Boston Ivy Plant Care


Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) is a creeping deciduous vine. According to Clemson University, the vine is not related to the Hedera species, which compasses most other types of ivy. Boston ivy climbs with tendrils, which means it can hang onto just about anything except smooth plastic. It will climb up brick walls, trees and other wooden structures. Boston ivy will also creep along the ground. In some states, the plant is such a prolific grower that it is considered invasive.


Boston ivy is a temperate climate plant. The vine prefers cool winters and mild summers. For that reason, it only grows outside well in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 4 though 8, according to North Carolina State University.


Boston ivy plants are extremely hardy plants. They grow in conditions ranging from full sun (eight or more hours per day) to full shade (little or no sun exposure). Boston ivy plants are also salt-tolerant and can grow in just about any type of soil, according to the University of Connecticut.


Most Boston ivy plants are sold in containers and transplanted, as the vine does not grow well from seed, according to the University of Connecticut. To plant, dig a hole as large and wide as the roots. Press the plant gently into the soil and back fill the hole with the removed dirt. Water until the soil is thoroughly moist.


While Parthenocissus tricuspidata can thrive even in adverse conditions, it grows best when the soil is kept evenly moist, according to North Carolina State University. Prune the plant often, any time of year, to keep it to a manageable size.


This plant is not susceptible to serious diseases. Boston ivy can suffer from minor fungal diseases such as leaf spot and cankers, which are spread on water in the air and soil. Good air circulation will help the plant avoid these fungi. In addition, do not let standing water develop around the plant. Japanese beetles are a serious problem in areas that suffer from the insect pest. There is not much you can do to avoid or get rid of Japanese beetles save to pluck the bugs off the leaves if your plant is small enough.

Keywords: Boston ivy care, growing Parthenocissus tricuspidata, care of ivy

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.