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Akebia

Very healthy climbing plant. Much appreciated for its delicate leaves and long lasting foliage. Low-maintenance, almost no pruning necessary. Can be used for a variety of facade planting applications; ideal for high greening, drainpipeslarge plant walls, canopies/galleries and so on...                      

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Also known as "chocolate vine," "five-leaf chocolate vine," and "five-leaf akebia" (Latin: Akebia quint // Akebia trifoliata).

Akebia Flowers

Requirements

A sunny to (semi-) shaded location, warm, and preferably protected from wind. Nutrient-rich, sandy-humid, well-drained soil with regular water provision. Distance from plant to plant: 1 - 2.5 meters. >>> Price

Characteristics and Pruning

This twiner's initial growth is rather slow, but with care will display dense foliage after 2-3 years, and can grow up to 10 m in height; also has an overhanging (cascading) growth habit. Ground runners can compensate for the bare lower area. A good watering regime and relatively mild weather will ensure that the foliage will last well into winter. In warmer climates, (for example, wine-growing regions), the plant is semi-evergreen. Has red-brown flower tufts/clusters in early spring, only visible at close range. The bizarre, edible fruit develops - if at all - only in the warmer wine-growing regions. Cut every 2-3 years to thin out; occasional rigorous pruning of single shoots in early spring will stimulate new shoots in the base area.

Climbing Aids for Akebia

Use a wire rope system with vertical lines that are about 25 cm apart from each other. With horizontal lines, it would be necessary to interlace the shoots into the trellis by hand. See the bottom of the page for suitable cable systems. Use medium or preferably heavy or massive cable systems for high greening areas. Easy and light systems are good for potted plants and/or small areas.

Appropriate wire rope systems?

Please click the icon to see the full suitability chart

Akebia quinata in spring, Potsdam / Brandenburg, Castle garden Sanssouci
Akebia quinata as potted plant
Akebia on wire rope with intermediate mounts/anchors
Akebia on trellis cables, townhall in Lichtenberg / Bavaria

Greening Facades with Akebia

Pictures of facades with akebia quinata.

Small wall trellis with akebia
Akebia on a wooden trellis
Akebia on a facade
Chocolate vine on the corner of a house
Akebia on an industrial building
Twiner akebia quinata on a 'WBS-70' (slab construction from 1970s East Germany)
Small akebia on a half-timbered house
Greened drainpipe flanked by vertical wire ropes
Chocolate vine (A. quinata) on a house entrance
Small chocolate vine (Akebia quint), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Building greening with akebia and other twiners on an apartment complex, Leipzig / Saxony
 

What else can be greened with akebia?

Balconies, pergolas, posts / masts and other 'objects' (like fences) can be greened with the 'chocolate vine'... 

Akebia on the post of a balcony
Akebia on balcony posts with wire ropes
Akebia climbing a trellis net on a wooden post
Balcony-greening with akebia
Greening of a wooden pergola with akebia
Steel pergola with akebia
Fence with choclate vine
Roofing a rubbish bin site with akebia
Akebia on a free standing garden arch
 
 
 

Botanical Features

Here you can see akebia's leaves, fruits, blossoms, autumn-colouring, appearance in the winter months, and her budding in spring.

Leaves of akebia quinata (five leaved)
Leaves of akebia trifoliata (three leaved)
Blossoms of five-leaved akebia
Blossoms of three-leaved akebia
Half-ripe fruits of akebia quinata
Ripe fruits of akebia quinata
Trunk of an old akebia; such strong single stems are unusual
Autumn colouring of the leaves is rather rare
Lasting frost makes akebia drop its leaves
Akebia with buds in spring
 
 

Suitable Wire Rope Systems for Akebia

Please click on the graphics for details!

suitable             = of limited suitability             = unsuitable