Akebie, chocolate wine - caring for Akebia Quinata

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Climbing cucumber - chocolate wine - Akebia quinata

The Akebia Quinata is also known under the name Blaugurkenwein or chocolate wine. Their leaves are very filigree and the permanent foliage adhesion makes them a creeper, which is often used. It belongs to the family of Lardizabalaceae and is one of the finger fruit plants. In total, only five species of the genus Akebia have been counted worldwide. It flowers in April to May and the plant is up to 1 m wide and 10 m high. It comes from Asia, is widespread in China, Korea and Japan. When planting, the distance should be about half of the growth width.


As the plant is a tropical and woody plant that also climbs, it needs a sunny to partially shaded spot. There it can unfold in its full height. Since she climbs several times a year, she should be protected, but always keep a warm place.

To cut

Planting can be done in a normal and well drained garden soil. In this area the Akebie is very easy to maintain. If growth in the early months is still very cautious, this is no cause for concern, because usually comes a dense leave of the plant only after 2-3 years to the fore. Then the leaves show up as five divided and hand imparted together. On the top they appear dark green and the underside is tinged blue green. To prevent the balding in the lower part of the plant, it often comes to bottom runners.
A shape cut and the Auslichtung are always necessary in practice. These climbers can be cut back in early spring so as not to risk overgrowing the support. The wiring in the age of the plants makes it necessary to take back the shoots about every 2-3 years. This preserves the base area and does not lose its density.
In the flowering season in spring numerous brown-purple flowers are to be discovered. They are threefold and have a sweet smell of vanilla. As grapes, they stand between the leaves. During the summer months, it develops round but flattened pods containing the seeds. If the plant is to be used to green certain walls or other surfaces, it must be cut back at regular intervals. This will do justice to their tendency to proliferate.

The casting

The casting should be done regularly and abundantly. Also, the temperatures that make up the environment of the plant should not be too low. Then you can enjoy the plant even in the winter. If the plant is installed in a mild climate, the deciduous winter green appears. Since the plant may be resistant to frost, it should be protected. Especially young plants but also Rauslebenorte necessarily require winter protection.


The first flowers appear only after five years. These are then arranged as grapes together. Female flowers are recognizable by their purple-brown color, the males are pink. Male and female flowers are always observed separately. The scent of vanilla meets the environment of the plant. The fruits can be recognized in the months of September and October. They grow up to 15 cm and can even be eaten. This shows her obvious taste to the fore. The leaves are also used as tea.


Climbing cucumber - chocolate wine - Akebia quinata

The soil on which the plant is used should be nutrient-rich and deep enough. Furthermore, a good drainage is recommended. A mixture of two thirds of universal soil and one third of river sand can be used. This can also be done in a pot. However, one should consider the rapid and powerful root development, so the pot should be quite large.


The sowing and propagation of this plant is done via sinkers. Since the fruits contain a large amount of seeds, sowing should be done outdoors in pots from April to May. Then it can be used as a climbing plant or as a hanging greenery. Ideally, the plants are helped to climb when vertical structures can be attached.

Planting and repotting

When planting, care should be taken to ensure that the head has been thoroughly cleaned. Remaining spores of fungi of plants that were foreseen should be removed. Then a piece of pottery shards should be placed over the bottom of the fabric to avoid excessive water loss. If it is a large pot, then a layer of pebbles should be inserted. An alternative is the lining with felt. Under no circumstances should the roots be in the water so they do not rot.
The plant usually needs to be planted every 2-3 years. The removal of the plant in the spring is enough before it drives out. Then the old soil can be removed and the same pot filled up with fresh soil reused.From time to time it can be enough if only the top soil is removed.
If one decides to repot, it should be done in a pot, which has only a small diameter larger than the former. If the roots are already filled up, a relaxation at this time is recommended. This can be done with a sharp knife. This stimulates the growth of the plant again. You should also pay attention to a sufficient margin of one to 2 cm, so that the water can not overflow.

Diseases and pests

In general, no akebia diseases are known. Even parasites do not infest the plant, so it is considered to be extremely resistant.

Care tips soon:

  • It needs a sunny to partially shaded location.
  • The plant should be a bit sheltered from the wind and have a warm place.
  • The Akebie is satisfied with normal, well drained garden soil.
  • In mild winegrowing climate, the foliage is wintergreen. Akebien are only partially frost hardy.
  • In harsh locations and young plants, winter protection is required.
  • The Akebie flowers from April to May. The flowers are clustered together as grapes.
  • The female flowers are purple-brown in color, the males are pink. Male and female flowers are present separately on a plant. The flowers smell slightly vanilla. The fruits ripen from September to October.
  • They are up to 15 cm tall, edible and have a slightly sweet taste.
  • The leaves can be used as tea.
  • The Akebie is propagated or seeded via countersinks. The large fruits contain many seeds, which are sown in pots in the field from April to May.
  • It is suitable as a scaffold climbing plant as well as for the hanging (up to 2 m) greenery. As climbing aids are vertically oriented structures made of round profiles thinner than 3 cm with a horizontal distance from about 25 cm.

Video Board: How To Prune the Akebia Vine (Chocolate Flower Vine).

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