Despite its name, Boston ivy is not native to Boston but native to eastern Asia. This deciduous vine is often used to cover brick walls and other hard surfaces of old universities buildings or famous ball fields. Dark green leaves turn a brilliant red in the fall.
- Deciduous (foliage falls off)
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Dry sites
- Occasional drought
- Clay soil
- Acid soil
- Alkaline soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
Tree & Plant Care
A fast growing, deciduous, woody vine that typically grows 30 to 50 feet high. It is a vigorous climber that uses tendrils and clings to surfaces with holdfasts.
Best grown in average, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of full shade, but best fall color occurs in sunny locations.
This species has shown some invasive tendency in naturalize areas or when minimally managed in cultivation.
Disease, pests, and problems
Attaches to a building or wall, but difficult to remove and will damage painted surfaces and leave residues.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Deer, drought, and black walnut tolerant
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to eastern Asia, Japan, Korea, and eastern China.
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Birds are attracted to the blue-black fruit
Bark color and texture
Squarish tan stems with prominent, vertically arranged lenticels
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Leaves are alternately arranged, 4 to 8 inch wide, simple 3-lobed leaves with serrated margins.
Glossy green in summer turns a reddish purple in fall
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Greenish-white flower panicles in June; not ornamentally important
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Bluish-black fruit on red pedicles ripens in September often persisting into winter