A highly vigorous, woody-stemmed, perennial climber. It can quickly cover an unsightly item in the garden, self-clinging to most supports to produce thick growth year after year. Not suitable for small gardens.
Botanical Name: Fallopia baldschuanica (syn. Polygonum)
Common Names: Russian Vine, mile a minute climber, China fleece vine, Chinese bindweed
Foliage: Deciduous, heart-shaped, dark green leaves. The young leaves and stems are reddish, later turning green.
Flowers: Massed clusters of tiny bell-shaped white flowers. Followed in autumn by small triangular pink fruits.
Flowering Period: August to September.
Soil: Moist but well-drained, moderate to poor soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.
Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Can be planted in virtually any aspect.
Habit: Spreading, self-clinging.
Hardiness: Hardy in all of the UK.
Plant in early spring and provide climbing support until established. Flowers are usually produced from the second year onwards.
Very easy to grow and not too fussy about conditions. Thrives in any garden soil, even poor soils, in full sun or partial shade.
The flowers are popular with bees and birds enjoy the fruits.
Grow this plant with caution as it can romp away very quickly and become almost uncontrollable. Similar to Leylandii, Russian Vine can cause neighbourly disputes if it encroaches on a nearby property. If you don't have enough space consider growing it in a large container to restrict growth.
Russian vines are deciduous so they lose all their leaves in autumn.
Water container grown plants daily in summer. Feed annually with a low nitrogen, slow release fertilizer.
Prune back hard in early spring to encourage fresh growth. If growth is very vigorous, prune back by one third after flowering to keep in check.
Generally pest and disease free.
Increase by heel cuttings in summer or hardwood cuttings in mid autumn.
Fallopia baldschuanica is a hardy, fast-growing, twining climber that can easily grow 15ft (4.6m) in a year, eventually reaching height of over 40ft (12m). The plant is covered with massed clusters of tiny pink-tinged white flowers in late summer. For sale at Crocus.