This section is from the book "The Florists' Manual", by William Scott. Also available from Amazon: The Florist's Manual.
Although more of a nurseryman's than a florist's plant, there is one species of this most useful genus of hardy climbers that enters largely into the plantsman's trade. We all handle, and some of us largely, that unrivalled climber, A. tricuspidata, so universally known as A. Veitchii. It has many aliases among our patrons, being called the Japanese ivy, Boston ivy, etc. For the covering of unsightly walls, stone or brick barns, and on the most costly mansions if the owner chooses, it has no equal, needing no support of any kind. When first climbing in its early years it assumes most picturesque forms, but whether it is good taste to cover densely the whole front of a fine house is a matter that must be left to the taste of the owner.
Though making but a moderate growth the first two years, it is, when well established, a most vigorous grower and it climbs to the roofs of our loftiest houses. There is a fallacy about its growing only on the south and east aspects, and in one city I heard it stated that it did best on the north side. It will grow on every side of a house, north or south, but should be given a bushel of good soil for a start, and in exposed places some litter over the roots the first year. Millions have been planted in the residence portions of our cities and millions more are yet to be planted as our cities spread out. It is not a suitable climber for a frame house, for the house must be painted and that settles the vine unless you are content to cut it down and begin again from the ground.
Propagation is by cuttings or seed. The cuttings can be put into flats and should be made in September with two or three eyes of the current year's growth. A light loam is a good compost for the cuttings and a shaded bench in the greenhouse is the place. Or, the cuttings can be put at once into the ground in a coldframe. They should be wintered - whether propagated inside or out - in a coldframe and planted out the following spring. Two-year and three-year-old plants from cuttings when planted permanently start off with a vigorous growth. We have raised many thousands from seed. Sow in flats, in February or March. Pot singly in 2 1/2-inch pots and later into 4-inch. If you have vacant benches in July, August and September, with a stake to support them, you can have nice plants by fall. Put them out into coldframes early, so that they can ripen their growth. These plants should be protected in coldframes and can be permanently planted the following spring. These seedlings, however, will be much slower for the first two years than the stronger plants from cuttings.