Virgin vine (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

The virgin vine is a very easy to care for climber

There are climbing plants that are spectacular, and there are others that are also very easy to care for, such as the one known by the scientific name Parthenocissus tricuspidata. It is a plant that can reach impressive heights if you have a hand, making it one of the most interesting to plant next to the facade of the home.

Its maintenance is so simple, that it is ideal for everyone: both for those who have no experience caring for plants and for those who do.

Origin and characteristics

The virgin vine is a fast-growing climber

Our protagonist it is a deciduous climber (loses leaves in autumn-winter) whose scientific name is Parthenocissus tricuspidata, although popularly it is called virgin vine. It is native to East Asia, specifically Japan, Korea, and South and East China. Reaches a height of 30 meters, and develops very thin stems from which lobated and alternate leaves arise with a size of between 8 and 15 cm, as well as tendrils with suction cups at their extremities that help them to hold on well to surfaces.

The flowers are grouped in clusters and are greenish in color. The fruit is a kind of dark blue grape measuring 5-10mm in diameter.

What are their cares?

The virgin vine in autumn turns a spectacular red

If you want to have a copy, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:

Location

La Parthenocissus tricuspidata It is a plant that has to be placed outside, either in full sun or in semi-shade. Now, you have to know that in the sun the variation of colors in autumn is more remarkable.

Earth

It can be both in a large pot and in the garden:

  • Flower pot: universal growing substrate. You will find it for sale here!.
  • the garden: it is indifferent as long as it has good drainage. It grows well even in limestone soil.

Irrigation

The frequency of irrigation will vary greatly throughout the year: while in summer you will have to water often, during the rest of the seasons you will not need to worry so much about this issue. Because, I recommend checking the humidity of the soil before giving it water, since the excess of irrigation is one of the most frequent problems of the cultivation of plants. How do you do that? Very easy. Just do a few of these things:

  • Using a digital moisture meter: to be effective, you must introduce it on both sides of the plant.
  • Introduce a thin wooden stick (like the one they give in Chinese restaurants): if it comes out clean, you will have to water as the soil will be dry.
  • Dig 5-10cm around the plant to see how well the soil really is.: if the earth is darker in color at that depth than at the surface, it means that it is humid.
  • Weigh the pot once watered and again after a few days: If you notice that it weighs little or almost nothing, water.

Anyway, to give you an idea, it is advisable to water it about 3 times a week in summer and every 4 days the rest of the year.

Subscriber

The manure guano powder is very good for the virgin vine

Guano powder.

From early spring to late summer with ecological fertilizers, once a month. Another thing you can do is use chemical fertilizers for green plants following the indications specified on the product packaging in alternate months; that is, one month organic fertilizers and the next this chemical fertilizer.

Multiplication

La Parthenocissus tricuspidata It can be multiplied by seeds in autumn (they need to be cold before germinating) or by cuttings in late summer. Let's see how to proceed in each case:

Seeds

The seeds they have to be stratified before. This means that if you live in an area where frosts occur, you can plant them directly in pots and let nature take its course, or you can artificially stratify them by following this step by step:

  1. The first thing you have to do is fill a transparent plastic tupperware with a lid with vermiculite (you can get it here!) previously moistened with water.
  2. Next, place the seeds and cover them with a thin layer of vermiculite.
  3. Then sprinkle a little sulfur or copper to prevent the appearance of fungus.
  4. Finally, put the tupperware in the fridge (where the cold cuts, eggs, etc.). Do not forget to take it out once a week and open it so that the interior air is renewed.

After three months, it will be time to plant them in a pot, outdoors. A) Yes will germinate throughout the spring.

Cuttings

The virgin vine can be multiplied well by hardwood cuttings (from the previous year). You just have to cut a piece of about 40cm, impregnate the base with homemade rooting agents and plant it in a pot with previously moistened vermiculite.

It will root in 3 weeks or so.

Pests

The spider mite is a small mite that affects the virgin vine

It is very resistant, but can be affected by:

  • Vine flea: both the larvae and the adults eat the leaves. They are treated with chlorpyrifos.
  • Mealybugs: they can be algonous or limpet type (San José louse). They also feed on the leaves, specifically on the sap. They are eliminated with an anti-mealybug insecticide.
  • Red spider: it is a mite that feeds on the sap of the leaves and that weaves cobwebs. It can be controlled with sticky yellow traps.

Diseases

It is sensitive to:

  • Mildew. It is a fungus that causes yellow spots on the upper surface and brownish spots on the underside. It is treated with copper oxychloride.
  • Bold: appears on molasses excreted by mealybugs. It is not serious if the mealybugs are controlled.
  • Rhizoctonia: it is a fungus that rots the roots. Treat with fungicide.

Rusticity

Withstands cold and frost up to -15ºC.

The virgin vine is a very decorative climber

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