Should I remove Virginia creeper?

Answered by Robert Flynn

When it comes to Virginia creeper, I have had personal experiences with both wanting to keep it and wanting to remove it. Let me tell you about my experiences in order to help you make a decision about whether or not to remove it.

First, let me talk about the reasons why you might want to keep Virginia creeper. One of the main reasons is for its vibrant color and the density of its foliage. When it is in full bloom, the leaves turn a beautiful red color that can add a pop of color to any landscape. Additionally, the dense foliage can provide privacy when grown along a fence or trellis. It can create a natural barrier that blocks the view from the outside.

Another reason to keep Virginia creeper is for its ability to prevent erosion. If you have a bank or slope that is prone to erosion, planting Virginia creeper can help stabilize the soil. Its long tendrils will spread across the ground and create a network of roots that hold the soil in place. This can be especially beneficial in areas where heavy rainfall or strong winds are common.

Now, let’s talk about the reasons why you might want to remove Virginia creeper. One of the main issues with this plant is its aggressive growth pattern. It can quickly take over an area if left unchecked. I learned this the hard way when I planted Virginia creeper along a fence without realizing how fast it would spread. Within a few months, it had completely covered the fence and started to encroach on other plants in the area. I had to spend a significant amount of time pruning and removing unwanted seedlings to keep it under control.

Another reason to consider removing Virginia creeper is its potential to damage structures. The tendrils of this plant can attach themselves to surfaces such as wood, brick, or stone. Over time, this can cause damage to the structure as the tendrils grow thicker and tighter. If you have Virginia creeper growing on your house or any other structure, it is important to regularly inspect and remove any tendrils that may be causing damage.

Whether or not to remove Virginia creeper depends on your specific situation and preferences. If you are looking for a plant that provides vibrant color, dense foliage, and can help prevent erosion, then Virginia creeper can be a great choice. However, it is important to be prepared for its aggressive growth pattern and the need for regular pruning and maintenance. If you are not willing to put in the effort to keep it under control, or if you are concerned about potential damage to structures, then it may be best to consider removing it.