Virginia Creeper

(Question)

I am a bird lover and plant natives as much as possible.  Virginia creeper is beautiful and the birds love it.  After reading how invasive the plant can be, I was wondering if I could plant in a large container under a pergola or arbor to sort of stunt its growth.  What do you think?

(Answer)

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a native plant that is not considered highly invasive here, just aggressive.  If you plant it in the ground next to your arbour structure, you should be able to control its growth by cutting it back hard every year.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority explains it this way:

“If planted in ideal conditions and left unattended, some native plants may also takeover your garden.  Here is a partial list: Canada anemone, Canada goldenrod, cup plant, evening primrose, fireweed, grass-leaved goldenrod, staghorn sumac, raspberry spp., Virginia creeper, Virginia mountain mint, virgin’s bower, white wood aster and wild bergamot.  You do not need to avoid these plants, but be aware of their tendency to spread.”

In fact, the Canadian Wildlife Foundation recommends planting it for the very reasons that you would like to.  You can read comments on their website at http://cwf-fcf.org/en/discover-wildlife/flora-fauna/flora/virginia-creeper.html