Polygonum Aubertii [pol-ee-GO-num, oh-BER-ee-eye], alternatively known as Fallopia aubertii, Fallopia baldschuanica, and Polygonum baldschuanicum, is a fast-growing vine species of the family Polygonaceae, commonly known as the knotweed family.
The flowering perennial vine species is native to western China and Russia, but has demonstrated invasive tendency and has also escaped cultivation in many other areas.
Grown for its beautiful appearance and fragrant flowers, the plant is known with a number of common names, including:
- Silver lace vine
- Russian vine
- Chinese fleecevine
- Silver fleeceflower vine
- Bukhara fleeceflower
- Chinese bindweed
- Mile-a-minute vine; referring to its fast growth rate.
Silver Lace Vine Care
Size & Growth
Chinese bindweed is a highly-branched twining climber known for its showy and evergreen foliage, fragrant blooms, and aggressive growth.
With the average growth of about 12’ feet in one growing season, the vine can reach up to a total of 30’ feet height by twisting its stems around the fence, wire, tree, or any other nearby object it can hold on to.
The alternately arranged and ovate to spearhead shaped leaves can grow up to 3” to 6” inches long.
Leaves have a reddish color when they emerge in early spring, but turn bright green as they mature.
Stems, on the other hand, are woody and have reddish-green color.
While on one hand, the plant is highly appreciated for its fast growth because it makes a beautiful display, its aggressive growth habit can sometimes be problematic as it can become invasive and take over an entire area.
This makes it nice as a trellis plant but only with regular pruning to maintain the shape. In the right growing conditions, the plant can live for as long as 25 years.
Flowering and Fragrance
The plant produces panicles of small, but showy and fragrant creamy-white flowers in abundance from mid/late summer to early fall.
In some areas, however, the plant continues to bloom till the first frost.
The white flower clusters are white but can have a greenish or pale pink tinge.
The plant makes a wonderful display during the bloom time.
Blooming is followed by the production of small triangular-shaped pink fruits, which are generally inconspicuous but can gather some attraction during the fall due to their color.
Light & Temperature
Silver fleeceflower vine is most abundant in full sun to partial shade.
An ideal site for planting this fleecevine is one where it receives direct sunlight for about 6 hours a day with some afternoon shade.
The vine species is hardy to USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8.
Watering and Feeding
Chinese fleecevine is quite hardy when it comes to its water requirements.
It can easily tolerate both coastal and urban conditions and is also somewhat drought tolerant.
However, it prefers moist soil, so water enough to keep the soil moist.
Fertilize the plant only sparingly.
Soil & Transplanting
Russian vine can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, but prefers a moist and well-draining sandy loam.
It is less likely to spread invasively when grown in poor or lean soils.
Grooming and Maintenance
Since the plant produces flowers on new wood, it responds well to pruning.
While it’s possible to prune the plant at any time, it particularly responds well to winter pruning.
Cut back the plant to about 1” to 3” inches above the ground in late winter to encourage new growth in spring.
The plant also needs to be trimmed regularly to maintain a clean and tidy appearance; since the vine grows aggressively, it can easily get an unkempt and weedy appearance.
How To Propagate Polygonum Aubertii
Silver lace vine spreads by rhizomes and can easily be propagated by rhizome divisions.
Other methods of propagation include growing from seeds and stem cuttings.
Late spring and summer are the ideal time for planting this vine species.
- Treat the cuttings with a rooting hormone before planting and for best results, use a planting mix containing equal amounts of sand and perlite and water it thoroughly before inserting the cuttings.
- Place the newly planted cuttings in a place where they receive indirect sunlight and keep the soil consistently moist.
- The cuttings start developing roots usually within three weeks.
- Once the roots grow a bit, harden off the new plants in a protected outdoor area where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade, before transplanting them into the ground.
- Water the new plants regularly until they are established.
Follow the same directions for growing silver lace vine from seeds.
For best results, however, it is recommended to soak seeds in water, overnight, before sowing them.
Polygonum Pests or Diseases
Russian vine is susceptible to Japanese beetles but is deer resistant.
The flowering vine also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, which also act as pollinators.
The berries of the plant are known to be toxic (and fatal) to not only humans, but also to a large number of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and marine animal species.
Silver Lace Vine Uses
Since it is easy to grow and spreads quickly, silver lace vine is a popular choice for screens, hedges, and creating a buffer and wildlife cover.
It is also widely used on patios, gardens, and pergola structures.
Sometimes, the plant is also grown as ground cover to camouflage old tree stumps, rock piles, and other eyesores in gardens.