Canadian lives


The Canadian vine (Parthenocissus Tricuspidata) is a plant belonging to the Vitaceae family, as the most common American vine (Parthenocissus Quinquefolia L.) and European vine (Vitis Vinifera); while the first two are ornamental vines, only the European vine is cultivated for the production of wine. The ornamental vines are considered "sterile", that is not suitable for vinification: in fact the name parthenocissus comes from the Greek and means "virgin ivy". The name "tricuspidata" refers to the characteristic shape of the leaf which, as for other vine species, has three ends also called "cuspids".
Its origins are recognized in the areas of North America, although some varieties seem to originate from Asia. With the term Canadian vine, therefore, we mean a family that includes about fifty different varieties, all characterized by the climbing habit of the shrub, which can reach even 15 meters in height and with typical deciduous leaves. The fruits are berries that reach full maturity in late autumn, assuming an intense blue-violet color. As an ornamental vine it is widely used to cover pergolas, walls and natural or artificial structures, thanks to its dense foliage which takes on a characteristic and intense reddish color just before autumn. Growth is lush and fast despite not needing special care or attention, as we shall see; all these features make it a plant of choice with regard to the choice of ornamental climbing plants, both outdoor and, in some cases, indoor.

There Canadian lives well suited to sunny exposures, although it may very well find its habitat in less sunny situations, up to full shade, these conditions which however make the production of flowers and fruits unfavorable, even if, given the characteristic ornamental function of the leaves , does not appear to be an important damage.Well suited to any type of soil, as long as it is rich in organic substances, of which it is particularly greedy; then a good drainage helps the plant to grow more luxuriant.Cultivation practices

Regarding the need for water, the Canadian vine has no special needs: rainwater can be sufficient, even if, especially for those grown in pots, watering must be provided during prolonged periods of drought. In this regard it is worth remembering that plants grown in pots, by their nature, cannot expand their roots deep into the soil, looking for a more humid soil rich in organic substances: in these cases, therefore, it is good practice to intervene more often with watering, even reaching a couple of operations a week in the summer season.
In the same way we must think of differentiated interventions with regards to fertilization: starting from the principle that the Canadian vine needs many organic substances to nourish the long shoots of which it is composed, we will have to foresee several more interventions for those plants grown in pots. In both cases, that is to say the cultivation in soil and in pots, the first fertilization is to be carried out with the planting, burying mature manure at the foot of the plant; this operation can be repeated every autumn, to allow the plant to regenerate and face the winter period and the delicate moment of budding. If you do not have mature organic fertilizer available, you can alternatively use a balanced granular fertilizer: the important thing is that it is a slow release.


From March to October, that is during the growing season, you can expect monthly fertilization interventions: add liquid fertilizer for green plants to the water to be sprinkled, paying particular attention to the nitrogen content, the latter being the main responsible for the development of the foliage, peculiar characteristic for this type of ornamental climber.
The system is executed in the autumn, avoiding particularly cold days: there are no particular differences as regards the procedures to be followed with respect to the choice between the plant in pot or on the ground. The following general rules are suggested:
1. basin of the plant (hole in the ground or pot) at least twice as wide as the bread that contains the roots;
2. at the base place a layer of 3-5 cm of gravel, to ensure good drainage;
3. to the gravel follow a layer of 3-4 cm of mature manure;
4. let the manure follow a layer of soil;
5. place the plant on top of the soil and cover the pot or earthen hole until it is covered; compact it slightly and proceed with a light watering.
Like all vines, the Canadian vine does not suffer pruning, not even the most drastic ones; at least two interventions differ: a spring pruning, which deprives the plant of all those branches that have been damaged by the cold; an autumn pruning aimed at pushing the plant to produce new shoots in the following spring and, consequently, to maintain the shape chosen over time.

In addition to being a climber with remarkable ornamental properties, the Canadian vine has special properties that are exploited in homeopathy and phytotherapy. In fact, the buds of this plant are used to produce macerates, specifically glycerine macerates obtained from the maceration of the shoots. These preparations are used as a remedy for the problems of the osteoarticular system, in practice they are used for inflammations in the arms, legs, bones and joints in general.
Preparations based on Canadian lives have recently been known in homeopathy but many people are using them to remedy small inflammatory disorders such as reading arthritis, spondylitis and other inflammatory phenomena.
To cure ourselves with grapevines we will have to use the drops and take them orally in a different posology depending on the disorder we have and the indications they give us in herbal medicine.