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Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia Creeper

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


One of the most attractive deciduous vines, Virginia creeper provides deep green cover to most any object, rapidly climbing by means of tendrils and adhesive disks. The palmately divided leaflets turn a beautiful scarlet color in fall and the bluish-black berries, usually hidden by foliage, are quite attractive to birds. The seeds germinate readily in the landscape and the plant often becomes weedy.

Full Form - Parthenocissus quinquefolia: Virginia Creeper
Figure 1. Full Form - Parthenocissus quinquefolia: Virginia creeper. 
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS 


Leaf - Parthenocissus quinquefolia: Virginia Creeper
Figure 2. Leaf - Parthenocissus quinquefolia: Virginia creeper. 
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS 

General Information

Scientific name: Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Pronunciation: parth-en-no-SIS-us kwin-kweff-FOLE-lee-uh

Common name(s): Virginia creeper, woodbine

Family: Vitaceae

Plant type: ground cover

USDA hardiness zones: 3B through 10 (Figure 3)

Planting month for zone 7: year round

Planting month for zone 8: year round

Planting month for zone 9: year round

Planting month for zone 10: year round

Origin: native to Florida

Invasive potential: native plant that often reproduces into nearby landscapes

Uses: naturalizing

Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: depends upon supporting structure

Spread: depends upon supporting structure

Plant habit: spreading

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: fast

Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: palmately compound

Leaf margin: serrate

Leaf shape: obovate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: deciduous

Leaf blade length: 4 to 8 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: red

Fall characteristic: showy


Flower color: green

Flower characteristic: spring flowering


Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: less than 0.5 inch

Fruit cover: fleshy

Fruit color: purple

Fruit characteristic: persists on the plant

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable

Current year stem/twig color: brown

Current year stem/twig thickness: thin


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun; plant grows in the shade

Soil tolerances: acidic; clay; sand; occasionally wet; loam; slightly alkaline

Drought tolerance: high

Soil salt tolerances: unknown

Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Virginia creeper can be espaliered against a wall and provides great visual appeal during winter when the leaves have fallen. Stems do not branch readily, so a large number of plants need to be installed to create a dense effect. While ideal for use on buildings or trellises, Virginia creeper should probably not be grown on wood siding. Its tendrils will work themselves between the boards and are difficult to remove. Also, the dense foliage will dry out slowly after a rain, causing a variety of moisture problems for wood siding. It can be established as a ground cover, but the deciduous habit makes it undesirable in the winter.

Growing in full sun to fairly deep shade, Virginia creeper does best on fairly rich soil high in organic matter but will tolerate hot, dry locations.

The cultivar 'Engelmanni' has smaller leaves and denser growth, making it well-suited to small gardens.

Propagation is by seed.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern, but Virginia creeper is occasionally bothered by Japanese beetles.

Publication #FPS454

Release Date:January 11, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS454, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman
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