Akebia quinata, commonly known as Chocolate Vine, is a perennial that is sometimes vigorous to a fault. However, we tend to forgive the faults of things with "chocolate" in their names, and this vine is no exception.
Chocolate Vine gets its moniker from the rich purplish-brown blooms that smother the vine, and from the delicate chocolate scent of the flowers. Chocolate-scented flowers are unusual, especially in the form of hardy perennials, so this one attribute may endear you to this flowering vine.
Plant the Chocolate Vine in the spring or fall, in average well-drained soil. If you wish to grow the fruits, plant at least two vines to increase the chances of pollination and fruiting.
You can propagate the vine through softwood cuttings if you only have one plant. Provide weekly watering until vines are established, then water during periods of drought so that plants get at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water per week.
Chocolate Vine is a light feeder, and doesn't require supplemental flower fertilizer. You can provide trace nutrients for vines growing in poor soil by mulching with compost or well-rotted manure.
Akebia quinata will climb on supports or scramble up to 40 feet (12 m). Because of its vigorous growth habit, many gardeners prune the Chocolate Vine back to ground level in late winter to keep it in check. You can also lightly prune the vine to help it look tidy after flowering.
Practice good stewardship of the land by not allowing Chocolate Vine to escape your landscape into neighboring woodland areas. In some areas it has displaced native plants with its dense vegetation. The vines have the potential to choke out small trees when left untended in wild areas.
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