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The Akebia quinata is a semi-evergreen climbing plant, native to China, Japan and Korea. The thin, flexible stems, green-brown in color, have rapid and vigorous growth, and can be made to develop on walls or mats, or leave on the ground, using the plant as a thick ground cover. The leaves are palmate, dark green, opaque and waxy, divided into five small oval leaves, sometimes elongated; generally the new leaves are reddish in color. In spring it produces numerous flowers of purple-brown, trilobate, delicately scented, which often sprout in bunches, remaining hidden among the leaves. In summer the flowers are followed by fruits: small roundish, flattened pods, which contain a soft pulp, with countless small seeds. This ground cover can become a pest if it is not pruned constantly.
The Akebia quinata specimens, in order to have the best possible growth, must be planted in full sun; this plant also easily supports the half shade and develops even in complete shade, where it produces few flowers. The akebia they are rather rustic and resistant plants and do not fear the cold; the specimens of this variety can withstand even very cold winters without the need for special protections or mulching; It is important, however, to use mature manure during the winter to fertilize the plant.
the young plants of Akebia quinata should be watered regularly, at least for the first two to three months after planting; later it is sporadically watered: these creepers can easily withstand short periods of drought and usually settle for rain. For a more abundant flowering, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, from February to April, mixed with the water used for watering, every 10-15 days.
To obtain a luxuriant and healthy growth it is good to place the plants belonging to this genus in a rich and deep, very well drained soil; if desired it is possible to prepare an ideal substrate using two parts of balanced soil and a part of river sand washed. The akebia they are often grown in a container, it is good to remember in this case to use very large pots, to allow the plant an adequate root development; in this case it is advisable to proceed with the repotting of the specimens with a biennial frequency, to allow the roots of the plant to have sufficient space.
The multiplication of Akebia quinata occurs by seed, in spring; in late spring it is possible to take semi-woody cuttings, which must be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts.
Akebia quinata: Pests and diseases
The specimens belonging to this specific variety usually have a high rusticity and resistance and, for this reason, these plants are generally not affected by pests or diseases. For greater caution it is possible, before the flowering period, to proceed with a broad-spectrum treatment based on plant protection products that guarantee greater protection and keep the plants healthy.