Need advice re. five-leaf akebia vine

noplacelikehomeforsureMay 2, 2009

Two or three years ago I planted four of these vines against my backyard fence, on square trellis work mounted on the fence.

They have grown well but have tended to grow upwards but not enough off to the sides, They have now reached the top of the fence with nowhere to go, and are twining through the lattice panel and climbing along the top of the fence.

I don't want them to be a nuisance to my neighbour at the back, although she has assured me that she is quite happy with them. Maybe she is just being nice! What do you think?

It was my intention for them to cover the trellis lower down and across, as well as upwards, but they seemed to have a mind of their own and took off so fast, mostly upwards, despite my careful tying up and encouragment! And of course the stems are now very strongly twined around the trellis.

Would you advise me to prune them back to about a third or quarter of their height and try again to encourage the new growth to twine sideways on the trellis. There are quite a lot of new tender shoots appearing from the base as well which I will try to train out to the sides when they are long enough.

I have started working on one of them, pruning the higher growth and trying to pull as much of it through to my side, so as not to have my neighbour dealing with dead branches, but thought I had better ask for advice before I go any further.

Sorry this is such a long-winded post!

I had this plant at our last house, just one. I loved the way it looked and it was not a problem at all. However it was in a much shadier location, and covered an eight foot wide area beautifully.

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That seems to make sense. This vine reaches upwards naturally towards the sun and it's likely to be more top heavy than bottom.

It's best to try to control this vine before it takes over your neighbor's side of the fence and I don't see why you shouldn't prune this vine back. It will definitely encourge more growth. You can also help train the branches if these are still maleable by trying tying them down to the trellis.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:13AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Yes, this vine wants to grow up so if you want it to grow horizontally you will have to tie it in, also it grows towards the sun, keep this in mind. When I planted mine on an arch when it reached the top it kept growing back on itself so I had to plant another on the other side of the arch. I let them duke it out when they reached the top. This is a vine that layers easily as you will find out if any part of it grows along the ground. Another thing worth mentioning, you can find if you look hard enough, Akebias with either purple, rose or white flowers and there are also two variegated forms, one gold, one silver and of course the flowers are scented.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 3:55PM
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Hi Annette:

I know we live in the same general area (I am on Kingscote Road in Cowichan Bay). I am currently the president of the Cowichan Valley Garden Club so we may know some people in common. Do you have said akebias above (variegated, etc)? I would appreciate the opportunity to trade something, my wife loves vines.


Here is a link that might be useful: Our website

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 7:53PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

MG... Besides the regular I just have a start of the silver variegated at present, I will gladly share if and when I get it growing, have the golden but it reverted back to plain green (that is if it comes back). This past winter really hit my garden hard, I lost a lot. I got my Akebias from a gal in Nanoose, she usually has a table at the Nanaimo Rhodo Society sale every year.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 10:58AM
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