- Type Vine
- Lifespan Perennial
- USDA Zones 4-8
- Light Sun or shade
- Soil Well drained
- Growth Vigorous
- Design Tip Curb appeal
- Other Uses Hide ugly walls
- Peak season Scarlet in autumn
Boston Ivy: A Field Guide
Boston ivy is a well-behaved climber, with vines that won’t destroy your masonry or cause cracks in the facade of your house.
Not a true ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata belongs to the same Vitaceae family as grape vines and loses its leaves each winter (after turning a spectacular red color in autumn). For more of our favorite vines to cover Facades & Exteriors, see our guides to Creeping Fig, Jasmine, and Ivy.
It takes Boston ivy five or more years to reach maturity, at which point the climber’s vines may be 30 feet high. Its deciduous nature means that after its foliage cloaks a facade in coolness during summer months, in winter its bare black vines will allow sunlight in, to warm up the place.
If you’re ready to experiment with perennial vines, read more in 9 Ways to Create Curb Appeal with Flowering Vines and Climbers.