Its popularity is also due to the fact that the wild wine is very fast-growing and turns a wonderful red color in autumn. It is therefore hardly surprising that the self-climbing maiden vine is the most common climbing plant alongside ivy. The blue, small berries that appear in autumn are inedible for humans, but they are in great demand by birds. The genus also includes the common virgin vine, which, however, needs a climbing aid.


Wild wine needs a sunny to partially shaded location that is as sheltered from the wind as possible. Without enough sunlight, the beautiful scarlet autumn color will not appear. Therefore, the south side of the house is the ideal place for planting. If the virgin vine is to climb a house facade, the walls must first be carefully examined for cracks or other damage, because the shoots can penetrate there and cause serious structural damage. The following care instructions should be observed:

  • nutrient-rich and moist potting soil;
  • Soil should be well drained and loamy;
  • the best time to plant is early spring;
  • Planting distance at least 2 meters;
  • Planting in autumn is also possible;
  • tie up young plants;
  • water regularly;
  • fertilization is not necessary.

With the small adhesive discs on the shoots, the wild wine clings to the wall or the trellis and climbs relentlessly upwards. Targeted pruning is therefore essential to keep the lush growth under control.

Planting wild vines properly

A mild day in late fall or spring is the best time to plant the young vines. Since the soil near house walls is usually not particularly rich in nutrients, it should be enriched with good garden compost and some horn shavings. If the young plant was bought in a pot at the garden center, a planting hole is first dug that is at least twice as large as the root ball. The excavated earth is mixed with some compost and a handful of horn shavings. After the bottom of the planting hole has been loosened up a little with a digging fork, the young plant is inserted and covered with the substrate, which is lightly trodden into place. Finally, the whole thing is poured on well so that the fresh roots grow well. It is planned to plant a second plant of wild wine, the distance should be at least 2 meters. If you want to force the lateral branching a little, you can break off the tip buds of the vertically growing shoots.

To cut

Depending on the variety, wild wine grows 1 to 2 meters annually. Depending on the visual appearance that the hobby gardener is aiming for, it may be necessary to prune the climbing plant as early as the summer. This is not a problem either, because wild wine is easy to cut. However, the adhesive platelets can sit very firmly on the masonry. In this case, a gas burner can be used where it is advisable without causing damage. If a cut is necessary in summer, it should not be overlooked that there may be bird nests in the vegetation. If wild wine is not cut regularly, it can cause serious structural damage. Therefore, roller shutter boxes, gutters, drainage pipes and roof shingles should always be kept free of the shoots of this climbing plant. A wall completely overgrown with wild grapevine rarely looks attractive. If, for example, the vegetation is only allowed up to half the height of the facade or if certain parts of the wall are repeatedly cut free, this appears much looser and less oppressive. As part of the cutting measures, it should also be borne in mind that the densely growing wild wine is a welcome home for insects of all kinds and that spiders are an ideal climbing aid. Hobby gardeners who settle at their Wilde Wein house should perceive the chirping sparrows, which like to nestle here, as the music of nature and not as annoying constant sound. Experts strongly advise against growing the wild wine up to the roof, because the strong shoots lift the roof tiles and destroy the entire roof structure in the long run.

Propagate via cuttings

Woody cuttings that are around 25 cm long and have 3 to 4 eyes are the easiest method of propagation. Without much effort, they are cut from the mother plant in autumn and halfway into the ground at their new location. Ideally, some compost has been added to the soil beforehand. Don’t forget to pour on and let nature do the rest of the work. Since the cuttings are not yet hardy in the first year, they should be protected from frost with leaves, brushwood or sackcloth. Alternatively, the cuttings can first be grown in the house in a plant pot over the winter before moving to their final location in spring.


The method of propagation by subsidence is also straightforward to carry out. For this purpose, long shoots are fixed in the ground in autumn by covering them with earth and possibly weighting them down with a stone. By autumn of the following year, they have developed roots that are so strong that they can be separated from the mother plant and planted in a new location.

Wild wine combats powdery mildew itself

In some of the world-famous wine-growing regions of Germany, powdery mildew and downy mildew are a dreaded plague that is fought with costly means. Vineyards with real vines are sprayed with pesticides more than 10 times a year to fight the parasite. Scientists have found that the wild wine itself developed a method to get rid of powdery mildew. The fungal pest normally penetrates through cracks in the leaves, which it discovers through the release of the metabolite nonanal. Numerous varieties of wild wine have started to exude nonanal en masse in order to disguise the true locations of the stomata. The scientists now want to use this knowledge to give real wine a boost, also their own,

Diseases and pests

Even if powdery mildew and downy mildew are rarely used in wild wine, other pests can still settle there and spread diseases:

If the leaves wither without warning and entire shoots die off, although all care instructions have been followed, it can be assumed that the Verticillium wilt has struck. This is a fungal disease that spreads from the ground in the water ducts of the wild wine and clogs them. Effective means of control have not yet been discovered. For hobby gardeners who want to beautify a facade with this attractive climbing plant, this plant disease is an absolute disaster, because all parts of the wild wine must be removed, including the soil. For prevention, it is therefore of the utmost importance that the roots are not damaged during planting and care and that the optimal culture conditions are observed.

The pests themselves are a maximum of 5 mm in size. The infestation can be recognized by the white webs that surround the infested leaves. The lice suck the sap from the leaves and let them die. A solution of 15 ml of pure soft soap, 1 l of water and 1 tablespoon of alcohol, which is sprayed onto the affected areas for several days in a row, has proven to be an effective biological antidote.

Other diseases and pests can only be found very rarely in wild grapevines. If problems arise, the site conditions should first be examined and any deficiency symptoms corrected.

Popular varieties

Wild grapevine belongs to the botanical family of grapevines and is very popular as a climbing plant because the deciduous foliage turns a deep red or purple in autumn before it is shed. Below are some of the most popular varieties:

Parthenocissus quinquefolia ‚Engelmannii‘

  • fast climbing
  • deciduous leaves
  • gold / red color in autumn
  • grows up to 6 m high

Parthenocissus tricuspidata ‚Veitchii Purpurea‘

  • climbs up to 15 m
  • Foliage is red when it shoots
  • then slowly turns dark green
  • trilobed leaves

Star Showers Quinquefolia

  • white-creamy-green leaves
  • Autumn color red or pink
  • navy blue fruits
  • annual growth 1 m

Parthenocissus tricuspidata „Green Spring“

  • grows up to 15 m high
  • yellowish-green flowers
  • blue-black fruits
  • hardy

Troki Quinquefolia

  • Polish variety
  • grows to a height of 20 m
  • large, glossy green leaves
  • very frost-resistant
  • up to 2 m growth per year

The varieties presented are all winter hardy; but not from the first year. Young wild wine plants should receive winter protection in the form of a thick layer of mulch or leaves or a linen sack that is pulled over.

Risk of confusion by name with wild grapevine

The wild grapevine is a subspecies of the real grapevine. The wild grapevine is a branching, woody plant that does not have the ability to climb. Also, the green foliage does not turn as deep red in autumn as that of the Wild Wine. In contrast, the fruits of the wild grapevine are edible for humans, even if they are no more than 10 mm in size. In Germany and Austria, the wild grapevine is threatened with extinction because it offers no real incentive for hobby gardeners to cultivate it.

Fall protection for self-climbers

Even climbing plants such as wild grapevine or ivy are always threatened by a crash caused by strong winds or storms. Especially when no climbing aids have to be installed, as is the case with the virgin vine, it is very annoying for the hobby gardener if the facade decoration falls. This can be prevented by using fall protection in the form of rope systems. It is often sufficient to attach the main trunk with eyelets that are 1 cm to 3 cm away from the wall. Alternatively, the main trunk can be attached using straps, for example if, after a facade renovation, the time has to be bridged until the shoots of the climbing plant have found enough support again. There are various ready-made kits to choose from in stores, so that there should be something suitable for every type of wall.

Wild wine is one of the most popular climbing plants to naturally embellish facades, fences, pergolas or gazebos. This climbing plant not only scores with its dense and fast growth, but also with the deep red autumn color of the foliage. Although wild wine is extremely easy to care for, regular cutting should not be neglected, otherwise it will gain the upper hand, which in the worst case scenario can lead to considerable structural damage. In adulthood, the climbing plant is hardy to -25 ° Celsius. Young plants, on the other hand, still need some protection from the frosty temperatures. If the site conditions are right, diseases and pests hardly stand a chance. Wilder Wein has even developed its own method to combat powdery mildew.

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