This twining climber needs a fertile, garden hotspot on a pergola or arch - but once happy it produces clusters of chocolate-scented, wine-red flowers in spring - view from below!
- Position: sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist but well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: March to May
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A very pretty climber, this has beautiful maroon-chocolate flowers which have an exotic spicy fragrance with a hint of vanilla, and appear in spring. They stand out against the bright green, three-lobed leaves, which have a purple tinge in winter. This unusual semi-evergreen climber is excellent for training against walls or up a pergola, and in a warm summer, large sausage-shaped fruit can form.
- Garden care: Prune back after flowering where necessary.
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Q:We live just North of York and would like to plant a Chocolate Vine against a North facing wall. The area is fairly sheltered but will a Chocolate vine be able to cope this far North and against a North facing wallAsked on 4/10/2013 by Ollie from Haxby
it is very difficult to be specific as you may have a sheltered garden, or live in an area that has a milder micro-climate than the surrounding area. If however you have quite an exposed garden, or if your soil remains heavy and wet in winter, I would look for something tougher. I would also recommend finding a sunnier wall for it if you can, as although it will grow in a North-facing aspect, it is not going to flower well unless it gets more sun.Answered on 4/11/2013 by Helen from Crocus
Q:I have one of these, but it didnt flower at all. What can I do to get the best out of it? Its planted through a climbing rose in a mostly sunny aspect.
Thank you.Asked on 3/20/2013 by TS from Manchester
Plants often take a year or two to settle in, as when newly planted, they will often concentrate on putting on root and leaf growth. If yours is well established now (and it is getting plenty of sun, water and nutrients), then you can often give them a bit of a push in the right direction by feeding them with sulphate of potash.Answered on 3/21/2013 by Helen from Crocus
Q:Advice on climbers please
Hi, I need to find climbing plants for the length of a 2m high wood panel fence with concrete posts. I haven't measured the entire length but I would estimate around 15m. It is South facing and on a side of the garden that gets a lot of sun in the summer, the soil is clay and tends to dry out. I have no idea how many plants I would need to cover the entire fence (I am notoriously bad at judging the spread of a plant and always end up with an overcrowding problem). I am looking for something to deter anyone from climbing over the fence, yet ideally something that won't be treacherous to deal with myself (if such a plant exists!). Climbing roses are the first to spring to mind and if I were to go down that route I would definitely opt for white or cream flowers. I have had a look at the white climbing roses on your site but am unsure whether they will be happy in our soil, as you specify 'moist, well-drained' humus rich soil. I would also like to get an evergreen climber for the rear fence (+/- 5m long). I am not concerned whether this flowers or not, and I am less concerned about this being a 'thief-deterrent'. The soil is the same,- lots of clay, which plants seem to like, but it is very hard to work with and dries out easily in the summer. Any advice gratefully accepted! Best regards, HeatherAsked on 3/12/2010 by Thuli
A:Hello Heather, Unfortunately there are no plants that will deter intruders without being difficult to deal with, and the best plants are those with thorns like the roses. It sounds like roses will certainly grow in your soil, but ideally you should dig in lots of composted organic matter and then make sure they are kept well watered in summer. It can be difficult to see a small plant and imagine how big it will grow to eventually, however we do give all this information on each plant card, which hopefully should help. You will find it just to the right of the pictures at the top of the pages. If you click on the following rose, you will see it has an eventual height and spread of 10 x 6 m http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/roses/climber-rose/rambling-roses/climbers/rosa-filipes-kiftsgate/classid.1280/ while this one will only grow to 3 x 2m http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/roses/climber-rose/climbers/climbing-roses/rosa-climbing-iceberg/classid.1181/ I would pick the one you like the look of and then you will be able to establish how many you need to fill your fence. As for the evergreens, if you click on the following link it will take you to our full range of evergreen or semi-evergreen climbers that will grow in clay soils, but the same rules apply re preparing the soil and watering. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/climbers/plcid.15/vid.9/vid.228/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 3/12/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Strange fruit on my plant?
I have a plant in my garden which I planted myself approximately 5 years ago, and I thought it was a Chocolate Cosmos plant( I bought it from your company). This year it grew what I would describe as a 'Pod'. I assumed it would contain seeds and left it on the plant but it has since opened, turned purple, and seems to contain some type of fruit, that is very squidgy to touch? What it is and what I should do with it?! I look forward to hearing from you. LaurenAsked on 9/24/2009 by Anonymous
A:Hello Lauren, This is the inedible fruit of a chocolate vine, Akebia quinata, which are reasonably rare here in the UK as they tend to need a long, hot summer to develop. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 9/25/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Most shrubs, trees and climbers are in full growth at this time of the year, but don’t be in a hurry to put away your secateurs because there are still pruning jobs that can be carried out this month. It’s still not too late to check all plants over for sRead full article