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Home > Types of Plants > Vines-- Climbers & Creepers > Classification of Vines
Classification of Vines
Hardy vines are divided into two or three overlapping classes: those raised for foliage, for fruit, and for flowers.

Virginia CreeperVirginia Creeper, sometimes called Woodbine or American Ivy, is that plant which we see twining around trees and covering the ground in our woodlands. It has five distinct dark green leaves in a group, which enables us to distinguish it from the three-leaved poison ivy. For covering banks, fences or buildings it is excellent, but may become heavy and need thinning out as it becomes older.

It grows well in shade, but being a native of woodland, does best in a moist, loose soil. The Engelmann Creeper is a variety of Woodbine having a different foliage.

Boston Ivy is the quickest and best for growing, without fastening, over masonry walls. It also grows well on frame structures, doing no harm, public opinion to the contrary. It does not do well on south walls in the country farther north. It kills easily by late frosts after it has started to bud; therefore keep it dormant with a mulch if necessary.

Geranium Ivy (Ampelopsis lowi) a variety of the foregoing, has smaller, deeply cut leaves, and gives a delicate tracery on limited surfaces where pattern, not coverage is wanted. English Ivy is sometimes called our most useful vine. It is slower of growth and does not grow well on wooden walls but is too strong a plant to train on trees. In northern sections it must be sheltered from direct winter sun and does best on north exposures. It can be easily propagated as a vine by layering or by selecting cuttings from creeping branches and inserting them in sandy loam.

English Ivy becomes a low-growing shrub, used for hedges without support when cuttings are taken from the flowering portion of the plant. It then becomes Bush English Ivy (Hedera helix aborescens).

If you deprive the shrub ivy of support it will grow about six feet high, but if you wish a good evergreen hedge-effect background, using little space, train the vine variety over a wire netting, being careful to clip the trailing sprays at the ground to keep them from rooting.

It will grow under trees if the soil is broken up with sand, supplied with humus and supported by water and plant food.

Baltic Ivy (Hedera helix gracilis) with small, fine cut foliage, is hardier and makes a satisfactory bank and ground cover.

All ivies are benefited by water, good soil and a mulch of rotted manure or leaf mold. They thrive in rich, moist soil.
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