Parthenocissus Species, Japanese Creeper, Boston Ivy

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)
Synonym:Ampelopsis tricuspidata
Synonym:Cissus tricuspidata


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:



Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Jones, Alabama

Lowell, Arkansas

Berkeley, California

CARLOTTA, California

Hercules, California

Oxnard, California

San Diego, California

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Wyanet, Illinois

Macy, Indiana

Easthampton, Massachusetts

Quincy, Massachusetts

Woburn, Massachusetts

Avon, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota(2 reports)

Springfield, Missouri

Helena, Montana

Reno, Nevada

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Mount Angel, Oregon

Wayne, Pennsylvania

Dallas, Texas

Hereford, Texas

Yakima, Washington

Menasha, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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 worrie... read more


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!


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.


On Dec 12, 2005, bigcityal from Appleton, 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.


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 garden... read more


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.


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...


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.


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!


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 ... read more


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.