Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Boston Ivy, Japanese Creeper
Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Family: Vitaceae (vee-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Parthenocissus (par-then-oh-KISS-us) (Info)
Species: tricuspidata (try-kusp-ee-DAY-tuh) (Info)

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Verdesign
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There are a total of 21 photos.
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6 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral TuckM On Dec 22, 2012, TuckM from Reno, NV wrote:

Well I bought two of these plants from a place called brighter blooms nursery online. It was my first time every buying a plant online after searching my city of Reno, NV to no avail. The plants came in a box and they were SUPER hot and so me watered them down with cold water and let them breath for a day. Then planted it the next day. It was SUPER HOT this summer and one of the plants just pooped out and all its leaves fell and it was just a sick. The other just stayed the same with no other growth. Then later in the fall the sick which I thought had died had three new leaves, but then they fell after some snow in the later fall. its winter now and I'm hoping the water from the snow will help their roots grow for the spring. I REALLY hope these things will grow like crazy! I'm also worried that they wont attach to a latex painted wall. We shall see what happens!!! Reno is a terrible place for plant variates :C

Positive robcorreia On Jul 5, 2008, robcorreia from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my Boston Ivy. It has thrived in an "inferno strip" in my sideyard, on hard, dry clay. Leaves are a beautiful glossy green and as this is its first season for me, I can't wait to see the fall colors!

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

It came with my house. I pull it off the north wall of my garage from time to time because it degrades the paint. It covers the shady, south-facing cinderblock wall nearby. I want it to either hide or speed the demise of the wooden fence my neighbor to the south put up, but I haven't been able to get it to propagate or grow from either commercial seeds or berries I've picked off successful plants.
I'm told it can get out of control, and it does some damage to painted wood, but I like the way it looks. Great color in the fall, too.

Positive bigcityal On Dec 12, 2005, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Nice green glossy leaves. Plant this where it will have room, otherwise you might not like it. Range of tolerance good.

Positive tnvol91 On Sep 16, 2004, tnvol91 from Lowell, AR wrote:

I planted my Boston Ivy in early March at the base of a northwestern brick wall. For the first 4 months it just kind of sat there and did nothing until mid July and BAM! It went crazy, it covers an area of the wall 8 feet by 8 feet. I estimate its main branch has grown at a rate of 3.5 inches per week average since June. From the main branch it has taken a "pit stop" to let new off shoots grow from a heart shaped mass along the main vine. Now it is truly starting to spread out and looks beautiful. I choose this plant for the simple reason it looked awesome on another house up the street last fall with its brilliant red and purple color. Plus the fact all the houses in the neighborhood have stone facades, the Ivy really looks rich on this background. It reminds me of the century old gardens around the historic houses in North Carolina I grew up with. I thought it looked classy back then as a kid.

Positive ScottyBeach On Aug 28, 2004, ScottyBeach from Lexington, MA wrote:

I love this plant. I think mine is almost 100 years old. It is vigorous and drapes the whole side of our large screen porch. We have lived with it for 30 years. Many people have advised us to cut it out as it would ruin the screens. However it is such a treat to have the deep shade on the porch with birds loving the berries and the lovely sound with wth wind or rain. We have only replace two of the many screens. The great treat is the color in the fall. Now for the winter vines, losing the leaves in late fall creates sun coming in the west windows on the inside of the porch. For our westward facing porch, this huge plant is an old fashioned treat that is rarely appreciated today.

Positive mike1066 On Aug 5, 2004, mike1066 from Gloversville, NY wrote:

If you think it likes the heat, this guy likes the cold too... I'm in upstate NY and it took to the side of my brick house like sherman did to atlanta.. I have a 3 story old brick house and needed to cover up unsightly brickwork... 3 years later 2 of these plants have gotten halfway up the house and it looks great... Caution it likes to spread in all directions from the base..It will gobble up neighboring shrubs and flowers if not pruned... Really looks fantastic in the fall...

Neutral Maudie On Jul 18, 2003, Maudie from Harvest, AL wrote:

Keep in check or it will cover you up. Wish someone had told me that years ago! Now I must take
aggressive means to get it in control. Does anyone want any of mine---some of it has to go.

Neutral Petsitterbarb On Jul 17, 2003, Petsitterbarb from Claremore, OK wrote:

I agree with most everything Sunshine Sue has said, except that I don't find the vine ugly in the winter, but "differently ornate"! Our son has had this vine for about 4 years, and it has had NO care. It is planted on a brick home on the WEST side, in FULL SUN, in Oklahoma. Needless to say, it can take the HEAT! We find it quite similar in habit to the Virginia Creeper, which we have here. Both are extremely fast growing, gorgeous, and very easy care... but need to be contained or they'll provide a "comb over" for your house!

Neutral SunshineSue On Jul 16, 2003, SunshineSue from Mississauga, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

Keep this ivy in check by cutting back frequently (spring or fall) or it will cover your house given free range!!!!! VERY AGGRESSIVE if left unchecked. It will self-cling to wooden fencing, brick walls AND aluminum siding by way of suckers. It will also lift roof/wall shingles if it can get into a crack.
While the vines are rather ugly on a structure during the winter months, when in full leaf, it is stunningly beautiful as is the fall color. Forms dark blue berries during the summer which birds feed on in late winter. Disease & pest-free in my experiance. Continual leaf raking is necessary come fall as so many leaves & stems drop.
Mine came to me in 1991. I didn't plant it. It was a volunteer plant with the seed most likely dropped by a bird. I had no idea at the time as to what it was, but was glad to see it growing to cover an unsightly wall in my garden. It's now a case of "if I knew then what I know now"!! If I'd known, I'd have kept it in check & confined it to that one brick wall! The ivy has not only covered the back of my house, window screens & all, but has covered my neighbours as well!!! Luckily she likes it!!
It does give a "sunken garden" feel to my rear garden in summer which I enjoy, but it has it's drawbacks if not kept in check. Also, if removed from the aluminum siding or fence it will leave sucker marks which will not be a good thing on cream colored siding!!! If removed from the fence, I think it would lift the whole top board of the fence!!!
The main stem where it started growing 12 years ago is massive. Looks like a big, ugly snake & is about 6" or 7" in diamater.

Hi Petsitterbarb.......To each his own I guess in their opinion of how this vine looks on a house in the winter. That's the great thing about gardening! I don't think I found it ugly after 4 years either, but keep in mind that mine has been growing 12 years. New vines grow on top of old spent ones, so there's quite a build-up on my walls & cream colored siding & it's very obvious once the leaves drop in the fall. My point for other gardeners is to keep this ivy in check so that they aren't faced with the damage on walls & siding from the suckers or left to think it's unattractive during the winter months. This ivy is one of those things that people either love or hate I've found. It's outstanding in full leaf, but after a number of years unchecked, you do get a substantial build-up of vines, some active, some no longer & they stay stuck & leave suckers whether they are active or not. I might add that it clogs the eaves up quite a bit too.

Neutral Verdesign On Aug 2, 2001, Verdesign from Memphis, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

Parthenocissus is a genus of approximately ten species of deciduous climbers. They commonly cling by disk-like suckers on the tips of tendrils and can be used to cover walls and fences. Grow in any fertile, well-drained soil. Prune in early winter and in summer if necessary. P. tricuspidata is commonly known as Boston Ivy and is a vigorous climber with broadly ovate, deeply toothes, bright green leaves. Mature leaves may be up to eight inches long and turn brilliant red to purple in autumn.


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

Jones, Alabama
Lowell, Arkansas
Berkeley, California
Carlotta, California
Hercules, California
San Diego, California
Winnetka, Illinois
Wyanet, Illinois
Macy, Indiana
Easthampton, Massachusetts
Quincy, Massachusetts
Woburn, Massachusetts
Avon, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)
Springfield, Missouri
Reno, Nevada
Mount Angel, Oregon
Dallas, Texas
Hereford, Texas
Yakima, Washington
Menasha, Wisconsin

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