How to Overwinter Akebia quinata

The Akebie or climbing cucumber (bot. Akebia quinata) comes from East Asia. As a tropical plant, it is only conditionally hardy. So far the attractive climbing plant with its fragrant flowers and edible fruits is not very widespread yet.

Can I cultivate an Akebia quinata in a bucket?

Not frost hardy plants are often cultivated in tubs so that they can easily be brought into winter quarters. This is also possible with the Akebia quinata. However, you should consider the rather fast and massive root growth and choose a correspondingly large plant pot.

Does my Akebia quinata need protection from frost?

Since the Akebia quinata is not really frost resistant, it needs a winter protection. In a mild area, a layer of leaves, brushwood or bark mulch over the root ball is sufficient. Here her Akebia remains green even in winter. If you live in a harsher region with long cold winters, it may even be necessary to move the Akebia to a frost-free wintering area.

How do I maintain my Akebia quinata in winter?

During the winter your Akebia quinata does not need any fertilizer. Only in March or April should you give additional nutrients again. A protection against cold winds is recommended in any case, also the winter sun can harm your Akebia in excess.

However, it is a mistake that plants do not need water during the hibernation period. Moisture evaporates through the leaves and without water your Akebia dries up. However, you should only water on frost-free days, otherwise the liquid will freeze before the plant can absorb it.

How does the Akebia react to late frost?

The Akebia quinata sprouts its buds very early and often flowers in April. At this time, late frosts can often be expected and the ice saints in May are still to come. It can happen that the flowers freeze to death and no fruit can be expected.

The most important thing in a nutshell:

  • hardy due to winter
  • remains mostly green in mild winters
  • cultivation in tub possible
  • Protect root bales from frostbite
  • protect from cold wind and full midday sun
  • flowers already in April
  • bloom late frost endangered


The Akebia quinata tolerates frost only for a short time, a sufficient winter protection is strongly recommended.

Text: madeleine