Parthenocissus quinquefolia is a deciduous, woody vine that is commonly known as Virginia creeper. It is native to eastern and central North America south to Mexico. It occurs statewide in Missouri, typically being located in open areas of ravines, valleys, rich woods, thickets, rocky bluffs, hillsides and fencerows. This is a vigorous tendril-climbing vine that will rapidly grow to 30-50’ long or more. It also will creep along the ground as suggested by the common name. Compound-palmate leaves (usually 5 saw-toothed leaflets, each leaflet to 6” long) emerge purplish in spring, mature to dull green in summer and change to attractive shades of purple and crimson red in fall. Greenish white flowers in late spring to early summer appear in the upper leaf axils. Flowers give way to blue-black berries (to 3/8” diameter). Birds eat the berries.
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year.
- Place the seeds in a plastic bag and seal it. Store the bag in a refrigerator for 2 months.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Fill a pot with a mixture of half potting soil and half sand or vermiculite. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Sow the seeds on the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the container and leave it to drain.
- Put the pot in a warm, sunny area.
- Water the pot regularly so that the soil is moist but not wet.
- The seedlings can be transplanted when they are a few inches tall.