Akébie (Akebia Quinata), A Very Decorative Climber

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Akebia quinata - Apebia, decorative climbing: plantation, cultivation, maintenance

Akebia is a voluble climbing plant with semi-evergreen leaves. With her, everything is decorative, both leaves and flowers. It is very resistant to frost but watch out for the last frosts that can damage the flowers already formed. The leaves are alternate, webate, rounded, cut into 5 leaflets 5 to 8 cm long notched at their end, a medium green on the top and more glaucous below. They become purple in winter.

The flowers are dark purplish purple in color and form drooping bunches with a spicy fragrance. They are monoecious and each cluster bears both sexes. The female flowers give purple fruits, oval, measuring 10 cm long, like sausages. They open naturally and appear then a translucent sticky flesh that is eaten. However, to get some fruit, you need a hot spring followed by a long hot summer too!

  • Family: Lardizabalaceae
  • Type: perennial
  • Origin: China, Japan, Korea
  • Color: purple flowers
  • Sowing: yes
  • Cutting: yes
  • Plantation: spring / autumn
  • Flowering: April-May
  • Height: up to 10 m

Ideal soil and exposure to plant an Akebia quinata in the garden

Akebia needs a rich, fresh, well drained soil that can be siliceous. Ideally, trellised in the West, in the sun, the Akebia will be very good.

Date of seeding, cutting and planting of Akebia quinata

It sows under a cold frame in the spring but above all you can make semi-woody cuttings in summer and marcots in winter.

Planting can be done either in the spring or in the fall.

Board of maintenance and culture of Akebia quinata

You can remove the old twigs during the winter but the true size is done after flowering. Take care to direct the shoots that are not oriented well.

Diseases, pests and parasites of Akebia quinata

There are no specific enemies or diseases to note.

Location and favorable association of Akebia quinata

The Akébia must be trellised on a pergola, an arbor, against a wall, a fence... You can put it in a tray provided that it measures at least 50 cm deep.

There are 5 species but the most commonly grown is Akebia quinata within which you will find Akebia quinata 'Alba' with white and pink flowers, Akebia quinata 'Variegata' variegated foliage yellow and white.

It also exists Akebia trifoliata also called Akebia lobata, which has only 3 leaflets and deciduous foliage.

(Photo: CC BY-SA 3.0, Jeffdelonge)

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