.

Here's the interesting part, I have two different rashes now. The first rash is the typical poison ivy rash with little raised blisters that itch and ooze. They are mainly on my wrists and ankles. Benadryl and calamine help but it still itches some of course. It was in full course within 24 hours. The second rash started in little spots on my arms and legs. It looks more like hives and the areas are red, raised and burn like a chemical burn. It has been 5 days now and the poison ivy rash is starting to disappear while this rash is only continuing to seep out on my arms and legs and gets worse by the day. It is very painful to me and itches ten times worse for me than the poison ivy (yes it itches that bad but burns at the same time).

I went to the doctor today as I realize for the first time, this hives like burning/itching is NOT a poison ivy rash and using the typical poison ivy reliefs of calamine, Benadryl, oatmeal baths, etc do not work on me. So I got a steroid shot and some orals that I hope will help!

My point is that the doctor knew immediately what the rash was from before I even said what I thought I got it from (thanks to this site). She said most people in this area (midlands of SC) where it grows rapidly and hartily (yes it can be beautiful to the eyes) are not allergic but those who are generally develop a slow creeping rash that can burn and itch. They look like hives and generally do not ooze but can. The raised areas are general bright red and in large patches versus poison ivy which is generally little raised blisters that itch but don't usually burn.

So just because someone gets a rash from weeding doesn't mean it's from poison ivy. My kids and husband pulled tons of the Virginia creeper off the side of the garage and none of them got this rash but my daughter did get poison ivy. My son and husband have never had any reaction and my husband's whole family has always been immune to any of these type plants. Regardless my husband plans to wage war this week to ensure there is no more VC on our lot so I can go back outside and enjoy our new home.

Has anyone else had this type of chemical burn type reaction to VC or am I the most allergic, unlucky person in the world? :) (I say as I feel like peeling my skin off it hurts and itches so bad right now)

Negative jeffllind On Mar 29, 2012, jeffllind from Concord, KY wrote:

I am the facility manager for a domestic violence shelter here in western Kentucky. It is an old estate and has a lot of trees. One of the first things that I noticed was the vines on the trees and fences. I identified the plant as Virginia creeper, not poison oak or poison ivy. I began removing it and developed a rash which I attributed to missing some poison ivy that may have been mixed with it. The next incident was a widespread chemical burn from incidental contact with a cut vine. I cannot comprehend how this plant has never been classified as hazardous, the symptoms and spread are worse than I've ever seen with poison oak or poison ivy.

Positive BubbleYum On Feb 10, 2012, BubbleYum from Feasterville-Trevose, PA wrote:

Virginia Creeper is nativie to North Americia & it’s vital to wildlife (birds etc) as a food with its berries. Also an FYI, the sheer ignorance with negative comments is really shameful. Virginia Creeper can be weedy in some areas, this is very true. Total brush killer can help remove it if you have this problem where you live/work. But people are mixing this plant up with Poison Ivy as it often grows mixed in with the Poison Ivy. Or some people just mis-identify the vine all together. This is why people get rashes, as they are being exposed to Poison Ivy. Again, most people that come onto blogs mean well, as they just want to get the information out. But unfortunately here, people are unknowingly misrepresenting the facts. True...

Neutral wormfood On Dec 30, 2011, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Reading the comments about the allergic reactions, I had to mention that my itch and bite and oozing of yellow, etc., was due to chiggers. Something to keep in mind at your next outbreak.

Negative ZapCreeper On Nov 30, 2011, ZapCreeper from Peoria, IL wrote:

Virginia Creeper is responsible for my skin rash that has been spreading and is unbearably itchy.

It started 17 days ago after doing some gardening and weeding at our recently purchased home. An inquiry with a local landscaper had already determined that the plant that we were pulling out was "harmless" Virginia Creeper, with no poison ivy in that location. That is why I didn't worry too much.

The reaction started as a red bump on my left wrist just above the cuff of my gardening gloves a couple of days after contact. It looked like a hive or bug bite and developed itchy weeping bubbly blisters. The area and the itchiness grew rapidly, even though I took precautions to clean the area thoroughly with rubbing alcohol and to wrap it in gauze. My husband and next door neighbor also reacted to what we thought was poison ivy.

I tried washing it with alcohol, vinegar, alcohol and vinegar, and during the second weekend, bleach. The bleach relieved the itching and seemed to dry out some of the blisters. I used compresses with Domboro solution (my husband's doctor recommended this); cortisone cream; and Caladryl, none of which relieved the intense itching. Technu cleanser, which works on poison ivy, didn't even faze this outbreak.

After the first week, blisters spread to my right wrist and up both arms. This was with no further contact with the plants outside; and diligent washing of clothes and bedding using bleach and detergent. I covered the affected skin with gauze, tape, and band aids, since it seeped yellowish ooze. During the second week, it started to spread to my face and legs. It acted like a systemic infection such as shingles.

I started taking Benadryl every 4 hours and using ice packs which did help. Patting the rash with Milk of Magnesia relieved the itching for a short time. Another sufferer reported that Clobetasol propionate gel 0.05% - 60 gm 60 gm 60 gm (Generic Temovate Gel) works. I have found some relief from OTC Calagel.

After two weeks, I went to the doctor's office with an oozing raw rash on both forearms, my left leg, and my chin. The itching was driving me crazy and other allergies that had not caused difficulty recently had re-commenced. I had trouble with asthma, hives, and swelling. The doctor gave me an injection of 90 mg of Kenalog, a cortisone that is often given in 40 mg injections. She also prescribed Silvadine ointment since part of my arms looked like a third degree burn. I rushed home to put it on my bright red blistered and seeping arms. I am taking enough Benedryl to stun an elephant. My arms are swathed in gauze and I look a lot like "the Mummy". It has been two and a half weeks of misery so far.

I can not imagine anyone thinking that propagating and spreading this noxious plant is a good idea. I have had previous experience with poison ivy, which is not even in the same category of irritation for me. I wonder whether some new super irritating variety of the Creeper has developed; or if people have assumed that any rash of this sort is poison ivy. Even though not everyone is sensitive to it, I don't know many people who plant poison ivy intentionally. Zap the Creeper.

Negative itchyinoklahoma On Sep 26, 2011, itchyinoklahoma from Jones, OK wrote:

I need to chime in about this vine. We live in Oklahoma and cleared an acreage to build a house, and this vine was part of the scenery. I've cleared it from different places, and had to be careful as got a rash, even though it only had three leaves. Didn't know what it was...
About a week ago, after cleaning up in a flower garden area that we planted, pulled some more of it out. Wore gloves and tried to be careful. Yikes! This time it has been so much worse! Two or three rash lines turned into my entire forearms being covered in those awful big dark red blisters. Went to doctor after two days of cortisone cream not helping, so did one round of the prednisone pack of pills. Just finished and I'm itching like crazy still!!! I'm so miserable. Nothing is working, and the doctor doesn't know what to do with me.
Everyone always told me the five-leaved plant wasn't poisonous. I KNOW that's the only thing I touched besides grass that I didn't plant. Any new itch remedies would be helpful!

Negative Phone_Guy On Jul 29, 2011, Phone_Guy from Bridgeport, MI wrote:

My wife was cleaning out an overgrown flower bed and ,unknown to her, there was Virginia Creeper vine in among the tall weeds she was pulling out. She knows well enough that we have poison ivy around our house but we knew nothing about virginia creeper. She had a delayed reaction to it. A day later she started breaking out in red marks and then they turned to raised blisters. Because she was in shorts, tanktop and sneakers the blisters are everywhere. We found information on this site to scrub with Dawn dish soap and bathe in baking soda and white vinegar but this has not resolved the red rash. It has dried up the blisters. That was 5 days ago. It is dried up but refuses to heal. She is going to Redi Med this afternoon. We will be vigilant at destroying this plant from here on!

Positive tremuloides On Jul 20, 2011, tremuloides from Jackson, WY wrote:

I have a big Virginia Creeper that extends all across the top of my 2-car garage and across the windows of the next room. I love it, it hangs down over the garage and makes it look like the bat cave. I was surprised to hear people say it can cause a rash. I have never had any problem with it, and have lived with this plant for 16 years. It even survives Wyoming winters where it can reach -40 farenheit.

Negative jolynn76 On Jul 20, 2011, jolynn76 from Saint Marys, WV wrote:

I have never, never been allergic to poison ivy. I raised 3 children in the Mid-Ohio Valley region of West Virginia, and treated them many times for poison ivy exposure--washing them, washing their clothes--and never had a problem.

We have lived in our present home for 12 years. We have always had what I now realize is Virginia Creeper. I knew it wasn't poison ivy or any of it's cousins because it did not have 3 leaves. And since I didn't really want it--or anything else--growing up the side of my house, I have pulled it up at least once a year, with no adverse reactions.

This year, I have broken out twice with a rash after working in the yard. The first time, the rash was on my arm, with a spot on my face. I could not figure out what I'd gotten into that was any different from any other year, but I went to the Dr. anyway. They said it was some kind of contact dermatitis, but that it did not look like poison ivy. I was treated with steroids, and it did help.

A few days ago, I noticed some Virginia Creeper growing next to the back door. I pulled it up.
Two days ago, I woke up with an itchy arm and a tingling near the corner of my mouth. Thinking the itchy arm was a bug bite and that the tingling near my mouth was a developing cold sore, I did not connect the two. As the day wore on, I began to notice a rash spreading across my face. My arm also began developing itchy spots.
Yesterday, I woke up with a bright red, splotchy rash across the entire lower half of my face. My upper lip was swollen. The Dr. gave me a shot and I have to go another round of steroids.
One thing I noticed this time is that when the rash on my face began to weep, the exudate was crystalline that was yellowish in color. And both times, the rash on my face was worse than the one on my arm.

I am quite miserable and will never, ever touch this stuff again. I'll go the weed killer and gloves route from now on. And I add my voice to the chorus of those who say that I am NOT confusing it with poison ivy. If you are not allergic to this stuff, I certainly understand why you might want to plant it, as it can be decorative. But I'd use some preventative measures when dealing with it. As I mentioned before, I pulled it with abandon for 11 years and never had a problem until now.

Negative majickmann On Jul 9, 2011, majickmann from Fairview, TN wrote:

I grew up on a farm in Kentucky and have plenty of experience with poison ivy and poison oak.
Soon after moving into our home in Tennessee three years ago, I started to break out with a rash. It was just like a poison ivy rash but seemed to have severe blisters which I attributed to night-time scratching.
Even though I was very careful to watch for the three-leaf plants, which I never found, I kept getting rashes.
It was only after searching for other causes that I discovered it was the five-leaf Virginia Creeper.
But, they are not related, nor do they cause rashes in the same way.
Poison [ivy, oak, sumac] cause the rash with urushiol oil.
Virginia Creeper causes the rash from oxalate crystals in the vines.
The treatments are different and are not interchangeable. Calamine and shots for poison ivy will not help with Virginia Creeper.
I don't have any suggestions but have used a prescribed ointment that minimizes the itching. And waiting out the 2-4 weeks for it to go away.

Hope this helps...

NOTE: Many details are not given for brevity.

Negative glendad On Jul 3, 2011, glendad from Mohnton, PA wrote:

Please please think twice about planting Virginia creeper. It is a pretty ground cover, but it can also be highly invasive and very painful for people who are allergic to it. This summer Virginia creeper got in to the rock pile the dog play area. It grew quickly. Before I had a chance to get it out of the area I found a spot on my legs cover in red blisters where the dog laid his head. Not quite sure what was happening I check the play area and the only vine I found was the Virginia Creeper. The dog of course by that time had rubbed his body on my legs. I gave him a bath and now have it on my wrists. In the process of pulling it out i got more blisters on my ankles. Not fun.
I don't believe that as many people are allergic to this plant as poison ivy. I can pull poison ivy out with my bare hands and not have any problems but this five leaf plant has me in misery.

Negative jrsweetpea1 On Jun 28, 2011, jrsweetpea1 from Joffre, PA wrote:

run, don't walk! as fast & as far as you can!, buy some roundup, gloves & get it the heck out of your yard! i live i sw pa & it takes over everywhere, through ground cover, lawns, etc, also am allergic & thought i was getting into "something else" , good luck!!!

Negative smokindog On Jun 22, 2011, smokindog from SYBERTSVILLE, PA wrote:

I will agree with all those who say this is a beautiful plant. Does little to no damage to vertical surfaces although it can harm other plants. The fall colors are gorgeous.
So here is why the negative. First of all some quick background. I am 47 years old, was a boy scout, my father was a scoutmaster for years. (from scouts)"Leaflets 3, let it be....berries white, poisonous sight." I lived in rural areas all my life. None of this make me an expert on Virginia Creeper. When I was 5 I got a case of poison ivy from chasing foul balls into a treeline. I was covered from ankles to mid thigh, not with a slight rash, but an extreme rash with many pus filled blisters. I could go into more very painful details, but suffice it to say, it was not a good week. Once I cleared up my dad made sure I knew what poison ivy, oak, and sumac looked like. In my youth, every spring I would get a shot to help me through the season. Fast forward to last year. I was cleaning out some vines by my house, sure enough, a couple days later, bam, I was covered. How could I be so stupid, I know what ivy looks like, how did I screw up. I know I looked at every leaf I touched.
Today, I cleared again. I made double sure of everything close to my body. Even though I was covered, and made sure I didnt touch any triplets, I guarantee, I am gonna get skunked.
Moral of the story, some of us do know what poison looks like. Get off your high horse and please don't think all of us uber sensitive folks are idots. (steps off soapbox)

Negative dgmersch On Jun 7, 2011, dgmersch from La Salle, IL wrote:

This plant is toxic. Like the song lyrics, "You are Going to Need an Ocean of Calamine Lotion" if you are exposed and do not treat your exposure properly. My experience is new and recent. Vines were climbing the side of my brick house and wow what a rash on my inner arms. I blamed the poor dog for bringing poison ivy home from our walks in the woods. This looks like poison ivy but it is not so don't treat it the same. Calamine and Hydrocortisone won't help. Pills and steroids and shots are a bad idea. Here is what I did and I see improvement in one day. Again this is not poison ivy. Rather this is a chemical poisoning. The rash will look like small intensive bumps at every pore with mild exposure, or with extreme exposure big blisters.
Jump in the shower and scrub the rash area with a scotch brite pad. Feels good and don't worry about some minor bleeding on the big blister areas. Then wash with dish soap (Dawn is good). Dry and apply apple cider vinegar mixed with baking soda. Baking soda neutralizes the acid in the vinegar. Vinegar is the killing agent so the more acid you can take with some burning sensation the better. All this is going to sting a bit but hey the results are worth it. The mild exposure rash bumps will clear and improve almost overnight. The extreme exposure blisters will ooze for a day or two but improve. The ooze is not contagous like poison ivy but use a paper towel with scotch tape for a cover bandage to keep your family and friends from abandoning you. Please don't buy or grow this toxic weed.
Please be careful with removal of this weed. I leaned my lesson.

Negative laura93 On May 24, 2011, laura93 from Chesapeake, VA wrote:

Stay away from Virginia Creeper!!! We moved to southeastern Virginia about 3 years ago, and have battled with creeper since we moved in. It is much like poison ivy, but instead of oils it has crystals. It causes a severe rash, though probably not to everyone (for example, I can roll in poison ivy and it won't affect me, but this stuff...). My daughter has missed school for a week now because she was exposed to creeper and has a severe itchy rash all over her arms, hands and face, and her face is terribly swollen. Each member of our family that has been exposed to it has had severe reactions - the effects take weeks to get rid of. It's not worth it - stay away from Virginia Creeper!

Negative wforrest On May 22, 2011, wforrest from Ellenboro, NC wrote:

I have lived on my property in W-NC for 30 years. It has only been the last 5 or 6 years that VC has begun invading my land. It has appeared in my azalea bed and my 20 year old blueberry bushes and forsythia. It winds its way up the stems of the bushes then forms a canopy over the plant shading the azaleas and blueberries and forsythia from the sun. Not a good thing if you expect to enjoy the flowers or the berries. Tried pulling but by the time you unwind it from the stems it usually breaks off and in the blueberries it comes out of the ground in between the canes making it impossible to get out of ground. I have sprayed roundup on the vines that run out across the ground and it does kill the vine but fails to go into the root for kill. The only thing I can think of that would worse would be being invaded by kudzu.

Positive karate626 On May 22, 2011, karate626 from Laurel, MD wrote:

While this does spread fast I love it! I think it looks beautiful and it is native. It has amazing Autumn colours! Looks great in my yard! Not to hard for me to control.

Positive FlyPoison On May 20, 2011, FlyPoison from Rock Hill, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

A beautiful creeping vine that really adds beauty to a woodland area. I prefer to plant this native in light-full shade. I'm not allergic, so fortunately I can tolerate it. Turns beautiful in the fall and does very well with other natives.

Negative bctiii On May 17, 2011, bctiii from Mount Holly, NC wrote:

Bad!!! Bad!!! Weed What ever you do not plant it, the birds will do it for you. I have been pulling it off everything and out of everything all my life.

Negative spicydog On May 17, 2011, spicydog from Homestead, FL wrote:

Just another weedy vine here in south Florida. If you are looking for a low maintenance yard keep this vine out of the mix. It climbs up you house and leaves marks on stucco where its claspers were holding on to wall. it climbs up chain link fences and then covers them. it climbs up small trees and covers them. So far i am not allergic to the darn stuff just poison ivy.

I'd rather plant grape vines on the fence to feed the birds, but as it is the squirrels and rats have their way with every fruit tree in the yard, and if the fruit should fall on the ground the oppossums will get that.

Negative esteve59 On May 17, 2011, esteve59 from Annapolis, MD wrote:

I know so far there is 83 negatives,,,,I might as well join in,,,,,
There is no need to buy it,,,,I have never planted it yet I have to pull it up everwhere all summer long,,,,,what fool would pay for this,,,,,
To me it is more like crabgrass,,,,,,

Negative holly47 On May 16, 2011, holly47 from Englewood, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant is FEROCIOUSLY INVASIVE. Also, many people ARE allergic to it... including me! Personally, I find offensive those comments posted here that imply that anyone who claims to be allergic, is simply unable to identify poison oak, ivy, and sumac. This is absolutely UNTRUE. It is also thoughtless and unkind. Just because you personally are NOT allergic to something, and you happen to LIKE that particular plant, does not give you the right to mock and/or discredit others' suffering.

P.S. Contrary to some postings, there is plenty of scientific evidence that Virginia Creeper causes allergic reactions in some people, e.g. this entry in Wikipedia: "Be aware that even those who do not get an allergic reaction to poison ivy may be allergic to the oxalate crystals in Virginia creeper sap."

Neutral horsefethers On May 16, 2011, horsefethers from Calgary, Alberta
Canada wrote:

Virginia Creeper is not native to our region (just north of the border and east of the Rockies) but grows well and is used as a cover for many areas..verandas, fences, fireplaces, etc. The only thing I don't like about it is the leaf hoppers that infest it from time to time and make it very unattractive. I think some people have misidentified their vines.

Positive rosewood513 On May 16, 2011, rosewood513 from Lanoka Harbor, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this vine, I have enough room for it to grow and I love how it frames the steps of my deck. It can be invasive that is true but I just love vines. By the end of the summer I have a blanket of creeper on the railings of my deck and on my front fence.
I jokingly ask my friend how it came to be so prolific in New Jersey and she said with a straight face "I guess it just creeped up form Virginia"

Negative Munga On May 16, 2011, Munga from Weatherford, TX wrote:

Virginia Creeper grows wild and invasive here in my neck of the woods. I've never had a reaction to it and I have the most sensitive skin on the planet. I'm not taking any chances though, I will always use gloves when dealing with it. My complaint is its invasiveness. I work very hard at keeping my yard pretty. I love shade gardening and my backyard is the perfect backdrop for my passion. However, Virginia Creeper pops up in all of my flower beds. One of my neighbors refuses to control it and it threatens to take over my yard every year.
I have pulled several vines that were as big around as my wrist... but still it keeps coming. I can't imagine anyone wanting this in a residential area. Please consider your neighbors before purchasing this plant.

Negative Patiolover On Mar 21, 2011, Patiolover from Hagerstown, MD wrote:

This is a horribly invasive vine. I and my son have both been fighting this villain for years! We cannot get rid of it. It is not growing up the fences (chainlink) but rather out into the yards. We get a slight rash from it but not as bad as poison ivy--I have gotten rid of the poison ivy in my yard, but we cannot get rid of the VC. Who in their right mind would want to actually go out and BUY this stuff!

Positive PlantFanatic56 On Feb 26, 2011, PlantFanatic56 from Bridger, MT wrote:

I know this plant is a vigorous grower, but its truly a beautiful plant, especially in fall when it turns a scarlet red. I think its bad reputation is undeserved. Just keep it trimmed and weed the seedlings like you would anyways and its pretty tame in my neck of the woods. And it provides great shade. And I'd never heard of anyone having a reaction to this plant until I read the comments, no one I know has had a reaction.

Negative mwhill On Oct 4, 2010, mwhill from Atlantic Beach, FL wrote:

I sit here today with a terrible oozy rash all over my right arm and hand. This is the 3rd or 4th time this year that this has happened, and prior to this week I assumed that I had accidentally pulled on some poison ivy while working in the yard. However, after removing a lot of VC this week, I am certain that it is what has caused my rash. I had always heard that VC was not toxic like poison ivy, but I am here to tell you that that is not true!

Positive LizRobbins On Sep 24, 2010, LizRobbins from Boerne, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I think VC is fantastic, a lush dark green vine that loves to climb trees and provides great red/yellow Fall color.

Negative michiganlover On Sep 22, 2010, michiganlover from White Pigeon, MI wrote:

We bought a house in southwest Michigan about a year ago. All five acres were covered with a very invasive vine. We thought it was kudzu at first because it was everywhere! Almost all of the trees were covered and many were dead. The vines were almost 3" thick on some trees. It hangs off many of our trees, like rope. We spent the first year just clearing the trees. And of course, its back. I'm sure we will never get rid of this awful vine.

Negative themikeman On Sep 20, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Always thought this vine which covers my 80 ft tall white oakes in the back of my farm property in rural NC was poison oak vine...too bad it's not because the rash you can get from this stuff along with burning eyes and itching and fever even when cutting it while wearing gloves and a face mask!!! is much worse and longer lasting then poison oak if you are allergic to it{me}; and it is much more invasive as it can coat trees over 150 feet tall and kill them after about 20 years from lack of sunlight and strangulation..looks pretty in the summer like something you'd see in a steaming tropical rainforest..but BEWARE..stay away from this stuff even with gloves on!!!

Negative journeywalker228 On Aug 4, 2010, journeywalker228 from Marlborough, CT wrote:

I finally figured out what is giving me burning eyes, a sunburn look on my face along with an outrageous itch. It's also on my legs, arms, fingers, in between my fingers, my neck, chest and in my ears! I think my view on VC is not good. It is also very invasive. That's why I had such a grand time ripping it out of my yard, not knowing what it was. It didn't look like poison ivy to me: more that three leaves, no shine; so I just kept ripping and following those relentless vines everywhere!! I was having fun! LOL. Not too much fun now. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why anyone would want to spend their money on a plant like this. There are so many other beautiful plants out there, why VC? The allergic reaction will definitely leave scars. I'm on prednisone now along with another itch medication and lotion, but it just barely makes me sane. And, it seems to be still spreading...we'll see.

Negative LakePlacidFL On Jul 28, 2010, LakePlacidFL from Lake Placid, FL wrote:

Okay, to all of you who say the people “complaining” about rashes from this are mistaking poison ivy for creeper, you are completely, totally incorrect. This plant can be maddening to many people (more than you’d guess). In fact, many cases of poison ivy are actually creeper rashes – just look at many here saying they thought they had ivy, but figured out it was creeper (ivy is the “easy” diagnoses).

My wife always got a bad reaction for the stuff , but I never did. So, I would (bare handed) pull the vines out like crazy a couple times per year when they go to be too much in one section of our Florida Jungle. I too like the looks of them – especially the red in fall - and so I let them go pretty long sometimes before I’d do a little trimming, and they REALLY grow!).

Well, finally, I had my comeuppance. They were getting a bit unruly a couple weeks ago, and she started complaining (she is SCARED of these things, especially after her last rash – and a trip to the doc for shots and 2 entire “sets” – treatments - of pills).

I went out and grabbed handfulls. At one point, I wrapped a vine around my wrist and pulled so hard to rip it out, it lefts a red “line” across my hand/wrist.

Well, my wrist (exactly where I wrapped it), arm, legs chest (I was in shorts with no shirt on) all got patches of the bubbly rash my wife had a few times.

I did some research and one can be “immune” for years, then, suddenly – boom1 (Me!). It can build up in your system then cause a reaction.

I have had the rash for almost 2 weeks now. I don’t think it’s as bad as poison ivy, but not real nice!

So, I’ll be carefully removing the stuff form MY yard … not shirtless, in shorts, with no gloves, however…

Positive mystic_one On Jul 15, 2010, mystic_one from Austin, TX wrote:

This plant and I shared life during my childhood years in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I grew up in the same house that my great-grandfather lived in. My grandmother was a little girl there. And, for as long as anyone can remember, the front porch wore a thick "awning" of Virginia creeper. And not only our house....but other homes nearby had the same thing. Very cool in summer. Lots of little purple berries that the birds loved. Every spring we loved looking for the little nests that birds would build in it. For me, my friends and I loved playing on the front porch and the vine would play an important part in our play.....we would "chop" the leaves for pretend salad....we would use leaves in crafts. And NEVER ONCE DID I EVER GET A RASH OR BUMPS!!!

I am pretty sure that those who say it brings a rash are mixing it up with POISON IVY (NOT related to Virginia creeper!!!) I have had many people THINK that it is poison ivy, but I am quick to tell them it is not. I am VERY allergic to poison ivy and this VINE IS NOT POISON IVY.

I love this vine.....I have it growing as a ground cover here in Texas. I love the way it climbs up the trunks of the oaks and turns a beautiful red in fall. Don't be afraid of using it in your yard.

Negative satkins On Jun 24, 2010, satkins from (Zone 6a) wrote:

I can't believe people intentionally plant this impossibly invasive vine. It does turn kind of a pretty red in the fall. That said, I have spent countless hours trying to remove this weed from the yard/bushes/trees/lawns of several houses in the SLC area in which I have lived since childhood. Beware if you plant this: it will creep into neighbor's yards and it is very, very hard to get rid of if not wanted ( zone 5/6 here).

Negative aquilusdomini On Jun 24, 2010, aquilusdomini from Jackson, MI wrote:

While it does have pretty red leaves in autumn, i absolutely loathe this plant for everything else it is. It started invading our backyard from a parking-lot next door a few years back and has since taken over 3 trees and the entire back fence. Every year i rip down the vines and thankfully i'm not yet allergic to it. I've tried killing it with vegetation killer, with hacking up its roots, and with deleafing it so it won't photosynthesize but nothing kills it. Every year it comes back with a brutal vengeance. It's an evil, evil plant. It's not easily trained so it attempts to take over anything and everything it can get its little tendrils on. I don't recommend this plant unless you've got a big rock wall and lots of time to devote to pruning it. And whatever you do, don't let your dog near it (especially if they eat anything and everything).

Negative nykilane On Jun 20, 2010, nykilane from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

Is is a beautiful plant? ABSOLUTELY. Is it good for the environment? SURE IT IS. Do I want to have it my yard? NO.

After 2 rounds of what my doctor diagnosed as Poison Oak or Ivy (which I never would have questioned had the treatment worked, or if I would have had either in my yard) I think I might have found the culprit. I haven't had much trouble with it being invasive, only one vine on the house that I pulled down, one in a ligustrum tree, and a few babies every now and again in the flower bed, but the reprocussions of me going anywhere near this are much too painful and aggravating. I will touch this vine only one more time, and that will be when I take it to the doctor, and be tested so I know for sure.

Positive natureboy420 On Jun 11, 2010, natureboy420 from Carson City, NV wrote:

I absolutely love this plant. It isn't native to Nevada that I know of. But it seems to grow extremely well here. The plant has more of a tree like stalk than an ivy. In my opnion. It's been growing at my house my entire life and no one has ever had any allergic reactions to it at all. And the leaves don't have crystals on them. I handle it all the time. Weavng it around the apple trees and in the fence. The red color it turns in the fall is gorgeous.

Neutral adiapalic On Jun 10, 2010, adiapalic from Spartanburg, SC wrote:

plantnation has a point about respecting ecosystems and plants in their natural environment. I try and live by this sentiment by not unnaturally altering my property with bulldozers. I live on 14 acres in upstate South Carolina, and I'd hazard a guess that about 80%+ of that land is running wild. I'll let Virginia Creeper grow wherever it wants down in that area, but when it creeps into my gardening areas in the yard where I come in contact with soil and roots, it has to be removed.

I liken this to what I do about snakes that wander in my yard. I have dogs that spend time outside in a fence during the day for fresh air, and some free range chickens. The snakes have to be removed, gently of course. I catch them, put them in a bucket and relocate them down in the woods.

Heck, I might transplant Virginia Creeper somewhere in the woods if I weren't so ridiculously allergic to it.

Negative awaycreeper On Jun 4, 2010, awaycreeper from Sewickley, PA wrote:

My husband is severely allergic to this stuff and the berries are very toxic to humans if eaten but edible to some animals. The crystals on the leaves are what can cause skin irritation/ bumpy rash/blisters. My husband now covers his whole body to do yard work. I am now experiencing it for the first time. I think I either got it when bathing thedogs or when I fell on someone else's property. My husband knew what it was as soon as I showed him. It is very annoying and all over my hands. No One should purposely plant this stuff. I knew it was poisonous so I always stay away from it. I will be wearing gloves to bathe the dogs in the future.

Negative trflan On May 28, 2010, trflan from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

WARNING. Last summer I posted the below description of Virginia Creeper and mentioned that it was growing on our aviary. We had about 20 cockatiels and now we're down to 8. At first we thought it was our unusually hot summer and unusually cold winter but then I read the following.....
"Birds may have a particularly fatal reaction if they ingest the berries or leaves of Virginia creeper, which can cause renal failure, diarrhea with possible blood, vomiting, dilated pupils, seizures, paralysis and lack of urination. However, berries are safe for fruit birds, including warblers, woodpeckers, finches, mockingbirds and chickadees, among others."
We've had no problem with itching. This plant grows on one fence mixed in with trumpet vine and on a large aviary. It looks great on the aviary and helps shade the birds.
I will say that it is invasive, though, because no one in the neighborhood planted it and it's popped up and spread in at least 4 yards on our block just in the past 2 years. Ours is in a contained area that won't let it spread to a garden.

Negative Dimmerdiva On May 25, 2010, Dimmerdiva from North Haven, CT wrote:

I found it amazing that there are people who would actually purchase and plant this noxious weed! There are definitely people who are not sensitive to the chemical in the creeper's creepy leaves and others, like me, who are extremely sensitive to it. One of my stepdaughters and her husband and my next door neighbors can pull the stuff out with their bare hands and suffer no consequences. Believing them when they told me it's only poision ivy and oak that cause the blisters and rash, I touched some of it a couple of days ago and then accidentally touched my ear, and some brushed against the top of my ankle, and now I have the awful itch, again! And, believe me, I know the difference between poison oak, poison ivy and creeper, and we have all three on our property with creeper in the majority.
My husband, who is only slightly affected by creeper, and I are going to go out this morning and try the vinegar spray. Thank you so much for this suggestion!

Negative descoladavirus On May 17, 2010, descoladavirus from Lexington, KY wrote:

Virginia creeper plant grows along the sides of my house and garage, had to remove because spiders were using it as a stair to get in windowsills and creeping everyone out.

Unfortuneately I'm one of the select few people who suffers from an allergic reaction to this plant, and since i was pulling 5-10 feet of it off a wall I soon began suffering an allergic reaction (light itching) within 4 hours. 24 hours later I'm blistering.

Be careful if you move onto a property with virginia creeper, you might be allergic and it can indeed cause one hell of a rash. If you're worried about a rash when handling/removing it from a wall, wear gloves, long sleeves, and safety glasses.

Positive robmtexas On Mar 28, 2010, robmtexas from Austin, TX wrote:

virginia creeper is a great ground cover for low light areas in the south west usa, it is a host plant for different bugs and it doesn't need a lot of water. Around texas there is a seven leaf and five leaf variety. Apparently many people are mixing it up with poison ivy since it is highly unlikely that as all the negative comments infer that it causes a high number of allergic reactions.

Negative plant_tender On Mar 26, 2010, plant_tender from De Pere, WI wrote:

When we first purchased our property, we had this vine growing up one of our 50' tall trees, on the edge of our pond. It looked sort of neat ... like a jungle plant, with thick 1" vines, etc., so initially, we left it grow. It wasn't too long before we realized this plant was dangerously invasive & nearly impossible to kill off, even by spot treating it with round-up. It pops up underground, many feet away from the main plant & seeks to choke out any & every; tree, bush, plant, which it can climb up on. It tends to sprout up, from under ground, right near the roots, or trunk of any other; tree, bush, plant, ... making it very risky to treat it with round-up. Year after year it more vigorously returned. The hopes of destroying it seemed an impossible venture, ... until we learned ...
Vines, or any type plant which has a vining nature, tends to NOT like excessive acidity. Hence, to kill an invasive vine, use straight cheap white *Vinegar*. 'Feed' it to the thirsty; roots, stems, leaves. Diligently repeat as necessary, don't give up! It severely damages, & often kills vining type plants, even faster than round-up. Used in conjunction with round-up, it may work even better, especially when applied on a hot sunny day.
Once we began diligently using vinegar, (sometimes mixed with a little round-up) ... this invader was completely dead within 2 summer seasons, after over 10 years of previously failed efforts. (The only positive comment we can make about this plant/vine, is that it looks impressively 'jungle-like', in non-jungle zones/climates, & the dead vines make neat wreaths, ... although the fight to protect ones other plants, etc., is not worth the risk of allowing this vine to freely grow, & so like all invasives, it is best appreciated as a controlled container plant).

Negative Cbaumberge On Oct 13, 2009, Cbaumberge from Evansville, IN wrote:

After enjoying a mild 4th of July 2008 weeding my flower beds, I developed a major breakout of contact dermatitis, thinking I had gotten poison ivy of off the fur on my dogs who enjoyed a romp thru the woods near our house, I treated it as such. On the 3rd day the rash exploded into a mass of oozing blisters totally covering my arm from elbow to wrist 1/3 inch thick!!!. The most intense itch I had ever experienced, I went thru 3 rounds of prednisone dosepacks, 3 steriod shots and it took 6 weeks to heal, leaving scars on my arm. During one of those sleepness nights early on I Googled Poison Ivy rash and discovered Virginia Creeper rash photos that looked just like my arm (And 6 other smaller places on my body)

I snoozed my way thru the rest of the summer living on Benedryl every 4 hours just to try to control the intense itch, everyone was horrified by my rash, even the Dr's!!!

I am now in the 4th week of suffering, but with a much milder case this year, killed it out at my house but was clearing some downed limbs at my parents house that must have come in contact with VC and sure enough have it on the same arm. Now the rash has cleared but the residual itch is driving me crazy...again!!! Glad to hear Poison Ivy killer will take care of it without hurting other plants, My neighbor planted it and I don't want it popping back up in my yard!!!

It is beautiful, but why would you want to plant this when someone could be allergic maybe even you !!!

Negative weeddigger On Jul 21, 2009, weeddigger from Cincinnati, OH wrote:

This plant is in several areas of my backyard. I tried to clean it up three weeks ago, tearing it out with my gloved hands. I got a terrible rash all over my legs. It looked like a second degree burn; very red and itchy with blisters that would burst and leak down my leg. I went to the doctor and he said it was the worse case he had seen in three years. He wouldn't even touch it. Steroids, benedryl, and cold compresses of epsom salt water helped dry it out, but it set off a chain reaction in my body that I'm still fighting; hives, swelling of the tongue, throat, lips, around the eyes, cheeks, etc. I guess I learned about this plant the hard way.

Negative GrubBoy On Jun 29, 2009, GrubBoy from Virginia Beach, VA wrote:

My wife and I both have reactions to this plant; her's much more severe than mine.

I've had VC sporatically grow underneath our wax myrtles and have learned to protect myself from it's contact when removing. My latest episode was just two weeks ago when I pulled a semi-established vine of about 8 feet out and tossed into a bag with other weeds/grass from the beds. I didn't think to remove my shirt and gloves afterwards and some of the irritant got on my forearm. Personally it's not as painful as poison ivy or oak (of which I've had), just slightly itchy and more of a nuisance than anything. , another lessoned learned from Mother Nature.

Positive plantnation On Jun 27, 2009, plantnation from Kalispell, MT wrote:

I have always loved Virginia Creeper. My uncle has it festooning the wide porch on the front of his house. It cascades in the most graceful way, and burns with that beautiful red in the fall. I have never in all my life known of anyone having a reaction to it until I read the comments on this site.

I live in the Rocky Mountain region and Virginia Creeper does not get out of control here.

When people talk about "tearing the vine out" I wonder if they are correctly identifying this plant. Virginia Creeper is a woody plant, with bark. If it is smothering a tree, you can sever its "trunk" like you would with a tree.

Virgina Creeper is native to much of the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada. As a native plant it evolved with all the other native species of its region. This means that it belongs here and has a vital role within our ecosystems. It is very different from an exotic species that has no place in the American ecosystems, and also no natural controls, like kudzu, or where I live, spotted knapweed.

If I am allergic to bees or peanuts, it doesn't make bees or peanuts evil. It doesn't mean bees or peanuts should be eradicated. It just means that I should stay away from them. Bees, as pollinators, are essential to our food supply. Peanuts are a very valuable food source for those who are not allergic. That's how I see Virginia Creeper. It is very important as a link in the chain of life in its native environment. It is valuable as a landscape plant for the beauty it provides, and its hardiness. It is valuable to many wildlife species as food and shelter. Indians used it medicinally. If a person is allergic, by all means avoid it, realizing that doesn't make it a "bad" plant.

Positive LindaTX8 On Jun 17, 2009, LindaTX8 from NE Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love it! It looks great in fall, lit with the sun it then has an amazing flamelike color. No rash, not me or my family or anyone who has ever worked on the property and come in contact with it. Now, poison ivy is a different story! The worst I can say is that occasionally it gets into a garden bed and has to be removed.

Positive DenverJude On May 13, 2009, DenverJude from Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love this plant.
We had it growing all over the house were were renting several years ago. It was gorgeous! A light pruning twice yearly (late spring & early fall) was all it took to shape it and keep it in bounds. It doesn't need any additional irrigation which is a bonus here in parched Denver. The fall color is spectacular and the birds like the fruit. Now that we have a house of our own, I plan to plant this along our fence.

Negative Earthart2000 On Apr 22, 2009, Earthart2000 from Dade City, FL wrote:

I discovered Virginia Creeper last April when I ended up with a nasty rash on my ankles that the doctor thought was poison ivy. I Googled "poison Ivy" to get a photo and ended up on a website that showed pictures of Virginia Creeper which looks similar, except the leafing is in groups of five as opposed to three. I built a new home 2 years ago in a wooded area and have pine and oak trees at the perimeter of the lot and had been walking between these trees. Not only did I get the rash, I also got the chills and a fever of 101 degrees that lasted 3 days. It took about 3 weeks to get rid of the rash.

This year, again during the first week of April I noticed an itchy patch on my upper back, and two days later I ended up with a fever again of 101 degrees and the chills. This rash is painful and itchy as ever! I had been walking in the area of the Virginia Creeper, but had been cognizant of it and had myself covered up, gloves and all. I do remember having an itch on my back and scratched it with a ruler. Unfortunately this happened before I had a chance to change my clothes. Part of my shirt got caught up with the ruler and I think that some of the residue from the plant must have gotten on the edge of the ruler I scratched my back with. Contact with this plant causes me to get the rash, followed by fever and chills for 3 days straight, and this time it has taken over 3 weeks for the painful and itchy rash to start to subside.

I have this stuff growing everywhere between the trees on my lot and I wish I could get rid of it. Does anyone in central Florida know of any company that could come and rid my lot of this nasty vine? Can it be eradicated permanently? I can't imagine anyone wanting to grow it on purpose!!!!!!! Beware, you could get quite sick from contact with this plant!!

Positive renwings On Apr 12, 2009, renwings from Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

"Raphide crystals of calcium oxalate have been reported in the leaves and berries of Virginia creeper. Fuller and McClintock (1986) stated that the quantities are small and that the irritant effect is usually not significant."

I grew up with this plant growing over our back fence. I never saw anyone have a negative reaction to handling it, as we cut it back and played with it regularly.
I think gardens who are having severe reactions are already sensitive to or confused it with poison ivy. They do look similar. The young leaves of VC may only appear to have 3 leaves.

This is a good plant for a difficult location given plenty of space. It is lovely is the summer and fall and a quick grower.

Negative heartopensky On Mar 22, 2009, heartopensky from Beacon, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

While I agree with reviews regarding the gorgeous fall color, it is a menace to the skin of many. It does not contain urushiol like poison ivy, but rather oxalate crystals, which produce an identical reaction.

I follow the same techniques when removing it as are recommended for poison ivy: long sleeves, gloves, long pants, socks up over the pant legs, etc. If I'm aware the plants have touched exposed skin, I quickly douse the area with rubbing alchohol. Then wash with soap and cool water. Then shower with warm water. So far, so good, with these methods of prevention.

Both my husband and I have suffered from contact with this plant. The rash is long-lived and NASTY. If you react to oxalate crystals, you are hosed, believe me. Thus, I would never grow this plant whether I reacted to it or not! What about guests? Visiting children? Yikes.

Ortho's Poison Ivy killer nukes this stuff, and when applied with a brush, successfully kills ONLY this, and not surrounding plants. Highly recommend. I actually garden organically, and profane of chemicals, but like poision ivy, if you miss a single root, back it comes. With this stuff, carefully applied, the poison is sucked right down from the leaves into the roots. A necessary evil, I think.

Negative pyecombe On Jan 10, 2009, pyecombe from Laurel, DE wrote:

I can't believe that companies actually sell this plant. It is an invasive weed. It grows in Delaware naturally. I walked my woods last year and found a 20 foot by 20 foot area that had been almost totally covered by this stuff, it had even grown up all the trees more than 10 feet high. It is almost as bad as kudzu. Do not add this to your garden, you will be sorry.

Negative RockyTopGirl On Oct 20, 2008, RockyTopGirl from Live Oak, FL wrote:

I thankfully found this website one night while suffering from a terribly itchy red rash and could not sleep. I saw that a number of folks posted about the bad reaction they had, from handling Virginia Creeper. I thought, gee, that sounds like me! I had been helping my husband clear some woods, and was pulling the vines down from some oak trees. A short time later I started getting the itchy red rash which started on my abdomen. I used anti-itch remedies, and some gave temporary relief. It seems like I am finally getting a handle on the situation, probably just having to wait it out. It has been a week now. I finally can get some sleep, as I am starting to heal.
Thankyou to all those who wrote in about this plant

Positive SteveS On Sep 7, 2008, SteveS from New Carlisle, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:

I can't believe how much this plant is confused with poison ivy!

VC is indigenous to most of the forests in the midwest, and I've yet to see a native forest area that was killed or strangled by VC.

Positive evr On Aug 20, 2008, evr from Toronto, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I don't know about you guys, but I use this plant for bonsai. You can check out google and type in virginia creeper bonsai...I have it growing on my patio fence, it does need to be trimmed every other week as we don't want it climbing the house.

Positive MtnGardener On Jul 14, 2008, MtnGardener from Longmont, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

Many thanks to all that have posted how hardy this plant is. I'm trying to cover 900' of fence where there is no shade and everything else that's been planted has died from the terrible drying wind during the winter. We routinely get 60mph gusts and sustained winds of 35mph. So far it's survived being planted then immediately subjected to 100 degree temperatures. I'll report back in the fall if it survives.

Positive yippee1999 On Jul 8, 2008, yippee1999 from (Zone 6b) wrote:

Hi all! I bought this plant about 2-3 months ago through mail order (can't remember the name of the company though). In any case, it came in about a quart size container, and was extremely healthy looking with a good size woody stem and other smaller ones growing off of it.

My intention was to keep this plant in a large pot on my back deck, onto which I've built a "chicken coop" of sorts to keep my two cats contained. I potted the plant up, and put the pot on a small elevated table on the deck, and right next to the chicken-wire walls. I was hoping the plant would grow up the sides of the chicken coop thereby making it less "ugly". I also knew that it would provide lovely Fall color and food for the birds.

Well the plant just took off! It rapidly grew up along the chicken wire. However, about a week ago I noticed some of the leaves were no longer a healthy dark green, but sort of yellow. This has increased rapidly. Many leaves are now a lighter green/yellow, and I can see evidence of what may be some type of disease...large spots on the leaves. I don't see any obvious insects though.

Positive Sansevieria On Jun 30, 2008, Sansevieria from Orangeburg, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Virginia Creeper (lives in zones 2b-3 thru 9) is a North American native for walls, fences, etc that need cover-up. It is one of the few plants that will not damage bricks. It also makes a great bonsai and is readily available from local garden and plant nurseries. There is also a variegated version of this plant called Star Showers.

Virginia Creeper has colorful red/burgundy foliage and berries during the fall. It is more ordinary in appearance during the summer and its flowers are not too showy. The foliage of this woody vine can be rather variable in appearance; some vines produce rather broad leaflets with blunt tips, while others produce more slender leaflets with long tips.

You often see this plant growing up tall old trees and also at many college campuses. It gives the appearance of age "old world" to many buildings. I remember at Rutgers University in NJ, many students used to take cuttings and grow these as houseplants. I understand in some parts of the U.S. it can be invasive, but in the northeast it is native. I would recommend this plant to anyone that enjoys fall color.

Virginia Creeper has a few different varieties available today. One variety seen often is called Engelmannii, it has smaller leaves and has a better climbing habit that the species growing wild. I have read this variety is named after someone named George Engelmann. George Engelmann was an American botanist who passed away back in 1884.

Virginia Creeper is often confused with eastern Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). There is a clear distinction between the two species; Poison Ivy has three leaflets and Virginia Creeper has five leaflets. Info on the internet sometimes suggests that Virginia Creeper is not poisonous, but the sap of the Virginia Creeper contains oxalate crystals and can cause skin irritation and rashes in small percent of people. Also note, Virginia Creeper DOES NOT contain Urushiol Oil like Poison Ivy. If you get a rash from touching Virginia Creeper it is probably because there was poison ivy growing along with it.

The berries of the Virginia Creeper are eaten by many wild animals such as mice, skunks, chipmunks, squirrels, turtles etc. I have read that cattle and deer will eat the leaves and stems of this plant. The vines themselves provide birds with shelter, perches, nesting places, and food.

Known varieties as follows : P. quinquefolia (American Ivy) P. quinquefolia 'Dark Green Ice' P. quinquefolia 'Guy's Garnet' P. quinquefolia 'Monham' (Star Showers® Virginia Creeper) P. quinquefolia 'Star Showers' (Variegated Virginia Creeper) P. quinquefolia 'Variegata' (Variegated Virginia Creeper) P. quinquefolia f. engelmannii P. quinquefolia f. hirsuta P. quinquefolia f. macrophylla P. quinquefolia f. minor P. quinquefolia var. engelmannii P. quinquefolia var. heptaphylla P. quinquefolia var. laciniata P. quinquefolia var. latifolia P. quinquefolia var. minor P. quinquefolia var. quinquefolia P. quinquefolia var. saint-paulii P. quinquefolia var. typica P. quinquefolia var. vitacea (American Ivy)

Negative ItchyGirl On Jun 30, 2008, ItchyGirl from Leonardo, NJ wrote:

this plant grows out of control in my yard; it grows on and around my other plants, fences, trees. I'm so glad to finally be able to identify it, thanks to your site! I'm highly allergic to it no matter how careful I am and end up getting steroids to get it under control. the reaction lasts for weeks! the sight of it frightens me but I have to pull it out or it would take over. I do not like it.

Negative gobabysistergo On Jun 22, 2008, gobabysistergo from Granby, CT wrote:

Virginia Creeper... so THAT'S what this stuff is... This plant is everywhere in my back yard and, boy, does this site explain a lot! Like another person shared, I'm in my mid 40's & had never had Poison Ivy in my life... I bought my beautiful little cottage in the CT woods last year & just started really "reclaiming" my back yard this season. I was pulling this "mystery vine" off of some of my trees & got, what I thought was, my first case of Poison Ivy. I had, after all, gotten several scratches which had broken the skin. Thankfully, I didn't have the nightmare rash some of you have described, but it still wasn't very pleasant! This vine is killing my trees & is taking over! But I don't back down very easily, myself... I'll use some of the tips I've gotten here today & keep at it!

I do have a helpful hint that a professional gardening friend of mine gave to me. The second I come indoors, be it from mowing my lawn or a full blown weed whacking adventure, I get out of my dirty clothes (being careful not to touch anything) & immediately shower from head to toe with Dawn dishwashing liquid. I even wash my hair with it! My friend says that the "grease cutters" in the Dawn cut the oils from the plants. I do this EVERY time I'm outside gardening, hiking, whatever. I am happy to report that I haven't had ANY rashes since. Not one! I can't promise younger looking skin, but it sure keeps the rashes away! I hope this works for you as well as it has worked for me.

Thanks! This site is AWESOME!

Neutral dee_cee On Jun 6, 2008, dee_cee from Birmingham, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

Everything said about this plant is true. It was growing in my yard when I bought the house so I've left it alone for the most part. My tortoises love to eat the leaves & they do provide nice color in the fall.

Negative jleigh On Jun 1, 2008, jleigh from Ballston Lake, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

PLANT AT YOUR OWN RISK. I can not stress that enough.

I would not mind this plant growing rampant in the back of my property. It would add a little foliage to the lot of trees that don't have branches below 30'.
But this monster keeps invading my garden plot and flowerbeds. It even managed to choke out the wild blackberries and 10 year old wintercreeper.

I have found myself to be quite allergic to this. I have tried everything when removing it. (short of full riot gear that is) and each time I end up carrying around a bottle of aloe gel for a week.
For those of you who get a rash from this plant I recommend the aloe gel. You can buy it at the drug store, or any place that sells sunblock. But make sure to buy the stuff with LIDOCAINE in the ingredients list. It usually has menthol in it too, so it will cool and soothe. For added soothing, keep some in the fridge. Works great on sunburns too.

Positive Jsorens On May 17, 2008, Jsorens from Buffalo, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love Virginia creeper. It's a great North American native vine that will spread to cover eyesores like my neighbor's chain-link fence! Fall color is its most ornamental feature. Native trees can handle it too. I can understand why people with formal gardens don't like it, but for my all-native wild garden it's essential.

Negative tamee79 On May 7, 2008, tamee79 from Marion, SC wrote:

I am so so glad to have found this website. Each year I end up in the doctor's office begging for a shot. That should tell you how bad it is. Like others have said on here, no one believed me when I would point to VC and say "that's it! that's what makes me have these reactions".
Finally, I have vindication. It grows on my house in the Pee Dee area of South Carolina and the midlands at my mom's house.
Thank You!!!!

Positive PghRPh On Dec 31, 2007, PghRPh from Apollo, PA wrote:

We have this beautiful native vine growing on several of the trees in our yard. The leaves turn a vivid red in the fall (usually before the tree leaves do) which really makes it stand out. The virginia creeper berries (& poison ivy berries) are eaten by the birds, & I've read that it is a host plant for the larva of the Pandora sphinx moth. I would much rather have this on my property than tree-choking English Ivy.
Whether it is invasive or simply an aggressive grower seems to depend on where you live. Here in Western PA, it's a real asset to our landscape.

Positive Fledgeling On Dec 20, 2007, Fledgeling from Huron, SD wrote:

This is one of the few species of vines, other than the rare grape, that grow out here. Of the two this is the more attractive by far, and will be planting it to cover my chain-link fence next spring. This native species is not a problem in the area.

Positive creekwalker On Oct 26, 2007, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I like this plant. It doesn't seem to be invasive to the point of wiping out other species of native plants, at least where I live, and it is beautiful in the fall! It is common here, but I wouldn't call it invasive. It's very pretty when you find it on a tree in the fall with it's deep red leaves and vine and purple berries.

Positive Dotsy1 On Oct 23, 2007, Dotsy1 from Steamboat Springs, CO wrote:

I LOVE this plant! The spacing of the leaf sets on the stems doesn't obscure a wall like some vines do.

My neighbor had a huge mass of VC growing on a trellis and he just cut it to the ground, burned the old stuff and it came back but he cut out all the places he didn't want it. No problem.

I've had two growing for several years here in the cold, Zone 3 mountains of Colorado and perhaps our very short, 90 day growing season keeps it in check.

Our county extension office says VC is a native and not an invasive plant here. I often see it in the wild and it never even attempts climbing a tree!

Negative Perenniallady On Oct 9, 2007, Perenniallady from Otterville, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have had a experience with it's partner poison ivy.I planted it and boston ivy all around the yard first i made about 30 cuttings some was boston ivy but some poisonivy.I scratched my better half's back.oops We both had it for amonth.We got shots and pills.Then we found that jewel weed was a cure.It works.It sure was awful.I learned a good lesson.I worked at a nursery for 23 and should of known better .I did't know what it looked like til lately.

Negative msbehavoyeur On Oct 7, 2007, msbehavoyeur from Stockton, CA wrote:

Extremely invasive. Beautiful fall color, none the less I do not want this plant in my garden.

Negative bewareocreeper On Oct 4, 2007, bewareocreeper from Chelmsford, MA wrote:

I wanted to add my thoughts to the other comments here. First thank you for this info from others regarding the rash this plant can cause, at least I have found out what my hidious rash is from. I live in Chelmsford, MA, I have seen this vine growing up and over some of the bushes in my yard. I could have swore that I had done chopping of this vine before, and maybe I have. But my most recent cutting of it, last thursday, resulted in my receiving the most horrible, hidious, itchy and blistery rash ever. It is absolutely gross!!! I have it the worst on my forearms, my left arm is worse than my right (I am left handed) On this arm the blisters have all 'joined' together and there is a patch on them. It's also on my legs in spots. I have been applying cortozone cream daily, taking Benedryl pills and soaking what I can in baking soda and vinegar. At times I think it is getting better, but then again I believe I keep getting new blisters. Can't believe a plant could do this to you. Anyway, just wanted to put in my experience with it. I was working in the yard on an extremely hot day with shorts and sleeveless shirt.....sigh.

I am adding to my above comment from a couple days ago. I just wanted to post some more info, at least what I experienced, regarding the rash - as I couldn't find that much when I was looking.
Days 4-7 with the rash seemed to be the worst. On day 6 I started with nightly baths of baking soda (just dumped a bunch in -1 box or so) and white vinegar (again just poured some in) and soaked for at least 1/2 hour. This seemed to really help. Also kept applying cortizone cream several times a day. And took Benadryl for the itching.
I am currently on day 9 since coming in contact with the plant, and as of yesterday I can finally see some improvement. Today, it looks quite a lot better than yesterday! My worst area is 50% better than it was yesterday. The itching is still there..but hopefully it's on its way out. Hope this helps someone.

Positive linskia On Oct 2, 2007, linskia from London
United Kingdom wrote:

This plant grows here in the UK and looks very splendid trailing over the walls at Holland Park in Kensington. Until reading the comments on your site I was not aware of anyone having an allergy to it, though allergies to a lot of things are rather common these days. It certainly does not seem to be invasive here and where it does appear seems to be very balanced within the environment and in fact adds a splendid display of color and cascading and climbing forms. It was also mentioned to me by my tutor at art school in 1979 when I was painting a mural, he mentioned that the plant I was painting was in fact a Virginia Creeper and there was one growing outside his window (in London). As for allergies, I don't seem to have any problem with it, my allergy is to plane trees which line the streets here, and give off a lot of fluffy things for several months of the year.

Positive roybird On Oct 2, 2007, roybird from Santa Fe, NM wrote:

We have Virginia Creeper growing on our ugly chain-link fence; west exposure. It is hardy, doesn't take much extra water and I love the red foliage and blue berries in the fall. It has not been invasive here. No one I know is allergic to it. I'm glad to have it.

Positive OutlawDJ On Sep 11, 2007, OutlawDJ from Middleburg, PA wrote:

Virginia Creeper is really not evil. Actually, it is a very important food source for wildlife. Those who are allergic should not allow it to grow near their homes, but it isn't that hard to control. The runners that this plant puts out only run a couple of inches underground. Surrounding them with an underground barrier will keep them from spreading. Spraying with industrial strength vinegar will kill the plant. If the first spraying doesn't do the job, simply repeat. People who are allergic should have somebody else do this for them. If it starts to grow in an unwanted place, simply cut the portion that is above ground. When it can't get sun the roots will die. If it is growing up your trees, cut it off at the base and let the top portion die. Once the suckers rot away, it will either fall down on it's own or be easy to pull down from the ground.

Compared to the foreign vines that have escaped in this country, Virginia Creeper isn't that destructive. Japanese Honeysuckle has killed more trees and shrubs than Virginia Creeper ever will. It is also easy to identify from it's notorious look alike, poison ivy. Ivy has three leaves, Creeper has five. Think about keeping a patch on your property to help the birds and other small animals make it through the winter. Remember, your home took away their home. Give a little in return.

Negative trihill On Sep 8, 2007, trihill from Ada, OK wrote:

Thank goodness I found this site! Just a few days ago I removed a vine from the side of my house. I had let it grow because I thought it was pretty and I have always loved the old English houses with vines growing up them. However, it started to grow around the electric, cable and phone lines that go into our home and I was afraid it would cause problems. So I removed it and put it in our burn pile (which we burned that day). Later on that evening I felt some itchy areas on my face and around my stomach. I thought I had chiggers, a very common and nasty little critter in Oklahoma that will eat you alive. However, over the next couple of days I developed rashes and blisters all over my body. I thought it must be poison ivy, but I had been very careful when I weeded to watch out for poison ivy. I had just suffered with it twice before in the span of approximately 6 months. I took a round of prednisone each time.

I was baffled. Every one I talked to said it had to be poison ivy and I must not have paid close enough attention, or I may have gotten it from my dog or cat or even horses. I could not believe I had been that careless or that I had developed such a bad case from contact with my pets.

I decided, instead, to check on the vine I had removed and I found this website. I thought it was a longshot but, to my surprise, I discovered that this little vine I had thought so pretty is called Virginia Creeper and it CAN give a person the same reaction as poison ivy even though it is a different chemical that causes the reaction. Now I am wondering if the previous two times I had a rash it was not because of this vine? I wonder this because I am in my forties and have never had poison ivy before, even when those around me got it and we had been in the same area doing the same activity. Also, the two other times I have had this rash is approximately the same time this Virginia Creeper began to get a really good foothold while growing up the side of my house and I had pulled some weeds around it. I just looked today to see if it was growing back and it is. I am going to try the vinegar method to try to get rid of it.

I would not call it a "bad" plant because I know all plants have their purpose in the ecosystem, but as I sit here miserable with painful blisters all over me, I have to say I would NOT recommend it to ANYONE to plant around their property. Even if you have never had a bad reaction does not mean someone who visits you will not or you may have one in the future. Again, thanks so much for this website! I now know I am not crazy!!!

Negative Chesler On Aug 30, 2007, Chesler from Woburn, MA wrote:

I found this page when I was looking at poison ivy links -- I've got the rash but couldn't find the plant. On the other hand, I learned that the 5-leafed vine that spreads by runner all across my back yard and climbs up my trees is this and that it makes some lucky folks appear to have poison ivy. I've let my back yard go natural in the 11 years I've lived here -- I figured it was easier on me and better for the birds -- but I've just decided I'd had enough of the Virginia creeper. It's going to be tough to get rid of, especially if I'm allergic to it.
I wouldn't invite this plant into my yard unless I were going to limit it very carefully.

Positive VirginiaCreeper On Jul 12, 2007, VirginiaCreeper from Philidelphia, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Great plant for fences & looks great...

Negative Cherisse On Jul 4, 2007, Cherisse from Copeland, KS wrote:

We're in zone 5a / 5b and this vine is threatening to ruin our trees by smothering them. It's so hard to get rid of that I can't imagine anyone wanting to plant it on purpose. There are other ways to get red foliage in the fall! :) Bird droppings spread this nuisance vine when they perch on trees / shrubs so beware. Keep an eye open for young plants so that they can be removed more easily. I spent 2 days crawling underneath a large evergreen tree trying to remove as much of the vine as possible, clipping the root below it's "bulb" but unable to dig the entire root up. I am guessing I have over 200+ evergreen trees on our place and am scared to even see how many more this vine might be under. Maybe Monsanto company will choose my yard to do a test sample on to see how effective their products will control it. :) (A gal can dream.........*sigh*..........) lol

Negative samanthainpa On Jun 3, 2007, samanthainpa from Oxford, PA wrote:

I'm new to this site and I'd like to thank everyone for helping me identify this plant.

I'm a relatively new homeowner of a 125 year old house with much overgrown and unidentified plant life. The Virginia creeper is currently growing up my large pine tree. The pine tree does not look healthy and I believe this vine may be one reason why.

My next door neighbor warned me that she tried to help the previous homeowners remove this plant and that she developed a nasty rash. I appreciate the information provided in these posts about how to remove this plant.

I have no interest in creating any more controversy about this plant, but here is a thought I had: I believe we have a responsibility to future homeowners and our neighbors when we plant. Regardless of how nice this plant's foliage may look, I think the fact that some people develop a very severe allergic reaction should take priority in choosing whether or not to deliberately plant this vine.

Another thought: could there be more than one species of this plant that would explain the differing opinions/experiences?

Positive yarily_holp On Jun 2, 2007, yarily_holp from Philadelphia, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a good plant for certain uses. It can be quite invasive, but does have wildlife value, and the palmate-compound leaves are attractive with a finer texture than many other vines. The fruit is preferred by many birds, in particular thrush species like mockingbirds, catbirds, robins, wood thrushes, etc., and is useful to them during fall migration. The intense bright red fall color helps birds find the berries, and in turn the vine is spread in part by birds "planting" the seeds.

Individual plants also spread, as many of us well know. They're good as groundcovers for areas where you're not going to walk and don't have any delicate plants that would suffer from competition. If you're trying to take plants out, ALWAYS wear gloves and cover all skin, since for many, the plant can cause allergic reactions that get more sensitive and worse each time, like poison ivy. As I understand it, the sap is the worst part.

Positive MrsHarris On May 21, 2007, MrsHarris from Decatur, IL wrote:

I have very fond memories of this plant growing up the posts on my grandmas front porch and was overjoyed to find a plant this week-end! The front of my house is always in the shade and I have an area I would like something to take over as ground cover. As well as a new front porch we are building and I would love for it to cover it! I agree with the others, it does what it is meant to do, and does it very well! I can't wait for the red leaves! Gorgeous!

Neutral AuntieNancy On May 21, 2007, AuntieNancy from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I'm hoping to be able to change my neutral experience into a positive one. Two years ago I planted Virginia Creeper and Boston Ivy alternately to grow up an old, unsighly fence. I was hoping for a relatively quick "cover". However, it has neither invaded nor "crept" up the fence as hoped. Perhaps it needs a little help (chicken wire or other 'something to hold on to')

Perhaps the Minnesota weather slows this sometimes invasive vine down ... I've also planted several perinials and whilst working in my garden, touching the creeper, have never experienced a rash.

We bought our Virginia Creeper and Boston Ivy at Bachman's (2 yr. old plants) and still nothing ... Here's hoping 2007 will be their summer.

Negative Lily_love On May 20, 2007, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've these growing/volunteering in my woodland backyard. This spring I found one pops up on my front yard in place of my prized Pandora vine. Elk!!! I didn't know what they were for sure, until DG's i.d. forum leads me to this PF from a fellow gardener's common curiosity. Right of from the beginning, there are 9 vendors advertised for this plant. I guess, one man's weeds and dozen's treasures? I'll be careful from dealing with traders/vendors that offer such goods/plants. Thanks

Negative lolamina On May 17, 2007, lolamina from Verona, NJ wrote:

As a Master Gardener, I am always reluctant to label plants 'invasive' because there are usually exceptions - heck, even bad guys have some good days! But take a drive along many wooded highways and look closely. Virginia Creeper leaves are one among many vine-species that you are actually looking at...not the poor host Oak, Maple, Elm, etc that is being choked to death!

My one STRONG PLEA IS THIS: No matter how vigilant the gardener, no matter how 'contained' the root system, and in spite of all related efforts to keep foreign plant species within your property...MOST INVASIVE plant species (foreign or native) will be true to their nature! They are THE EXPERTS...not us! Their DNA drive to propogate, proliferate, and survive is hardwired. Especially plants with determined root systems or vine habit. They either create an unhealthy monoculture, or simply rise and choke the life out of any plant or tree unlucky enough to get in its path. It is a lot easier (and cheaper!) to check out your local Native Plant agency or other gardener source to seek alternative plants with similar features before you pluck down a potential enemy! Thank You.

Neutral passiflora_pink On May 15, 2007, passiflora_pink from Shelby County, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This native plant can get out of bounds easily, especially in disturbed areas. But it has a beauty all its own in the fall.

Positive JerusalemCherry On May 12, 2007, JerusalemCherry from Dunellen, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

*** Ever wonder how Virginia Creeper got its name? My best guess is someone from Virginia named it years ago. An old text book I have gives some good info on this plants name. Latin name is Parthenocissus quinquefolia, from greek parthenos (a virgin) and kissos (ivy) referring to the common name Virginia Creeper. The quinquefolia part meens with five leaves (leaflets).

Engelmanni - Smaller leaves and better clinging characteristics than the standered species. Monham (Star Showers TM) - The leaves have white variegations. Variegata - A less vigorous vine than the species, leaves marked with yellow and white then developing a pink and red fall color.

Virginia creeper makes a fine bonsai. The most difficult thing in training them is to find a suitable specimen. In the Northeast US they can often be collected. They grow very vigorously and form long vines. Look for the distinctive five leaflets and follow the vine back to the base. There is often a single heavy trunk which can be easily dug.

Although early spring is the best time to dig and transplant, they can be also transplanted during the growing season. Cut the vine back to an intersting line before digging. They will grow new buds quickly, which can be developed into branches. Since Virginia creeper is a vine, it is most suitable for cascade styles.

As far as the folige is concerned, it is easily reduced by defoliating during the summer, and it is very possible to defoliate twice or three times during the growing season. Even in Upstate New York, you can do it at least twice during the summer. Just remember to provide full sun, lots of water and fertilizer as well.

I generally allow the new shoots to run for about 8 to 10 inches, then trim back to the silhoutette. If you want to develope branchs, let the new shoots run until they reach the correct thickness.

The Virginia Creeper is a dependable superb autumn color and purple fruit will make it a focal point for your autumn bonsai viewing for a few days.

Positive rjean On Apr 30, 2007, rjean from Farmington, MO wrote:

This plant resembles poison ivy, but has five leaves instead of three. Someone here said they couldn't tell it from grapes ... these two vines don't even look similar! Makes me wonder how many people with the negative comments have actually properly identified their vine.

I have never had an allergic reaction to Virginia Creeper, but many plants can cause irritation or allergic reactions when handled for prolonged periods. If you're trying to eradicate a plant, you should wear gloves and long sleeves, and wash up as soon as possible.

This is a native plant that feeds not just birds, but squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, butterflies and various other native wildlife.

It's a good choice for shady spots if you have space to let it roam and it can serve as a ground cover.

While I can see why some might call it invasive, it's certainly not as bad as many exotics sold as shade ground covers, such as bush honeysuckle which are crowding out habitats in natural areas right and left.

My parents grew this vine on the north side of the house. It covered the windows with a pretty green sea of leaves every summer, and made for a nice ambiance inside and didn't look bad from the outside either.

Neutral District826 On Apr 23, 2007, District826 from Frostproof, FL wrote:

I just recently pulled up a massive amount of this plant behind the plant shop where I work. I took every precaution not to touch the plant, as I am known to have allergic reactions to many things. It was pulled as a precautionary measure because it can cause a rash, but it was very, very beautiful, especially the new growth.

Negative dogmansis On Apr 13, 2007, dogmansis from Wimberley, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

The foliage in the fall is very pretty, but poison ivy blends in very well w/ this plant. I found out the hard way...covered frome head to toe & very miserable for a while. Be careful w/ this plant if you have poison ivy in your area!

Neutral austringer84078 On Apr 11, 2007, austringer84078 from Vernal, UT wrote:

Not a problem in the high desert of Utah zone 4-5. If we want something to die we stop watering it, except for Russian Olive Trees. They will grow anywhere. My dad has had this vine growing on the side of his house for the last 45 years. Great shade cover. The only problem is that once it gets to the top of the house it just keeps on going and occasionally tries to explore under the shingles. Dad (now near 80 years old) goes up on the roof and cuts them back once or so a year. They have never tried to spread horizontally into the grass. With the only water coming from sprinklers and -30F winters it doesn't take much to control it here.

Negative jadajoy On Mar 30, 2007, jadajoy from Newport News, VA (Zone 11) wrote:

While spring cleaning the yard I noticed that my 8 foot azalea bush was dying on one side. Upon inspection I saw what looked like a demon vine wrapped around the branches choking it to death. My neighbor said it killed all his azaleas. l went to my local feed store and the expert there recommended a very expensive chemical product to use when (not if) it comes back. Not wanting to kill the bush I think I'll try the vinegar recommended here. Thanks to the posters for that info. I also found on the web that a certain caterpillar kills it too but that might be another problem in itself. (The Western grapeleaf skeletonizer. This is the caterpillar of a dark gray or metallic blue moth with a one inch wing span). I spent all morning pulling endless vines out of that bush but didnt have an allergic reaction, thank god! This vine should be outlawed.

Neutral WUVIE On Mar 25, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

We have lived in the same home for about twelve years,
and in that time, I've seen the same vine leaf out, grow
berries and turn red, but nothing excessive or invasive.

I'm not saying everyone should plant it, but I have never
experienced the horrors everyone else has mentioned.
On rare occasion, I find little sprouts, but yank them
out and am done with them. Perhaps we just have more
birds in our area and thus have few sprouts popping up
the following spring?

I find it attractive and just let it grow where it has since
before we moved in. It is indeed a gorgeous color and the
added berries for the birds makes it a pleasant plant to
watch climb our black walnut trees each year.

Negative MsKatt On Jan 27, 2007, MsKatt from Mid-Michigan, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I identified this plant when we bought our house 18 months ago. It is growing all through our woods, to the point of choking out our grapevines and some of the trees.

I don't find it horrible to look at, it's kind of an interesting first I thought it was poison ivy. I don't necessarily want to eradicate it, but I don't want it killing/choking out everything else, either.

Neutral Tetrazygia On Jan 6, 2007, Tetrazygia from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

This plant is aggressive in my area, but nothing too horrible. I can understand the frustrations of those who find it invasive, but it is important to remember it is SUPPOSED to be there. If some kind of human activity is lending advantage to the plant and creating an environment in which it will overpower other plants (when it otherwise wouldn't), then it is those human activities that need to change.

Also, to those having allergic reactions--this plant is not related to poison ivy, but grapes. It's not out to get you! Many plants cause allergic reactions in different people, and you can't go crazy trying to get rid of plants that give you a reaction. I'm allergic to palms and cypress trees, both trees that I live around and value very much. Not to mention ragweed. Oh, and I have an extreme sensitivity to poison ivy and poisonwood. But they're native and an integral part of the ecosystem. Animals rely on these plants for their existence more than any rash could ever bother you. You can't blame others for allowing this plant to grow just because you don't like it or are negatively affected by it. It's just nature doing its thing. I'm not saying any of you should have it in your garden, but there are plenty of places where it does belong.

Negative t_florida On Sep 10, 2006, t_florida from Gainesville, FL wrote:

You will be a garden "slave" if you decide to plant this in the South (USA). This vine is extremely invasive. Some people like it becuase it is host to several butterfiles.

Negative Bexter On Aug 31, 2006, Bexter from Woods Hole, MA wrote:

Virginia creepers flattened several acres of woods where I grew up in New York. Where mature forest trees stood fifteen years ago is now low scrub with a vanguard of virginia creeper like some kind of space-slime invasion.

Some people think that a native plant can never be called "invasive", but that's mixing up terms. Virginia creeper is not an "exotic" invasive, but it certainly can be a "native" invasive.

Some people think an "invasive" or "rambunctious" plant won't be a problem if they themselves are going to plant it in a place where it won't get out of control.

Well, even if it may not cause trouble for YOU, take note when you see trees in your area being levelled by vines like bittersweet, virginia creeper, porcelain berry, etc. The seeds from plants possibly a mile or more away could be causing it.

Also, many people above assume that a plant will be less invasive in colder climates, but from the comments above, it seems that most of the positive experiences with virginia creeper are from warmer climates like Florida while the negative super-invasion comments come from colder places.

So please think twice before planting something that many people in your area consider an invasive. Thank you!

Negative pirl On Aug 27, 2006, pirl from (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Terribly invasive. I'd rather spend my gardening time with the plants I love than trying to remove invasive plants. Thanks to all who wrote about the rash: now I'll wear gloves.

Positive hellnzn11 On Aug 24, 2006, hellnzn11 from Rosamond, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

In our area high temps for 4 to 6 months are not out of the norm, it gets below freezing for atleast 2 to 4 months in the night, we have heavy clay soil and winds but this is a great plant if you properly plan where to put it. It can cover your roses and will attach to anything that grapes attach to. It is a fast growing screen for ugly chain link. I planted it under a willow with Vinca major and Algerian Ivy and all are doing well, surprisingly only the ivy is climbing up the tree. The leaves seem to grow much larger in the shade in zone11.

Positive nonillion On Aug 20, 2006, nonillion from West Brookfield, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

I loved this plant, used it to hide a high ugly concrete wall in full western sun on top of an incline where few other things would grow.

BUT then had to remove it before selling the house...and couldn't get its suckers off the concrete without sanding. It's one of the few native vines we have in Central Texas, is low maintenance and birds love the berries.

I also planted it in a shady area and it hardly grew at all, so maybe the key to happiness with this thing is to limit its sun exposure?

Negative sherwoodlucas On Aug 14, 2006, sherwoodlucas from Ridgefield, CT wrote:

For 30 years Virginia creeper has made my life a torment and I learned its name only today. None of the gardeners here in Connecticut could put a name to the plant that I said made me sick. Thanks to the thoughtful postings at Dave's Garden I now know that it isn't poison ivy or poison oak. It is much worst.

Every year I get several attacks. Currently, I am in the second week of a reaction to the plant. I have been to the doctor, taken a 6-day of prednisolne treatment and still new blisters are emerging. Each blister itches like crazy and feels like a pin is inserted into each one of them. There are at least 1,000 blisters on me. This isn't my worst reaction. That one caused a 4"x6" bright red blotch on my forearm where ALL my skin was eaten away. The doctor had to stiffle a scream when he saw it. Weeks of antibiotic cream, piles of non-stick bandages, and roll after roll of self-sticking tapes saved me from the staph infection the doctor was concerned about. He told me, you just can't walk around with a hole in you skin like that.

In the garden here in Connecticut, we have only a few small plants. Thinking it was poison ivy or poison oak, I was spaying Ortho Poison Ivy killer on the plants' leaves when they are dry and when rain isn't expected for 24 hours. The spray kills the leaves and the vine withers.

I'll try the vinegar technique in my woodland garden, which is a reclaimed wooded area. There is a chipmonk living in the old stump there. I have avoided the chemical spray in that part of the garden but the Virginia creeper is gaining.

My hearts breaks for those of you who have major stands of this truly horrible plant. Good luck with your efforts to clear the plants

Those of you who post positive comments about this "pretty plant" really do need to think about the health of others. This is an extremely toxic plant.

Positive jillofall On Jul 31, 2006, jillofall from Colorado Springs, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

We in Colorado desperately need plants that are xeric, and this one fits the bill. I also love the fall color. We have a strip with a tall chain link fence and Virginia Creeper is the perfect plant for this spot. I just wish it were evergreen!

Negative jasza On Jul 28, 2006, jasza from Allison Park, PA wrote:

Allison Park, PA...Originally I thought this was a beautiful vine; however, when it grew up the trees and completely covered the tops of them, I knew it was time to trim it back. Low and behold I broke out in a terrible rash much like poison ivy. My doctor prescribed Clobetasol Propionate Gel (.05%) to apply to the rash. It works. I now keep the prescription filled and on hand at all times. When I remove the vine, I cut the feet from old socks and wear them over the sleeves of my sweat shirt and gloves. When done, I carefully remove the socks and dispose them. I also cover my hair with a bandana! My grandson retrieved a ball the other day and brushed up against the vine and now his back is covered with blisters! Time to remove it again. I hate this plant!!!

Negative asorensen On Jul 10, 2006, asorensen from Coralville, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I am SO happy I found this site!! I am NOT crazy! I have Virginia Creeper growing in my fence...coming from a bush in the yard next door. It is everywhere. I tried to pull it out last fall and broke out in an awful rash. I needed medication and everything. I looked it up on the web to see exactly what the vine was and found nothing about it causing rashes so I thought I was nuts. This week I went and pulled some more bc it was taking over my beautiful row of flowers all along the fence and WHAM. I have it everywhere on my body. It hurts, itches, is red and swelling. More meds! This stuff is nasty. I don't care if it is the most beautiful plant on earth it is dangerous. My eye is almost swollen shut, it is around my mouth, ears, belly, legs, arms, fingers, etc. I am going to try the vinegar solution that was suggested. Thank you for all the interesting information on this yucky vine.

Positive isabella On Jul 8, 2006, isabella from Taunton, MA wrote:

VC grows naturally in my small portion of NE woodland. True to its nature, itt creeped up my retaining wall slowly, hit more daylight, and then exploded with growth. My chainlink fence is now a fence hedge, which is delightful for me. The VC does try to grow into the yard, but it's easily mowed/trimmed into submission. My perrenial up the other side slope is a different story. I have to pull up the VC runners and sprouts at least 2X a year, but they come up so easily it's no problem.

I was surprised to see this plant for sale at nursery's, as it's so naturally abudant at my home. The plant tags and websites say it is the earlies to show fall color (turning red), but I have never had any of mine show any interesting fall color. Typically the japanese beetles eat this stuff up so quickly in July/June the tattered remains just quietly die back in winter. Actually this may be the one good thing about this plant is that it spares my roses from being the primary food source for the jap. beetles.

I have transplanted some of the VC to other parts of my house to climb up other parts of my fences. other good attribute of this plant is that it will not cling to vinyl siding.

Positive Lauribob On Jul 6, 2006, Lauribob from Twisp, WA wrote:

Wow, I'm so surprised to see so many negative comments about this plant. I have not had any allergic type reactions with it, despite annual pruning and direct contact. I didn't even know this was a problem until reading this forum. In my zone 5 garden it is not the least bit invasive. I have it climbing up a guy-wire to the power pole and it will send runners out into the surrounding lawn, which are easily controlled just by mowing. I do have to trim it at the top end once every year to keep it from growing into the transformer etc. It has nice foliage in the summer, berries for the birds and gorgeous fall color. What's not to like?

Negative bivbiv On Jun 28, 2006, bivbiv from Central FL, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have never hated a plant before, but I HATE VIRGINIA CREEPER!!!!!!!!!! We've been trying to get rid of it for TWENTY YEARS!!!!

Negative Mandi_48 On Jun 27, 2006, Mandi_48 from Glasgow, WV (Zone 6b) wrote:

In my area, 20 miles east of Charleston, WV, the plant is invasive and out of control. Many locals refer to it as poison ivy because they've experienced the blisters and terrible itching. We have a lot of poison ivy here also. Yes, birds will eat the berries of both these plants, but I have other ways to feed the birds that won't spread these troublesome plants.

I have pulled small young plants by hand with 2 layers of plastic grocery bags on my hands and received no rash, but then a couple of weeks ago while cutting out some tree suckers, growing into the fence, I touched it by accident (not wearing my plastic bags) and ended up with blisters on one arm and on the thumb of my left hand. It actually took 2 days for them to develop. The itching was intense and I now have scars even though I never scratched the blisters.

I have discovered many long runners of this stuff all over my yard and it has grown up under the siding and forced pieces of siding loose. I have even found it growing in the gutters! It's a near constant challenge trying to keep it under control. Round Up and other weed killers have not worked, but I'm eager to try the vinegar treatment as soon as the current daily rain cycle stops.

Negative beebalmvt On Jun 21, 2006, beebalmvt from Montpelier, VT wrote:

I'm in Montpelier, Vermont--usually zone 4 more or less. I had never seen VCreeper before I moved to this town in 2001. It had just stuck to wrapping itself around an old, dead elm until last year. It was the first year that every kind of vine or invasive plant--native or nonnative--went crazy all over my yard. The worst, however, was VC, which crossed the lawns, attacked all kinds of trees and had me reliving Little Shop of Horrors. I remember now that the fall before, I had been pulling on some roots that kept going on and on--this was to clear space to plant some daffodils. I didn't see any foliage, but realize now that the plant must have been virginia creeper. Could my pulling up what I thought were roots have actually caused it to grow faster than ever? It had not been a problem up until this point. Another factor could be long, winters with inadequate snow cover?

Anyhow, thank you to the person who discovered the acetic acid treatment--I intend to take it up immediately. Also, thanks for listing the skin irritation reactions--I'd been wondering about that...

Now, if only someone could find the solution to Japanese Knotweed...

Positive Colquhoun On Jun 14, 2006, Colquhoun from Champaign, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Wonderfull plant and a truly great native. Not really invasive if understand its nature and a habits in the wild. It is a large creeper and climbing vine, that is one of the most wide speard plants in eastern forrests. If you are the type that has to have everything in a neat row, this isn't for you... but for some of us that don't get mad at a leapard acting like one.. or a creeper that seems to always be creeping, its a wonderfull addition. (besides nothing is more of a thug then wisteria.. well the chinese and japanese)

Positive oldmudhouse On Jun 9, 2006, oldmudhouse from Las Cruces, NM (Zone 8a) wrote:

It either needs a lot of space, or containment. I grew it wild on a hot rocky hillside mixed with Vinca Major, under Live Oak trees. It was never a problem. I did have to occasionally discourage it from climbing my trees, but a quick snip at the ground kept it at bay for months. I never had an allergic reaction as many others have mentioned.

I also transplanted it into a narrow rock planter we made at the base of a limestone garage wall. The planter covered an ugly old concrete footing, and it only held about 2-4" of soil in pockets. Once it was established I rarely watered, and it flourished, in almost no soil. Tough as nails.

It did require periodic pruning at the top to prevent it from getting tangled in the eaves. Beautiful red color in the fall against the white rock wall, when the whitetail deer didn't eat all the leaves off it. Which they did regularly, but it never hurt the plant. If you have a contained place where it can't get out of hand, and you will love how it looks against rock.

Negative eurokitty On Jun 9, 2006, eurokitty from Seattle, WA (Zone 9b) wrote:

As has happened to others, this also came into the yard of our second home at our second home in Florida from a neighbor's place.

In January, we had all of our palms and other trees trimmed and they took out all of the creeper everywhere in our yard. It was on everything - every single tree, the whole fence, most of our bushes. We returned here in May to find that it was virtually ALL back! It has already shimmied up tall trees and nearly covered our fence. I had planted allamanda and confederate jasmine alone the fence and they're now in mortal combat with the Virginia Creeper. It's a pity that it's so invasive because it really is an attractive vine -- but it's just impossible to manage here in Florida.

My mother pulled out all the vines in her yard -- took her two full weeks and pretty much trashed part of her lawn. She systematically tracked the vines back to sort of an epicenter of vines connected into a deep woody stem system. She ended up burning that area and treating it with pesticide, which she otherwise rarely uses in her yard.

It grows up on the power lines and so Florida Power & Light has to come out at least once a year or so to remove it from all the lines on our whole block. It takes a crew a full day to do it. I have to say, I'm surprised that it's not on the noxious weed list for Florida.

Negative Katie06 On Jun 7, 2006, Katie06 from Washington, PA wrote:

I live in Washington, PA where this grows wild. I was having a continuous problem with it until I found this site. I just wanted to let everyone know who is trying to get rid of it, in a previous comment someone said vinegar works, and it does. After only about 2 hours the leaves started changing and today it is dead!

Positive kristinleis On Jun 5, 2006, kristinleis from Cambridge
Canada wrote:

I love this plant and I don't mind trimming it back every once in a while. It's so hardy and easy to grow secondary plants from just a clipping placed into the ground. It covers my brick wall at my front entrance, making a lovely greenery surround for the rest of my front garden. I find it relaxing since there aren't a lot of trees in my area to have a lot of lovely green leaves around me that will turn color in the fall! I also like that the berries attract birds, I always feel better if there is some sort of wild life around me!

Negative intreverend On Jun 3, 2006, intreverend from Champaign, IL wrote:

I learned about Virginia Creeper when I developed severe blisters on my arms and legs after working in the flower beds of my new house. It took me a few days to figure out why I had the reaction because there was no Poison Ivy/Oak or Sumac in sight. Luckily, I did not need medica attention, however, I did come across a study by Cornell University that suggested that using acetic acid (vingegar) would effectively dispose of climbing vines. I tried it on Virginia Creeper, and the leaves browned in a couple hours. VInegar was more effective than Roundup on the vines in my flower bed.

Negative gregr18 On May 26, 2006, gregr18 from Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This NATIVE vine had no problem killing one of my Canadian Hemlocks. I fell for the foolish notion that because two plants originated in the same part of the world, they therefore must be able to live in perfect harmony. Nonsense.

I can't stand this awful weed, and it is absolutely impossible to get rid of. Shooting Roundup on it seems only to strengthen its resolve. I let it grow in the woods all it likes, but I spend a good deal more time each summer pulling it out of my beds than I'd care to.

Positive Kiapa On May 26, 2006, Kiapa from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

I aodre this climber. It has redish fall color and everyone thinks it's poison ivy and steer clear of it all!

Positive Hikaro_Takayama On Apr 28, 2006, Hikaro_Takayama from Fayetteville, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This native vine is a very beatiful plant. In southern PA, of the wild-growing vines (Japanese Honeysuckle, Trumpet Creeper, Virgin's Bower, Greenbreir, Poison Ivy, Bittersweet, Wild Grapes, and Carrion Vine), this is one of the least invasive, particularly compared to the evil tree-killing vine from heck, a.k.a. Japanese honeysuckle.

These NATIVE vines, while growing up trees, rarely, if ever, kill the tree (unlike Japanese Honeysuckle), and the pretty leaves provide interest from spring-fall, while the berries are a prime source of food for birds and wildlife (along with the berries of Greenbrier, Poison Ivy, Bittersweet, and wild grapes).... I would reccommend this plant, but only if you're not the type who goes postal and runs for the roundup over three dandelions in your lawn (i.e. not for those who like to have the "perfect" lawn). If you're like me, and define your lawn as the big patch of weeds that you mow on a weekly basis (as opposed to the garden, which is the big patch of weeds you don't mow), then this plant's for you... Especially if you like having birds around in the winter, but don't have time to bother with a bird feeder.

BTW, I have never had any allergic reactions to this plant, and while I used to be slightly allergic to Poison Ivy, I no longer am (built up a resistance from years of accidental exposure), so I let both native vines grow in the woods behid the house for the benefits they provide to wildlife.

Negative pdoyle23323 On Apr 6, 2006, pdoyle23323 from Chesapeake, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This weed is VERY invasive. I had it at my previous home and could not get all of it! In my new home I periodically walk the property spraying with weed killer on any new growth I see of it. It will take over quickly!

Negative MadHungarian On Mar 14, 2006, MadHungarian from Savannah, GA wrote:

I can't get away from this stuff! I moved last year from Philadelphia, PA, where it was battling with English ivy to take over my front yard, to Savannah, GA, where it grows at least twice as fast. When I moved in last June it was threatening to engulf my detached garage like kudzu. Absolutely, positively, do not let it grow near a building. It will climb the foundation and then try to work its way UNDER the siding and keep on going. I am able to knock it down with Roundup but you have to watch for regrowth. If you have long, established vines, trace them back to the ground and cut off the woody stem. If it regrows around the stem, let it get a few leaves and hit it hard with the Roundup again.

Neutral Malus2006 On Mar 5, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant is nice for covering certain areas. There are two species, which differs by one major characteristic - one species uses suckers much like Trumpet Creeper to latch on vertial structures while the other species have tendrils to latch on wires or any rough surfaces. The speces with tendrils in the wild here tend to be strongly groundcover with vines where there are woodedge or shrubs even thought they also likes trees that have low branches close to the ground like spruces. The species with tendrils is the most common seen here in the Twin Cities by my eyes, as the species that uses suckers tend to be not hardy here. I wonder whenever the invasive ones in the south have suckers or tendrils? For all other readers, I am also wondering if some of your "virginia creeper" are actually woodbine, Parthenocissus inserta?

Negative mikems On Feb 25, 2006, mikems from Tallahassee, FL wrote:

I am extremely sensitive to this plant and it causes an intense rash. I was told that it couldn't, but it did. So when I cut it back I use gloves and am careful not to touch the tools by ungloved hand. I tried several kinds of medications, but as with poison ivy, there is nothing that will totally relieve the itch for me, except time. And so, while everyone may not be as sensitive or allergic to it, and it is, I think, a pretty plant, it does create a problem for me in that sense. It grows prolifically up the sides of our home in Tallahassee, Florida.


Positive c_etude On Feb 19, 2006, c_etude from Winter Haven, FL wrote:

I live in central Florida, and I honestly cannot consider this "invasive". It's a strong vine, and pretty, and grows where a lot of other plants refuse. I had this plant growing on my fence. (Where it came from, I have no idea because i never planted it; possibly from bird droppings?)

But it was easily rid--simply use Round Up. Saturate leaves. May need to repeat. But it was gone after that for good.

I would say it's a strong average vine that is drought resistent. Very holiday-looking in the Winter.

For Bonsai lovers, you can very easily turn this vine into something 6 or 12 inches long maximum and will appear to be a smart looking very attractive miniature tree! In fact, you can Bonsai ANY vine you care to, and it will never get any larger than 6 or 12 inches with a thick trunk. Totally cool.

Negative raisedbedbob On Jan 26, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I hate this plant. I have lots of Azaleas planted on the wood's edge, and I spend way too much time pulling it out of them.

Neutral wtliftr On Jan 25, 2006, wtliftr from Wilson's Mills, NC wrote:

I can't give it a negative, since it is native to NC- but very invasive! Never had a problem with a rash, though...BEAUTIFUL foilage in the fall. FYI- the vitaceae family is the grape family- NOT poison ivy, etc. If anyone wants to buy some plants, I also have some KUDZU I can sell you...

Negative Gabrielle On Jan 15, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Virginia Creeper planted itself along my back fence, and I let it grow to cover it. After it started taking over elsewhere, I decided to take it out. It had other notions. We worked out an agreement that I would keep the big of it ripped out and it wouldn't spread farther.

My information says it is hardy in zones 3-11. Sometimes it has 3, 4, or 7 leaves throughout.

Positive MitchF On Jan 11, 2006, MitchF from Lindsay, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this plant, you have to keep it in check but I just love the plant the color and the growth of the plant.

Negative Mudstone On Jan 11, 2006, Mudstone from Jonesboro, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant is extremely invasive where I live on the edge of a forest. It often grows side by side with poison ivy around my yard, no thanks to the birds. Although I am allergic to poison ivy, Virginia creeper has never given me a skin rash when pulling it. My roommate isn't as fortunate and has the doctor bills to prove it.

Positive Legit On Dec 14, 2005, Legit from Porterfield, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

From reading all the comments, I am shocked to see how many problems virginia creeper has caused. I have also come to the conclusion that in the colder zones it does not seem to get out of hand. I has been climbing over the top of our concrete garage since the beginning of time, and we've been here over 20 years. The trunks are as thick as a small child's arm at the base. It has caused no problems and we love it. It tends to grow over our doorway, and dh and myself have to pull or clip a new opening several times a summer, and neither of us have had any reaction to it.

It grows in several other places here, and is not a problem, sometimes presenting gorgeous berries, but the birds don't let them around long.

Positive EAPierce On Dec 11, 2005, EAPierce from Idaho Falls, ID (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have a perennial shade garden (shaded by a large Emerald Queen Maple) about 6' deep by 20' long, and in 1994 I planted a Virginia Creeper in the back of it, centrally, at the base of a 8' tall wooden plank fence. I was forewarned by knowledgeable folk that it would be an extremely aggressive climber and is a sort of cousin to Poison Ivy, but that it would take "rolling around in it for hours" to get the same kind of reaction Poison Ivy is famous for. It's apparent, however, that some people are more sensitive to it than that. Fortunately, I'm not one of them. I've handled it often, gloveless, and haven't experienced any irritation at all. I've also found that Virginia Creeper is far more manageable than predicted, at least in my Zone 4-5 shade garden. I was prepared to battle it to the death if it started to get out of control, but it's simply spread up the fence as intended, and is easy to train. Also, the roots let go easily when I pull up errant growth (it comes up through the Sweet Woodruff every once in a while, though the Woodruff is a thick enough ground cover that the Creeper really has to fight). In eleven years, it hasn't yet gone over the fence or gotten into the maple tree. I've found that a few minutes a week is all that's needed to keep the Creeper in line and growing only where I want it to, and the benefits are great. The birds love the berries, and the blazing fall color really brightens up the shady area it's in. The leaves are beautiful in summer, as well. Compared to other vines and climbers I've experienced, V.C. is just about perfect: not too delicate and not outrageously vigorous.

Negative SanibelKit On Nov 14, 2005, SanibelKit from Sanibel, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Nope: it's lovely, but one of those things that will take over the ground and your trees, maybe anything else that stands still long enough. We have much worse invasives here in zone 10a (where many plants that can survive often seem to become invasive!) but this one's bad too. A yard man helped me get rid of the biggest vines - that were overpowering my native buttonwoods - by cutting and immediately spraying the cut base (only) with an herbicide. Of course, some are growing back anyway, but the buttonwoods are leafing out more.

Neutral huskyluvr On Nov 8, 2005, huskyluvr from Wichita, KS wrote:

My neighbor bought a nearly dead plant . The store had no idea what it was. She planted it and now it's covering the fence between our yards. The only drawback we see is that the wasps and other stinging insects love it.

Neutral escambiaguy On Nov 8, 2005, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

While this plant is aggressive, I don't think it could be considered invasive. It has always been in North America. It's no more of a problem than greenbriar, scuppernong, climbing wild roses, etc. (at least it doesn't have thorns).

Positive Photographer On Nov 3, 2005, Photographer from Moxee, WA (Zone 4a) wrote:

I love this plant. It turns a cheap welded wire fence into a 6 foot tall 2 foot wide wall of lush green leaves. It makes a terrific barrier between properties. This plant grows fast and is better suited for larger land parcels. Smaller town lots can get overgrown fast .... within a year. We're on 21 acres, so having a barrier to separate us from coyotes on the other side of the fence is the most desirous thing we can provide our land.

Good fences make good neighbors. This plant gives the benefit of a wall for $1/foot. That's 100 times less costly than the alternative. The leaves are beautiful in the spring, summer and fall. The only thing I regret is that they fall in the winter and we're left with only the vine which doesn't provide as much of a wall as we'd like. At least the coyotes stay out and we've found that the skunks are discouraged from digging under the wire fence as they now have to contend with the roots of the vine as well. You can't ask for more from a plant meant for walls and hillsides.

Negative bulldozier On Sep 29, 2005, bulldozier from Ventura, CA wrote:

Like many others here, I found out the hard way how horrible Virginia Creeper can be. It grows along my backyard fence here in Ventura, CA, so after a trimming I broke out in horrible rashes wherever my skin was exposed. I know poison ivy and oak very well from past experiences (requiring prednisone) and knew it couldn't have been one of them. Unfortunately, now I must destroy all of these plants because my dogs might be able to pass the oxalate crystals to my skin. Beware - I am pretty sure I touched this plant many times before with no reaction, so the allergy can develop at any time. I think the rash is actually worse than poison oak because it seems to take longer to stop itching.

Negative Gindee77 On Jun 13, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This weed is very invasive and I hate pulling it because I get scratched by the leaves and have an allergic reaction.

Negative Rontx On May 7, 2005, Rontx from Azle, TX wrote:

This "Creepy" Creeper is reported to be toxic to a "few". Well I'm one of the "Few". It's as bad if not worse than Poison Ivy. I am sitting here with one eye nearly swollen shut because I unknowingly got exposed to it while mowing around a tree in my yard. Don't grow it! If it doesn't affect you it will still affect other innocents who may visit your property!

Neutral Breezymeadow On Apr 23, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Except for some attractive variegated types that are now available, I always laugh whenever I see this for sale at nurseries here in Virginia, as it - like Bittersweet & Trumpet vines - grows in the wild everywhere here.

The prior owners of my home appear to have excelled in planting any & everything invasive right up against the house - honeysuckle, mint, native daylily, AND Virginia Creeper - & after 8 years I am "just" beginning to get a handle on eradicating the creeper, which slinks out from beneath my deck, along the house foundation, & up the cedar siding, which its climbing/twining/fibrous tendrils are ruining.

The only reason I'm leaving this "Neutral" rather than "Negative" is due to the fact that where I've seen it in the wild, it doesn't seem to have the same overpowering strangulation technique as some of the other bad characters, does have attractive brilliant red foliage in the fall, & provides winter wildlife food in the form of small purple berries.

Positive DawnRain On Apr 23, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

As a native American, it has its right to existence and I will not call a native an invasive. Weed, yes. A weed is a plant growing where you don't want it. And I yearly remove it from the cultivated gardens. You will find it growing beneath trees mostly, because that is where birds drop the seeds. I know many of them are dependent on this natural food. How much healthier to allow some of this plant to grow than to feed them from a crowded feeder where diseases can be spread. But then I am not allergic to this or poison ivy, so I don't suffer from their presence.

Neutral JaxFlaGardener On Apr 23, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I'm trying to achieve a balance with this plant, letting it grow on fences I want to cover while pulling it out of flower beds and out of my trees. Fortunately, it is not widespread in my yard and I am thus far able to keep it in control. I've just begun to recognize its seedlings and I pull them up as soon as they appear to avoid having the vines spread and take root, as they easily do.

The old maxim as I remember it is: "Leaves of three (poison ivy), leave it be. Leaves of five (Virginia Creeper), let it survive," -- meaning that poison ivy should be avoided due to its toxic effects while Virginia Creeper should be allowed to remain as a native plant (my interpretation). From what I have read here, Virginia Creeper seems more toxic to some people than poison ivy. I'm a fair skinned red head and usually react to anything that can cause a rash, but so far I have been lucky in handling Virginia Creeper. I'll be more careful in the future. Thanks for the warnings!

Negative CaptMicha On Apr 22, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is a negative in my book because I dislike anything that spreads and invades so rapidly and completely. However, I see their draw. It's crimson and shiny foliage is quite attractive.

The woods on my property are a lost cause. There's just too much to get rid of it all. We find very large vines but I'm not sure whether it's virginia creeper or an actual wild grape. Either way, without those thick vines, there's enough definate virginia creeper around. I'm rather appalled to see this plant so widely available and advertised in retail.

Positive TREEHUGR On Dec 12, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Good for fences if you have a lot of room and it poses no risk to make you do extra work to clear it from unwanted areas. I don't know who would plant it in a pot or something because it may cause "contact dermatitis" or so I'm told.

My friends house backs up to a natural area and the VA creeper had creeped into his vegatable garden. Knowing it was a native, non-invasive vine in this area, I told him I wanted some for my fence. We didn't have any luck transplanting it even though we did it pretty carefully. He touched it with his bare hands and did not experience any reaction.

There really isn't any place that sells this material locally. I know you can order it, but the only place I've found to get it is from the fence that runs alongside the interstate. And that's not the ideal garden center.

Fast grower and nice color, even here. But don't use it if you like neat and manicured. If you like wild and natural and have a good space for it away from people that would touch it, you might find it to be useful.

Positive winter_unfazed On Nov 2, 2004, winter_unfazed from Rural Webster County, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is very invasive, and when it finds a telephone pole, it climbs like nobody's business. I used to be afraid to touch it, kind of like Chicken Little and the leaf, because I thought that it was poison ivy. It turns brilliant red in the fall.

Edit as of 19 Dec. 2005: I think I should change my rating from neutral to positive. I have not seen any of the evil side of it in 2 years of observation; it covers things well and in a short period of time, growing about 60 cm higher per year. Its foliage is visible from far away, and it produces berries that feed birds.

Negative joemadeus On Sep 20, 2004, joemadeus from Concord, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is running rampant in our back yard, with runners up to ~20'. Strongly negative experience :)

I had no idea it was toxic, by the way. I was pulling some out with my bare hands for a while (with no reaction.) I think I'll stop doing that.

Positive rsutt On Aug 14, 2004, rsutt from Atascadero, CA wrote:

Beautifull and strong. Here in central Ca. there are many microclimates and creeper is a survivor. This is `The Digger Pine Zone Belt` and our native plant selections are unusual and hardy. Our soil is poor and must be heavily amended.

Positive GraphicLizard On Aug 14, 2004, GraphicLizard from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

This vine grows all over my brick house, and I just love it. It keeps the house nice and cool in the summer, and sticks well to the bricks without damaging them in any way. The birds nest in it, and when the wind blows the sides of the house ripple like the ocean! It's terrific!

Negative doosey On Aug 7, 2004, doosey from Avella, PA wrote:

It wasn't until I began yanking long trailing/burrowing vines of this off of the ground and out of the trees it was strangling that I discovered that I would have a severe reaction to this plant. I kept thinking that somehow poison ivy was the cause, but like the other responder a note or so before mine, I hadn't been IN any poison ivy, oak or sumac! Then I found this site and decided that the culprit had to be this Virginia creeper!

I think I will have permanent scarring, also. I fought with it for several weeks, trying to kill it with Zanfel (to wash away urishiol), but it wouldn't go I finally resorted to a Medrol dose pack by MD prescription...and Claritin (OTC) for the itch. Benadryl hadn't touched the itch. (No pun intended.) I now have large dry scabs and surrounding reddened areas on my arms and legs and look rather like a leper. BEWARE!

Who would want this plant to grow in their trees? It will eventually kill them!

Negative threewaters On Aug 5, 2004, threewaters from Hillman, MI wrote:

Hello, All;
We live on 2.5 acres of primarily wetland. Included in the acreage is a 1/4 acre pond. I had noticed the beautiful vines that grew up the trees on both sides of our pond and noted that over the past two years it had become quite prolific on the house side of the pond. During early Spring I decided to 'train' it over a fence my husband had built. I did this without any problems and the vine seemed to really like it's new space.

Two weeks ago I noticed that off shoots of this vine were growing up my Willow tree and so put on my gloves and began pulling it down. By the next day my right hand and arm was covered with a burning itching rash; by that evening it had 'jumped' to my left hand and arm. I did not make the connection that the vine I had pulled down was what caused the rash. I thought I had somehow gotten into poison ivy or oak...but, I simply couldn't believe that because I'm pretty alert to that stuff and I have never found any growing on our property. But, I went back out and checked and still couldn't find any plant even remotely resembling poison ivy or oak.

I decided to research on line and found this web site forum. After reading some of your posts, I realized that what I have out here is indeed Virginia Creeper--and lots of it, I might add. I researched and found some info on this plant's defense mechanism. The offending substance is Oxalate Crystals also known botanically as 'raphids'. As a nurse, I know that oxalate crystals are the same substance that causes the formation of kidney stones. These microscopic particles are like needles pressed together. No wonder the rash is so horribly painful...and now I am thinking that the normal treatment for poison ivy/oak/sumac with their urishol oils will not work for a dermititis caused by the Virginia Creeper raphids.

I'm on my third week with this rash and finally went to the doctor for a corticosteriod shot and a dose pack of prednisone. I'm hoping this will relieve the itching and swelling. I think though that parts of my arms and hands will be permanently scarred. As for the Creeper....well, I believe in making love and not, the vine stays. We'll work on keeping it under control but not sure how. Do you think this type of vine can be burned? I won't put any toxic chemicals on my land for any, if anyone has a suggestion as to how to better control Virginia Creeper I'd be interested.

I want also to thank all of you for posting such wonderful information...I hadn't intended on becoming a member, but after perusing this site I have decided that this is a great way for me to learn from some really knowledgeable folks!


Negative death2creeper On Aug 1, 2004, death2creeper from Carmel, IN wrote:

A portion of my woodlot is a 2 acre yard that I'm returning to a forested state. The other day I noticed that a black cherry tree on the edge of this area was almost completely covered on one side by Virginia Creeper from the base to about 40' off the ground.

I placed a 32' extension ladder against the tree and stripped the leaves and vines off the tree to a height of about 25'.

BIG MISTAKE! I was wearing gloves, long pants, and unfortunately a short sleeved shirt. Everywhere this plant touched I've got welts, especially where my wrists touched the portion of the ladder which touched the leaves. A trip to the emergency room seemed to be in order when my arms started swelling up. I'm taking a 12 day course of prednisone, and Benadryl. It seems to be helping, as the swelling's gone away, and the blisters are no longer oozing but the itching is intense.

This plant is extremely invasive and seems to be very shade tolerant. The vines are able to travel well into shaded areas until they find a tree trunk to climb. When they break out into sunlight at the top of the canopy they leaf out in a spectacular fashion. Some trees with this infestation seem to have dead limbs as a result (locusts and black cherry), and some don't (oaks).

Negative Becky_Taylor On Jul 27, 2004, Becky_Taylor from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

My husband and I have spent the past 3 days trying to remove this vile weed from the yard of our new home. We have removed it from only half of the yard... and we are city dwellers... so that means we have a small yard! We are curious if there any any means of removing this weed other than pulling it out and trying to get all the roots.

The roots of this vile weed spread between our yard and the neighbors (on both sides!). It is EXTREMELY established in our block and we see there being NO way that we would be able to get all the roots. Is there a poison or some kind of miraculous Virginia Creeper killing weapon that we can use? We are anxious for any kind of solution people may have for the removal of this vile weed!

Positive BingsBell On Jul 26, 2004, BingsBell from SC, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:

I live in 4/5 Z and find many of the more appealing vines are annuals here. I can't beat Virgina Creeper for covering ugly fences with it's green foliage and in the fall the colors are outstanding.

I also have a plant that looks much like Virginia Creeper called Engelman Ivy. You can hardly tell them apart. The Engelman clings better than the Virginia but otherwise, without the tags on them, I can't tell which is which. Fortunately I have no allergy to either and I am glad because I like this vine so well. In climates where it is colder like mine this vine isn't invasive. In fact I have to layer it to make it go where I want it to.

Neutral theresarose On Jul 25, 2004, theresarose from Montreal
Canada wrote:

I bought this plant to cover the ugly side walls of my house. It's been 2 years, it's grown alot but it just flops to the ground! I really like the changing colours of this plant, but I'm going to rip it out and replace it with something else to do the job.

Positive Mophead On Jul 25, 2004, Mophead from Aylesford
Canada wrote:

The Annapolis Valley area of Nova Scotia is Zone 6a and Virginia Creeper is common. I planted it against my garden shed to soften the hard edges. It was a small clipping that has been gradually increasing in size for the last 5 years and is only now reaching the top of the shed. It can be invasive but, in my case, planting in deep shade has kept the growth to a restrained level. It is glorious in its fall colour.

Negative caroljean55 On Jul 25, 2004, caroljean55 from Morgantown, WV wrote:

We have a telephone pole near our house with a dusk-to-dawn light on it. We wanted to disguise the pole, so we planted Virginia Creeper. Boy, I sure wish I hadn't done it. It goes everywhere, and I have to pull it out like weeds. It even grows up between the cracks of my wood sidewalk. We have found it as far as 40 feet from the base plant. One year, I was so mad that I cut it down at the foot of the pole. Hah! It came right back.

Yes, as some have said, it is pretty, and people think it was very ingenious of us to disguise our telephone pole this way, but every summer, hubby has to climb this long ladder to cut the stuff back away from the light. I live in WV and you would think the winters here would deter it , but it doesn't. I can't imagine how it must grow in the south. I don't think I want to know.

Negative NatureWalker On Jul 24, 2004, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Last week a neighbor tried to remove this Virginia Creeper. After trying unsuccessfully to get rid of it for years, he hitched a tow chain to it, then to his pickup, and pulled on it. He successfully removed 3 fence posts and the chain link fencing from a good portion of his 'cyclone' fence that was 4 foot high.

I guess he was so mad at it he took out a small axe and started to chop it up into small pieces; alas there-by giving some of the smaller cuts a chance to live on. Next year, I guess; he might be getting a whole new yard full of them; and bombing the place out too. Or eradicate all the plants in his back yard by using a couple of gallons of round up. It apparently survived the few days of -35 degrees this past winter.

{8^) ; just a thought: Wouldn't concrete or tar would be much easier. *~* Oh! I live in Zone 5a, way up in the Catskill Mountains!

Negative luketrash On Jul 15, 2004, luketrash from Ames, IA wrote:

This plant is wrapped around all the hedge bushes in my yard, and is all over a fence next to my garage.

Fortunately, I have had no reaction to it, and have spent a lot of time getting into it. Watch me have a psycosomatic rash pop up after reading all these posts ;)

The vines and roots are pretty brittle, and the thing grows super fast. Roundup hasn't done anything, but kill everything around it. I'm thinking about using fire just as a stress reliever.

Anyone got some agent orange left over from Viet Nam?

Negative Egglantinerose On Jul 8, 2004, Egglantinerose from Zionsville, IN wrote:

I agree with all of you about the rashes. This plant is beautiful, but very TOXIC to me. I was exposed on June 17, 2004. I had on long pants, & evidently it went through the fabric, or I touched the top of my legs while removing my pants and t-shirt. I wore gloves but I got the most HORRIBLE red rash. Some actually turn into pustules.

I had to obtain medical treatment. The area on my arms started on my right arm, and it was a horrible red rash that itched terribly. I then broke out on my left arm in the same way. In fact, the ones on the arms are getting better but they have left scars. My upper legs are still breaking out.

It is growing up a telephone pole on which I have trellised a Blaze climber rose and a Jackamanii clematis. I have gone in with a sponge paint brush and painted the leaves with Weed-Out. It has not phased it at all. I will keep trying
to kill it. One of you said it contains something oxalictis? I do know that I have used Oxalic Acid to remove rust stains from clothing. Is this the same chemical family? Be Well, God Bless, Pray for Peace, I am Egglantinerose

Negative tipp2 On Jun 15, 2004, tipp2 from Pompton Lakes, NJ wrote:

25 yrs ago reaction to & rash from contact with creeper sent me to doctor. Last week I found creeper again growing in shrubs. Wore long sleeves, long gloves, long pants, etc - still got minor rash. Virginia creeper is a menace in Pompton Lakes, NJ .

Negative xword On Jun 15, 2004, xword from Sanford, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very similar comments to others who have tried to eradicate this pest. My 4 year old granddaughter and I have itchy bumps and swollen eyes. I never experienced this reaction in the past to removing vines -- perhaps it is because I have been pulling up the roots quite a lot lately? Again, I don't know how my granddaughter was exposed, unless by contact with my hands when I put sunblock on her before she goes to camp. All in all, a nice looking vine, but too invasive and too dangerous.

Negative 23newgardener On Jun 10, 2004, 23newgardener from Decatur, GA wrote:

I recently came in contact with this plant and now am covered in a rash. The rash is spreading and is worse than my experience with poison ivy. I haven't been able to find much relief for the itching and nothing for the spreading of it. The plant looks beautiful climbing on our brick house, but it is not worth the pain I am going through now.

Negative cynthia2232 On Jun 9, 2004, cynthia2232 from Muncy Valley, PA wrote:

This plant has sent me to the emergency room more times than I or my pocketbook would care to count. IF you happen to be one of the few who are allergic to this plant (LIKE ME) you should stay away from it completely! If that is not possible then wear long pants, long sleeves, and gloves and make sure the material is thick. Wipe pets down as they come into contact with you, DO NOT remove shoes without either keeping the gloves on or washing hands ASAP after removing them. Remove clothes carefully and put in washer inside out so you don't touch the bad sap.

DO NOT WEED WACK THIS PLANT OR WEED WACK IN PLACES U EVEN THINK IT MAY BE! This can cause the worst all over body rash you have ever known. I do not get Poison ivy but my rash from this plant is EXACTLY like my friends who DO GET POISON IVY. The blisters the itch the red and puffy etc. Also, don't even think of touching it in winter if you break out from this plant (made that mistake once-just once-another trip to the Hospital for shots from big needles and prednisone pills). PS I had submitted another post for this plant but do not see it. Maybe because of flame thrower comment?

Negative twin2 On Jun 8, 2004, twin2 from Forrest City, AR wrote:

For a long time now, I thought that Virgina Creeper was poison ivy or oak and have avoided it at ALL cost. I was told just recently by a real estate agent while looking at a house that it was Virginia Creeper. I was somewhat relieved because I am allergic to poison ivy. I have been in search to find out info about this Virgina Creeper. I have read on sites that it does not cause skin irritation and I have read on others that it can to some people.

Well, after reading the comments on this site, I am in no better shape than I was when I thought it was poison ivy. I do know that it grows in a lot of places in central and eastern Arkansas and in North and Northwest Mississippi. I don't care how pretty it is, if it can make me break out, then it's got to go!! I am thankful for this site and to be able to read about personal experience with Virginia Creeper. Has anyone dealt with this stuff and not broken out?? Who knows, I may not be allergic, but I don't care to find out.

Negative luv2garden211 On Jun 2, 2004, luv2garden211 from Glenolden, PA wrote:

This plant is very pretty in every season. In my 6 a or b garden in Pennsylvania, it flourishes so much so that it comes up everywhere. If you first spot a new little plant, it's easy to get rid of. However established areas are very, very difficult to eradicate. It is extremely invasive.

Negative dunderwood On Jun 1, 2004, dunderwood from Vienna, VA wrote:

Two weeks ago, I spent a day pulling Virginia Creeper from the Azalea beds in my front yard. My legs and arms are now covered in bumps and blisters and these dark red patches that burn and are extremely itchy. I have never experienced anything like this before. As a child I had minor problems with poisin ivy, but nothing like this.

I just completed taking a prescription steriod, am taking an OTC antihistamine and using Cortaid topically - nothing seems to be working. It just keeps spreading. I am miserable!! If anyone has used or taken anything that works, I would greatly appreciate the information. I am going back to the doctor's this afternoon.

Negative rparrott On May 31, 2004, rparrott from Dallas, TX wrote:

For years I have thought this ivy was either poison ivy or poison oak, and then someone finally told me it wasn't. Last week I was trimming weeds and pulled alot of this off my fence (without gloves--big mistake!!!) The next day my face was on fire. It went from redness to scabbing, and now I have what looks like dark burnt skin. It never got blistery or oozed like PI. I've been baffled all week as to what plant it came from.

This A.M. I pulled some more of the vine down and it showed up on the top of my hand. I finally decided to do more research online and low and behold its virginia creeper. I've learned my lesson to wear gloves, but talk about an evil plant. I've read all about the oxalate crystals and what can happen. Thank God for websites like this! Thanks!!!!

Negative purplepetunia On May 29, 2004, purplepetunia from Savannah, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

A few years ago, this came into my yard from the adjoining
yard. I thought that it was a weed and tried to get rid of it, with no luck. My neighbor has it growing out of control to the top of his cedar trees (50' high). It comes up all thru my lawn. I have pulled and dug and chopped large roots of this. It is impossible to get rid of. I have even sprayed it with Round Up and everything around it died, but it flourished. My other neighbor said it causes him to break out in a rash. Said it was poison oak or ivy. It has never bloomed, even tho the color is pretty. As far as I am concerned, it is a very invasive weed.

Negative itsallaboutsoil On May 14, 2004, itsallaboutsoil from Martinsburg, WV, WV wrote:

I was interested to read that this plant can cause a poison ivy/oak type rash - for years I have known that it causes me to have a rash yet I couldn't find any believers. I won't touch it because I have had the rash so bad that I had to have medical treatment. It is beautiful but it is invasive and I would never suggest anyone plant it - anywhere.

Negative kellyshahan On May 13, 2004, kellyshahan from Norman, OK wrote:

We found this plant on the grounds of the University of Oklahoma. Someone has planted it all around some of the buildings there. We found some growing into the Architecture library, it had worked it's way through tiny cracks in the caulking around the old windows. I have had a poison ivy like rash for around a week, which is probably how long the plant has been growing indoors since we never noticed it before. I don't know if it caused the rash but I've never had a reaction to poison ivy yet (Virginia creeper doesn't contain urishol like poison ivy does, but I have found a couple of web sites that say Virginia Creeper can cause an allergic reaction in a few people.)

Neutral melody On May 3, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'm neutral on this plant, as I'm not fighting it's spread in my yard as some folks are. I know that it can get very thick and invasive and can see the problems that result.
I still love to drive down the road in early Fall and see the bright red leaves.

Positive Kelli On Jan 15, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

In my yard, it's vigorous but I wouldn't call it invasive. I think that the drier climate and the dryish conditions in my yard keep it in check. Personally, I love the plant and especially the fall color. It provides dependable red fall color, which you can't always get in a warm climate.

Virginia creeper is not related to poison ivy. It is related to the grape.

Negative ckfarr On Sep 29, 2003, ckfarr from Spring, TX wrote:

This plant is HORRIBLE!! I have thought for years that it was poison oak and have been terrified to touch it. I have a bed of English Ivy in my front yard and this creeper pops up all the time. I just pulled one out of some photinia bushes I have and the roots ran for about 15 ft down the side of my house. Once I finally found the main root and I went to pull on it, it snapped in half! The roots are so brittle and break very easily. I live in zone 8b (just north of Houston, TX) and it loves to grow here! Its worse than trumpeter vine!

Negative suncatcheracres On Jul 20, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I have six acres of Virginia creeper, combined with poison oak, and trumpet vine here in Northcentral Florida, Zone 8b, and it seems impossible to get rid of. I constantly tear it from fences, trees, and flower beds. I won't use poisons or herbicides, so have resorted to sheet mulching with newspapers and/or cardboard, overlaid with leaves and/or sawdust, trying to smother it out of my planting beds. Warning, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT plant this plant in any Southern garden, or you will be sorry!

Negative mocloa On Jul 20, 2003, mocloa from Hendersonville, TN wrote:

This is a weed in my area. It grows very well and needs to be constantly removed. It is often confused with poison ivy.
It seems to find its way into the yard even though there doesn't seem to be a source.

Positive Lynda_Kind On Jul 20, 2003, Lynda_Kind from Winnipeg
Canada wrote:

Very AGGRESSIVE, rapidly spreading beautiful plant. New plants are easily started by root cuttings. Simply cut a hunk of the root and plant it, keeping it well watered... guaranteed it will grow. Survives in either dry or clay soils. Zone 3 Southern Manitoba. Some people refer to creeper as a noxious weed.

Negative phalvorson On Jul 8, 2003, phalvorson from Panama City, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is very invasive. It was in our front & back yards when we bought our house 4 years ago, and we have been fighting it ever since. Not only will it climb up trees, but it will also spread across the ground -- sending long runners about 1-2" below the surface. The runners are easy to pull if there is limited growth over them, but otherwise they snap off and start re-growing if you can't get the whole runner out of the ground. This plant is also a very fast grower. We live in the Florida panhandle (zone 8b).

Neutral Floridian On Nov 29, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This native, deciduous vine is hardy from zone 3 to zone 9. It can easily reach a height and spread of 30 to 50 feet or more. The leaves are reddish as they emerge then become green. In autumn, Virginia Creeper is one of the first plants to change color. The fall color is bright red.

Blooming from June through August the insignificant greenish, clustered flowers are followed by blue fruit from August to February that are at least noticeable if not ornamental. The berries are a favorite of birds, mice, skunks and chipmunks. Virginia Creeper is considered to be a very drought resistant plant and will grow in a variety of soils and light conditions.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Cullman, Alabama
Daphne, Alabama
Jones, Alabama
Owens Cross Roads, Alabama
Pelham, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuskegee, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Wetumpka, Alabama
Juneau, Alaska
Golden Valley, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Morrilton, Arkansas
Atascadero, California
Boulder Creek, California
Canoga Park, California
Chico, California
Lompoc, California
Paradise, California
Ridgecrest, California
San Diego, California
Sonoma, California
Stockton, California
Ventura, California
Aurora, Colorado (3 reports)
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Denver, Colorado (2 reports)
Lamar, Colorado
Longmont, Colorado
Peyton, Colorado
Springfield, Colorado
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Marlborough, Connecticut
North Haven, Connecticut
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Englewood, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)
Fort Pierce, Florida
Holmes Beach, Florida
Homestead, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lake Placid, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Live Oak, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Miami, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Old Town, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
Sanibel, Florida (2 reports)
Sebring, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Winter Garden, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Brunswick, Georgia
Canton, Georgia
Ellerslie, Georgia
Hawkinsville, Georgia
Jonesboro, Georgia
Moultrie, Georgia
Pine Mountain, Georgia
Rome, Georgia
Idaho Falls, Idaho
North Fork, Idaho
Champaign, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Decatur, Illinois
Elburn, Illinois
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Hampton, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Evansville, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
New Carlisle, Indiana
Coralville, Iowa
Davenport, Iowa
Waterloo, Iowa
Copeland, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Benton, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Mc Dowell, Kentucky
Paducah, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Bossier City, Louisiana
Holden, Louisiana
Kenner, Louisiana
La Place, Louisiana
Biddeford, Maine
Cushing, Maine
Brookeville, Maryland
Crofton, Maryland
Cumberland, Maryland
Ellicott City, Maryland
Hagerstown, Maryland (2 reports)
Laurel, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Chicopee, Massachusetts
Concord, Massachusetts
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Marshfield, Massachusetts
Woburn, Massachusetts
Bay City, Michigan
Bridgeport, Michigan
Coopersville, Michigan
Hillman, Michigan
Jackson, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Richmond, Michigan
White Pigeon, Michigan
Braham, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota (4 reports)
Leakesville, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Carthage, Missouri
Cole Camp, Missouri
Conway, Missouri
Farmington, Missouri
Kirksville, Missouri
Miller, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Rogersville, Missouri
Sullivan, Missouri
Billings, Montana
Bridger, Montana
East Helena, Montana
Kalispell, Montana
Carson City, Nevada
Caldwell, New Jersey
Dunellen, New Jersey
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Howell, New Jersey
Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
Leonardo, New Jersey
Roselle Park, New Jersey
Verona, New Jersey
Belen, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Ballston Lake, New York
Beacon, New York
Buffalo, New York
Deposit, New York
New Berlin, New York
Oceanside, New York
Orangeburg, New York
Schenectady, New York
Southold, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Clayton, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Ellenboro, North Carolina
Havelock, North Carolina
Henderson, North Carolina
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Mount Holly, North Carolina
New Bern, North Carolina
Norlina, North Carolina
Oxford, North Carolina
Polkton, North Carolina
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Warrenton, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Richmond, Ohio
Ada, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Jay, Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Baker City, Oregon
Cheshire, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Mill City, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Apollo, Pennsylvania
Feasterville Trevose, Pennsylvania
Glen Rock, Pennsylvania
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Joffre, Pennsylvania
Media, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Oxford, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2 reports)
Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
Sybertsville, Pennsylvania
Washington, Pennsylvania (2 reports)
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
Marion, South Carolina
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
North, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Spartanburg, South Carolina (2 reports)
Summerville, South Carolina (2 reports)
Brookings, South Dakota
Huron, South Dakota
Clarksville, Tennessee
Fairview, Tennessee
Gainesboro, Tennessee
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Pocahontas, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Austin, Texas (4 reports)
Azle, Texas
Belton, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Brownwood, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Dallas, Texas (2 reports)
De Leon, Texas
Denison, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (3 reports)
Helotes, Texas
Houston, Texas
Ingram, Texas
Lamesa, Texas
Lampasas, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
Port Neches, Texas
Princeton, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Stephenville, Texas
Weatherford, Texas
Willis, Texas
Wimberley, Texas (2 reports)
Magna, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah (3 reports)
Vernal, Utah
West Jordan, Utah
Bristol, Vermont
Big Stone Gap, Virginia
Chesapeake, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Round Hill, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Moxee, Washington
Pullman, Washington
Spokane, Washington (3 reports)
Twisp, Washington
Clarksburg, West Virginia
Edmond, West Virginia
Falling Waters, West Virginia
Glasgow, West Virginia
Morgantown, West Virginia
Princeton, West Virginia
Altoona, Wisconsin
De Pere, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Menasha, Wisconsin
Porterfield, Wisconsin
Casper, Wyoming
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Cody, Wyoming
Jackson, Wyoming

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