Gardening advice to fight illegal graffiti and tags

Tips on planting Virginia creeper and Boston ivy

  • Dig a hole the same size as your root ball and twice as wide, if possible.
  • When you remove the root ball from the pot, you'll notice that the roots are twisted into spirals that creep up the sides of the pot; cut them in a few places with a sharp tool to break up the spirals.
  • Place the plant at the bottom of the hole.
  • Fill the hole 2/3 deep with mixed soil (potting soil mixed with existing earth in equal proportions). Virginia creeper (parthenocissus quinquefolia) and Boston ivy (parthenocissus tricuspidata) adapt to a wide range of soil types.
  • Flatten the soil to remove any air pockets. To stimulate root growth, add a fertilizer, such as bone meal or another fertilizer where the 2nd digit (phosphorus) is highest (e.g., 4-10-2).
  • Top up the hole with potting soil and flatten a second time.
  • Loosely tie your vine to a stake to allow the plant to attach itself to the wall; it will soon start growing suction cup-tipped tendrils and climbing the wall unsupported.
  • During the first 2 weeks, water the plant regularly, allowing roots to dry out slightly between waterings (about every 3 days). You can then scale back watering to once a week for 3 weeks. Soak the ground to ensure the root ball is thoroughly moistened.
  • Pull out any weeds or prevent them from growing with a layer of mulch (minimum thickness: 2 in. or 5 cm, maximum thickness: 5 in. or 13 cm). Keep the plant's crown free of weeds.

The first 2-3 years will mainly see root growth, after which you will likely see new tendrils (measuring 1 m or 40 in.) sprouting each year.

(Note: Climbing plants can cause dampness, and can damage cracked or broken brick or concrete.)

Planting bushes, shrubs, or rose bushes

You can also plant bushes, shrubs, or rose bushes close to a wall that you want to protect from illegal graffiti and tags.

Since all plants are different, check the diameter at maturity of your bush, shrub, or rose bush, and position the centre of your hole at about the halfway point of the expected diameter. For example, if your new bush is expected to grow to 1 m (40 in.) in diameter, position the centre your hole 50 cm (20 in.) from the wall. This way, once your plant has matured, it will cover the wall, effectively protecting it.

Follow the steps above to plant Virginia creeper and Boston ivy.