Virginia Creeper Maintenance: Growing Info And Virginia Creeper Plant Care
Growing info and plant care of virginia creeper are very important. If you want to keep your plants healthy, it’s best to know all about them. You may have heard some things from other people, but there are no reliable sources available.
So we decided to write our own guide on this topic.
Virginia creeper maintenance is not difficult at all. It requires little effort and few hours of work. But if you don’t do it right, you’ll end up with a bunch of dead plants or even worse, a big mess!
The most common problem with virginia creeper is their tendency to get root rot when they’re grown in soil. This means that the roots become soft and mushy and eventually die off completely.
It’s quite easy to prevent this condition, so don’t worry too much about it. Just make sure that the soil doesn’t contain any clay or silt. Virginia creeper grows well in moist soil, but will grow better in a dryer environment.
(In fact, you could even try growing them outside! But you better ask an expert before trying this at home.)
Also, make sure the soil isn’t too acidic or basic. Use peat moss, wood ash, or rotted sawdust to adjust the soil’s pH level.
Another problem you might face is the vine’s tendency to quickly cover any nearby object without stopping. This occurs because it grows extremely quickly. If left unchecked, it can quickly grow out of control and kill whatever it’s climbing on.
You can prune the vine back to your desired length every now and then to solve this problem. Be careful however; they have sharp thorns that can easily wound you if you aren’t wearing heavy clothing. Gloves might also be a good idea.
Finally, make sure you plant them in a location where they’ll get enough sunlight. Unless you want to move it every day, try to put it in a place where it’ll get at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
If you do this, your creeper should be able to survive for many years to come. Just make sure that you give it enough water and that it’s in a healthy condition. If it looks like its wilting, then you might have to look into the reasons for this problem and solve them immediately.
Next: Creeping Charlie
Above: James A. Cherry, Creeping Charlie, 1960.
Creeping Charlie Information
Also known as “ground ivy,” Creeping Charlie is a fast-growing, climbing vine which can cover trees, rocks, or whatever else you let it grow on. In fact, it’s so versatile that many people actually use this plant to cover up ugly objects around their home!
A creeping groundcover, Creeping Charlie is a good choice for shady, damp areas. The only major problem is that it can be invasive, spreading quickly and smothering other plants around it. Luckily, its leaves have a horrible taste which deters most common grazing animals.
(But if you have a pet rabbit or rat, then it probably will end up as dinner!
How to Grow Creeping Charlie
Due to Creeping Charlie’s climbing habits, it’s best grown on a wooden trellis, fence, or even a rock wall. In fact, due to its weight, it might be a good idea to firmly anchor the vines down. You can also grow it in a large pot to help prevent it from spreading everywhere.
As long as you have bright sunlight or strong artificial lighting, Creeping Charlie should do just fine. Water regularly to keep the soil damp, but don’t overdo it. The biggest problem people have is that they water their plants too much, which tends to make the root system rot away.
Not only will your plant die, but it also creates the perfect environment for weeds to start growing.
Also, pay attention to the color of the leaves. If they start to turn a yellowish-brown, then you probably aren’t watering it enough. If the leaves start to turn black or gray, then you’ve water-logged the soil and it’s time to let some of the water out.
Insects and diseases aren’t common with Creeping Charlie, but if you do notice any problems, Treat the same as you would with any other vine: by spraying the leaves with some diluted white vinegar.
If you haven’t poisoned your soil with chemical fertilizer, then you shouldn’t need to do much pruning. Just cut away any dead or diseased branches and you’re good to go. Otherwise, if the vine starts to get out of control, then you might want to do some trimming in order to keep it under control.
Creeping Charlie has a tendency to spread fast and choking out other plants by growing over them. If this is a problem, then you might want to trim it back every now and then. If this is a big problem where it’s growing all over the place and you don’t want it to spread, you can always dig it up.
This is a slow process and you’ll need to ensure that you get all the roots or it will just keep growing back.
When growing Creeping Charlie as a groundcover, it’s important to keep an eye on its growth pattern. If it’s starting to creep into areas which you don’t want it to, then just cut it back a few times. It will be slower the next time it grows back, and should create a boundary which the vine will stay within.
If you want to create a topiary-like shape, then you’ll need to trim it back whenever it starts to grow past the outline of the shape that you want.
Due to Creeping Charlie’s ability to create a boundary, and its tendency to grow upwards, it makes a good plant for stopping fallen leaves and other such debris from building up around its base. Simply let it grow outwards, and every now and then trim it back as necessary. Regular clipping will ensure that it stays within the boundary that you want, without growing over the path or sidewalk.
Whether growing Creeping Charlie as a groundcover, or growing it up some poles, or letting it wander across the garden, always make sure you have something to clip it back with. Shears are good, but for larger projects a good pair of pruning scissors will work wonders. A word of warning however; don’t use your best pair of pruning scissors, as the serrated edge that’s great for cutting living things, tends to dull the blades faster.
One of the neat things about Creeping Charlie is that it flowers relatively freely. The blooms are little more than little pink clusters, but they look nice and smell wonderful. They aren’t nearly as overpowering sweet or as big as some other plants, but their scent does linger for quite some time.
Beyond its mundane usefulness, Creeping Charlie also has a long history of being used in love potions, charms and spells. I wouldn’t know anything about that however.
I hope that this information is useful.
Prof. Norman T. Owen
Department of Nature and Environment
Sources & references used in this article:
Birds select fruits with more anthocyanins and phenolic compounds during autumn migration by JA Bolser, RR Alan, AD Smith, L Li… – The Wilson Journal of …, 2013 – wjoonline.org
The Virginia Creeper Trail Companion: Nature and History along Southwest Virginia’s National Recreation Trail by EH Davis, EB Morgan – 1997 – books.google.com
An evaluation of oak woodland management in northeastern Illinois, USA by JR Laatsch, RC Anderson – Natural Areas Journal, 2000 – naturalareas.org
Toxicodendron Contact Dermatitis: A Case Report and Brief Review. by JOE MONROE – Journal of Clinical & Aesthetic Dermatology, 2020 – search.ebscohost.com