Virginia creeper is a hardy, resilient, fast-growing, and generally easy-to-grow vine on the Prairies. It is best known for its incredible fall colour. It’s only major drawback is annual infestation by whiteflies. This insect feeds on the leaves, leaving them stippled and sickly, and early defoliation is common. We have successfully controlled whiteflies with insecticidal sprays with appropriate timing. Even if left alone, an established creeper will withstand attack from insects.
We look after a specimen that is 90 years old in Red Deer. it is about 25′ tall and about 4′ thick, with a pretty massive main trunk.
Virginia creeper is most commonly planted on chain-link fences, arbors, and along trellises on houses. They get heavy so they will need sturdy support. They will also get away on you. I’ve had to dig them out of eavestroughs and out from under roof shingles, so keep an eye on them.
Dormancy (so you can see what you’re working on!)
Normally, all that is required is pruning to contain the plants as they grow beyond their desired reach. It’s fine to cut them back as needed, but be careful to follow back the limb that you’re cutting, so that you don’t inadvertently sever a much larger area of branches than you want.
(c) 2017 Shane LePage, Wild Rose Garden & Tree Service Inc., Red Deer, AB