How to Grow Fallopia Russian Vine 'Mile A Minute Plant'

Fallopia baldschuanica known as Russian Vine and Mile a Minute plant is very easy to grow, so easy you cannot stop it growing and can  be invasive. This climber is always described as very vigorous, in reality it can be rampant and hard to control. Ideal if you have a large space or structure you want to cover, but it comes with a gardening health warning as it grows quickly and can easily outgrow it's welcome.

On the plus side, as the images show, it really has lovely delicate flowers and attractive foliage. It is a deciduous climbing plant, which means it is not evergreen and drops its leaves in the autumn. It looks good trailing over walls, see image below. It is very easy to grow, try stopping it; Russian Vine will grow almost anywhere although Fallopia do prefer sun where it will flower best, and with well-drained soil.  It is also tolerant of semi shade, and of poor soil and it is fully hardy down to H7. A rich soil will tend to produce more leaves than flowers. From this you can rightly guess it will grow pretty well anywhere. 

In terms of how to grow Fallopia, it is really a case of plant it and watch it grow. It is self supporting by its tendrils and when newly planted, like all new plants, water it well initially to ensure it does not dry out.   It will grow up to 12m which is around 40ft. Fallopia grows very fast and may smother any other plants in its way.

It belongs to pruning group 11 and can be pruned in the Spring. However, it would be  hard work and optimistic to think it could be kept in check by regular pruning. Its size and fast growth means that it is a climber that you only plant if you really need this type of plant. I once inherited a Fallopia which grew over a not very well maintained out building, into which the vine quickly forced it's tendrils and within a short period of time the building became even less well maintained. The Russian Vine, in common with other vigorous climbing plants, can cause damage to structures. In my outbuilding it forced its way into cracks and did cause some damage. Equally if you have a structure that you want to try and hide, although deciduous, the Russian Vine will quickly do this. It can grow between 3-6 metres (10-20feet) per year. It is a woody climber which once established has very significant roots and  thus not easy to remove if you decided its the wrong plant.

If you inherit a  Mile an minute plant and want to get rid of it there are two basic ways. If you garden organically it is the hard work route, firstly chopping it down and removing all traces. Then you have to dig out the root completely to stop it coming back.  The alternative is to try and kill it with a weedkiller containing Glyphosate, which is found in many weed killers such as "Roundup", and it is likely you will need to re apply several times. Bear in mind as a weedkiller "Roundup" will kill everything it comes into contact with and needs to be used carefully. 

Bear in mind also that it's other common name, is the 'Mile a Minute' plant and not for nothing is it also known as this.

It is tough, trouble free, long flowering and attractive to bees so a lot going for it, but it can be uncontrollable and a very fast grower. 

Still looking for the ideal climbing plant? Take a look at Climbing plants for ideas on all sorts of climbing plants including detailed advice on Clematis. On this and other pages there are images and growing advice for many popular climbing plants such as WisteriaHoneysucklePassion flowerIvy and many more.

Looking to buy Russian Vine? flowering time August/September Crocus the leading on line garden retailer has super Russian vine for sale click below

RHS Award of Garden Merit

RHS Award of Garden merit indicates plants tried and testing by the RHS and are usually good varieties to purchase. The variety F.baldschuanica has the RHS garden merit award. 

Looks good trailing over a wall

fallopia Russian Vine looks good trailing over a wall

Green Wheelbarrrow plant

Green wheelbarrow plant means easy to grow

Green Wheelbarrow indicates that a plant is easy to grow and requires no maintenance

Key Points to Growing Russian Vine

Fully Hardy

Tolerant of all growing conditions 

Very  vigorous, if not rampant

Likely to smother other plants  best grown on its own