The Dutchman's Pipe is one of the most important facade plants -- a twining climber much appreciated for its lush, large, and roof-tile like arranged leaves. It is ideal for high vertical greening as well as for large metal walls/structures, and is also known for its ability to easily hide downpipes and lightning conductors! Apart from regular watering, it requires little maintenance, and pruning is basically unnecessary. We sell two species: (A) is especially good for facades and (B) is better for pergolas and other similar structures.
(Aristolochia durior (macrophylla) and Aristolochia tomentosa)
Sunny (full sun) to shaded position, protection from wind beneficial. Nutrient-rich soil, fresh and moist with regular water provision (especially in sunny positions) to balance the high evapotranspiration rate. These plants tolerate nearly everything, as long as they are watered regularly. Fertilising is beneficial. Aristolochia tomentosa (Woolly Dutchman's Pipe) is hardier and requires less attention. Distance from plant to plant: 1 - 2.5 m
A twining climber, this plant forms dense leaf walls or green roofs, but can also cascade down like a bridal train. A. macrophylla can develop extremely large leaves, A. tomentosa is generally smaller-leafed. Initially, the plant uses its energy mainly for growing new leaves... so yearly new shoots are rather sparse, especially during the first few years. Foliage from May to November. Doesn't look “straggly” in winter, as the sparse new shoots keep their decorative light green colour. The older perennial shoots are light grey. Not susceptible to fungal diseases! The insignificant purplish or yellow-green flowers look a bit like an old-fashioned smoker's pipe and appear in June / July; cucumber- or capsule-like fruit. Prune and thin out every 1-3 years.
Akebias love vertically-oriented climbing aids, with cables that are approx. 30-40 cm apart. Shoots have to be bound by hand on horizontal lines. See below for suitable systems. Choose medium, or preferably heavy / massive cable trellis systems; in the case of potted plants, an easy kit may suffice.