Polygonum baldschuanicum, or Russian vine, is about the fastest-growing climber in captivity. It can put on 4.9m (16ft) in a season, and cover a small house in a couple of summers.
Most polygonums are herbaceous plants but one, Polygonum baldschuanicum, is a very vigorous climber capable of ascending to the top of a tall tree or completely covering a sizeable outbuilding with its twiningwhich erupt into foaming cascades of creamy-white or pinkish-white blossom in late summer and early autumn It will grow in most soils in sun or semi-shade and is very useful for quick cover of an unsightly building, though it loses its effectiveness as a screen in winter as it is deciduous. If it strays too far, as it often does, it can be cut back in winter.
The problem is keeping it in captivity, since it is rampant and invasive, getting into wall cavities and roof spaces unless kept in strict control, and it will climb easily to 12m (40 ft) or more.
General care: Plant in March. Some care of the young plant is needed, including twiggy support to start it climbing, andthe leading shoots to encourage side growth, but once it is established all the Russian vine needs is controlling. P. multi-forum should be planted in a pocket of good soil.
Propagation: Take semi-hardwoodin August and them in a 50-50 mixture of sand and peat.
Pests and diseases: Generally trouble-free, althoughmay attack the young shoots and should be sprayed with malathion.