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If you have ever had to deal with a neighbour's overgrown Russian Vine, then I sympathise. Our neighbour thought it would be a good idea to use this plant to cover an old fence. Russian Vine is a fast growing climbing plant that looks lovely, admittedly, but it is SO invasive that once you have it, it takes over the whole garden. I think that if you look after it and keep it well cut-back, it can be of use, but in the case of our neighbours, they planted it and left it and we are the ones having to cut it back when it grows over our fence! The vine is now taking over a huge conifer tree and is about 20ft high!
The only saving grace that this plant has is the lovely white summer flowers. They attract a lot of butterflies and bees, so have their use.
But....if you are thinking of growing this, PLEASE be aware of how fast it grows and how invasive it is.
Personally I think this is a plant to steer well clear of!
I am so jealous!!! Mine is small, straggly, 2 years old, has never flowered and refuses to spread. It just sits there.I was told it was a fast fence cover but mine refuses! Its virtually the same size as I bought it! Where on earth can I be going wrong?
Boris started life in my garden in a large pot by the kitchen door. He grew up a trellis. When he reached the kitchen roof and entwined the guttering, I moved him to the side fence. Manageable? Of course he is, I have some very good shears. He covers my fence and gives me a lovely display of flowers in late Summer.
Just keep pruning and your Russian Vine will reward you. I prune Boris hard each Spring and he doesn't bear any grudges. Not for the faint-hearted but the flowers are a delight.
I've had a Russian vine, in a large plastic pot, for 2 years now. I grows over a trellis around our back door. This plant survives on neglect - it gets the odd bannana peel [all plants like them] & some water whenever I remember but it still lives. I would not plant it out however as I like my small garden as it is. I only planted it as it was an [ill thought prezzie] from my wife. Don't touch it unless you really like heavy work!
Its not that I don't like children. I do...got two of my own. We had these neighbours though, and they had two of their own as well. Their nosiness knew no bounds....I swear they had elasticated necks that could crane round corners! All that separated us was flimsey chain-link fence and since the house was a naval married quarter we were unable to replace the fence with a nice 6' wooden one. We were, however, allowed to plant what we liked. So, in thinking about a solution to unwanted, nosey neighbours from hell we ploughed through gardening books and catalogues to find something that grew fast and vigoursly to provide a screen against prying eyes. The perfect plant leapt out of the pages at us hitting us in the face. RUSSIAN VINE!! We were able to buy the aforementioned plant in our local Woolworths for £2.99. We bought two, one for each end of the fence. And, yes, I have to report that they do live up to their reputation as being just about the fasted growing vegetation this side of a naff horror movie. During the warmer spring and sumer months this 'triffid' grew and spread and grew and spread and grew and spread, covering the fence from bottom to well above the top. To support it we just used gardener's twine and suspended it, washing line style, above the chain-link fence between the house wall and the back wall. Towards the end of summer we had put paid to the nosey neighbours, they now needed a helicopter or something like to take them high enough to see over into ours. And a profusion of pretty and delicatle small white flowers to boot. Goal achieved! Until, the weather turned and autumn began to turn into winter, suddenly we were left with this horrible twisted mess of dead wood. With plenty of space for them to peer in through. Oh, well at least we could hide from them again next summ
er we thought. So we cut it all back and waited for to grow again the following year and hey presto! The damned neighbours moved out! It did grow again, just as profusely as before, but this time we decided to manage the plant so that it just gave a nice summery display of white. It meant a lot of pruning and chopping back but it really was a pleasant site. That was over 10 years ago and I recently had cause to re-visit the area in which we once lived and guess what.....my Russian Vine is still there, its just about at the flowering stage and it covers not just our old fence and back wall, but the whole back walls of the two neighbouring houses as well.
When I was younger I used to "help" my grandfather with his garden and I can remember him planting a climbing plant which he called mile a minute. He loved this plant and I can still see him feeding and watering it lovingly.I used to think that if I stood still I would see it growing,it was so fast.Within a year it had completely covered his shed and was making fast inroads on the dog's run,but he still loved it.He was heartbroken when he had to move into a flat and leave it behind but,he was the only one as the new tenants chopped it down immediately. When I first moved into my present house I needed a climber to cover a shed and fence but remembered grandad and avoided this plant.My neighbours four doors away planted one and I watched with fearful dread as by now I had a garden full of plants that I was quite fond of. My fears were realised within three years as it had rampaged across their fence at the end of their garden and over the next two as well.Luckily I used to tend the garden next door for the elderly tenant and was able to keep chopping it back to keep it at bay. Unhappily she moved out and the new tenants liked the idea of a ready made climber in their garden.At first they trimmed it fairly regularly but this did not last and they did not bother anymore.We kept trying to keep it at bay but,as soon as we cleared it from one plant it almost seemed to go behind our back and try too strangle another. When we went on holiday we feared the worst and,two weeks later we returned to a scene of what seemed like carnage.It had made a two pronged attack and wrapped itself around a weeping cherry and,in the other direction it had twined itself around a large fuchsia a clematis and some smaller shrubs.Be warned this plant gets a tight grip on stems and in trying to get it off the cherry we broke two branches,it has never looked quite the same since.The clematis did not fare so well,it was so tightly bound we had
to cut it down and it never recovered.The fuchsia had to be cut about a bit,it did not like this a lot and refused to flower for two years but,now two years later seems to have recovered. When my daughter moved into her new house three years ago she had a large shed she wanted to cover,and guess what she bought,yes a russian vine.It has covered her shed but strangely enough does not seem to grow very quickly.I wonder if this has something to do with me sneakily chopping bits off whenever I get the opportunity.I hope she never finds out.
My dad bought one as he has a thing about walls, he doesn’t like to see them. I told him they were good, hardy little (well big) plants and had good coverage. They are and they do, but my dad still doesn’t think so. They have little white flowers on them in summer, which attract the bees and wasps, and they grow at a fast rate. It is possible to see how much they have grown in one day! Therefore, they tend to take over a little if not kept in check! Ours looks a bit sparse at the minute, but hey, its winter, give it a chance. I have seen them everywhere and they do get chunky and thick! It just takes a few days first!!
I love nearly all plants,but one I would strongly recommend you to avoid is the Russian vine (Polygonum baldschuanicum to give it it's correct name - according to my gardening book). I was desperately anxious to cover a rather boring and ugly back garden fence in my previous home, so when I read that Russian Vine would do the trick in no time, I thought I would give it a try. I'm not actually sure whether it is this, or Virginia Creeper which is known as mile a minute, but that description certainly applies to Russian Vine. Initially I was rather pleased as the plant was inexpensive to buy (from my local supermarket) and it took off and covered the fence in no time. However,it then proceeded to cover everything in its path including 20/30 ft trees. This plant is virtually impossible to control unless you have the patience to clip it practically daily. It will strangle almost anything it comes across and I am convinced it would dismantle a garden shed in time. Additionally, although it is quite delicate during its flowering period with frothy white flowers and delicate leaves, there are long periods through Autumn and Winter when you are left with long woody strands which are untidy and quite an eyesore. This rather defeats the purpose for buying it in the first place in my opinion. When I moved house,the Russian Vine was in danger of dismantling the back garden fence I had merely wanted to cover and although I haven't been back there since, I do know that it has completely destroyed neighbouring trees as I can see the damage when I have passed by car on occasions. I can't really write a lot here because I never bothered to propogate this plant it was so troublesome and I never purchased another. If you have a really huge eyesore to cover, it will do the trick through the summer months, but I really do not feel it warrants the effort that is needed to curtail it. You have been warne