Native to Central North America from Southern Canada through Mexico to Guatemala, it is a vigorous deciduous climber that uses a pad like suckers to support its climb. It has palmate-lobed leaves, innocuous green flowers followed by blue-berries and beautiful fiery red Autumn colour. Size and Styles: Virginia Creeper makes enchanting small delicate bonsai that have characterful clumps style trunks and cascade styles, it is cherished for its fiery Spring and Autumn Colouring.
Position: Virginia creeper grows in a bright sunny spot, especially if a strong autumn colour is desired. It is a very hardy species and will tolerate extreme cold, but best to protect bonsai in a cold greenhouse if temperatures fall below -4°C, as otherwise, it may suffer from die-back.
Watering: Needs a fair amount of water, and may severely be damaged by drought, often leading to leaf fall and unpredictable shoot dieback. Water thoroughly early in the morning, so the bonsai has it when it needs it, and all standing water is up before nightfall.
Feeding: Feed every two weeks from the end of flowering until Autumn. Use a balanced organic fertiliser. If using a slow-release pelleted feed begin in March, and replenish every two months. With a liquid fertiliser, feed every second week 2 between March and October.
Repotting: Repot every one or two years in Spring. Use a well-draining, rich, organic bonsai mix. Use leaf-mould or bark and loam and sharp sand in equal parts. Alternatively, you can use Akadama and pumice in the ration of 2 to 1.
Pruning: Lets creeper stalks extend fully before pruning back to leave three active nodes or later shoots.
Wiring: Wiring, is traditionally only used, very early in the Virginia bonsai’s development stage when the convoluted curvey trunks lines of the style are formed. After that, all the further bonsai development is carried out with the clip and grow method.