The Aristoloche, commonly known as 'Dutchman's Pipe,' is one of the most important facade plants -- a twining climber much appreciated for its remarkably lush, large, heart-shaped 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 is fairly low-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
Pipe vine needs a sunny (full sun) to slightly shaded position, protected from wind, and nutrient-rich soil, fresh and moist with regular water provision (especially in sunny positions) to compensate for the high evaporation rate. These plants tolerate nearly everything, as long as they are watered regularly. Fertilising is beneficial. The small-leaved aristolochia (aristolochia tomentosa / 'woolly Dutchman's pipe') is hardier and requires less attention. Distance between plants: 1 - 2.5 m
A twining climber, this plant forms thick leaf walls or canopies, 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! Dutchman's pipe won its name to its oddly-shaped purplish / yellow-green flowers that resemble an old-fashioned smoker's pipe; they appear in June / July, with 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 axes. See below for suitable systems. Choose medium, or preferably heavy / massive cable trellis systems; with potted plants, an easy kit may suffice.