Porcelain berry vine proves that beauty mishandled will make an ugly scene, especially in a landscape. There is no denying that this vine is widely known for its distinct berries. However, there are some precautions one must know.
Read on to learn more about this gorgeous but dangerous vine.
Coming from the Vitaceae family, the Ampelopsis brevipedunculata is also known as the porcelain berry vine, porcelain vine, wild grape, and amur peppervine. It is a close relative of the grapevine, which is explained by being a part of the same family.
The porcelain vine is native to countries in Asia, such as Japan, Korea, and Northern Japan. In 1870, landscape art enthusiasts imported the vine and added it to their gardens as an ornamental plant. Naturally, the porcelain vine resides in forest edges, riversides, nearby ponds, and waste areas. These areas prove that this vine can thrive almost anywhere. However, its growth is optimized when planted in areas belonging to USDA zones 5 through 9.
In the eastern parts of the United States, the vine is reported to be an intrusive weed. The porcelain vine can grow as wide as 15 feet in a growing season. In uncontrolled environments, this vine forms a massive forest floor covering and pestering trees and shrubs.
Also, their crawling and twining abilities are enhanced by their tendrils. The vine’s tendrils allow the plant to extend for more than 20 feet in height and 15 feet in width. Also, the woody vine thrives erect, spreading, and climbing, which makes it a very versatile plant.
The porcelain berry vine is a deciduous plant with simple and lobed leaves. Its hairless leaves are arranged alternately on its stems. Moreover, each leaf extends to 3 to 6 inches long.
Unlike the berries, the vine’s flowers are not noticeable. The flowers take an erect umbrella-like form, which is often seen in small clusters. Also, its blooms are green or white with no scent. Summer is the best time to observe these inconspicuous flowers.
Fruit and Seeds
The main attraction for the porcelain vine comes after the blooming season when the fruits are ripe and ready to show. Unlike the flowers, the berries are multicolored, varying from lavender, pink, black, and blue as the fruit matures.
Also, they are oval, slightly succulent, and extend from a fourth to a half of an inch in diameter. Moreover, this plant’s fruits are always erect in stature even if the vine itself is drooping. The best seasons to see these are during fall and summer.
Grow and Care Tips
The porcelain berries are fond of being exposed under the full sun but could also flourish under partial shade.
This versatile vine survives the drought and requires minimal amounts of water. After periods of dry spells, it is best to apply more water.
Temperature and Humidity
The vine flourishes when planted in warm and humid climates. However, it can also survive harsher conditions.
The best planting medium for the Amur peppervine is clay, silt, or sandy soil. It also needs to be moist, porous and has good drainage. Moreover, the vine needs a 12 to 24 feet planting distance from other vegetation. The space allowance will allow the vine to grow and develop without harming other plants.
The application of fertilizer is not necessary as long as the soil is rich in organic matter. However, a bi-annual or quarterly application of slow-release complete fertilizer would benefit all the plants in the landscape.
Pruning the Amur peppervine is an important maintenance activity for landscapes with it. As a potential weed, it is necessary to schedule pruning to ensure the well-being of this plant and other plants around it.
Also, training will do wonders in controlling the porcelain vine. It is vital to provide sturdy and durable supporting structures because the vine can be dense and heavy. Having good support will prevent accidents in the landscape.
The varicolored berries are not only famous to humans but also small mammals and birds. They help the vine reproduce by spreading the seeds. Aside from using the seeds, stem cuttings are also viable planting materials. Both seeds and stem cuttings require a warm and moist environment.
Moreover, porous and well-drained soil will help them germinate or develop a root system with ease. For faster rooting or germinating process, plant regulating hormones may be applied. An example of a plant hormone is auxin, a rooting hormone often used in propagating various plants.
Some Varieties of Porcelain Berry Vine
This variety is characterized by having different foliage with 5-lobed leaves with a deeper laceration.
What characterizes this variety is its more petite and variegated foliage. At its immature stages, the leaves are light green with a subtle hint of pink. It leaves then turn to white and green variegation when the leaves mature.
This variety is differentiated by having more pronounced leaf lobes.
Function In The Landscape
The porcelain vine is introduced in different places for its ornamental value. It is used as a privacy screen and shade by incorporating various structures, such as trellises, fences, and walls. It serves those functions efficiently thanks to its vast growth and board and dense leaves.
Also, the fruits not only bring color to the landscape but also bring ecological activity by enticing small animals and birds. It makes the vertical landscapes more interesting and attention-grabbing.
The porcelain vine is susceptible to Japanese beetles. However, this only happens once in a while, and the vine is resilient to survive some pests.
Aside from having a pest, this vine can also be one. As mentioned above, the porcelain vine is an invasive weed. The Department of Natural Heritage and Flora of Virginia refers to this vine as “highly invasive and troublesome.” It can cause havoc in any landscape, and its berries are poisonous to humans.
Given this threat, there are two ways to control the plant. The first method is by manually uprooting the porcelain vines. This activity should be performed before it reaches the fruit-bearing stage.
Although, this applies to younger and fewer vines. When dealing with an established porcelain berry, cutting the stems and smearing herbicides on the exposed cuts is more efficient.
Another way is by incorporating chemicals along with mechanical control. Systemic herbicides such as glyphosate and triclopyr will help control the weed. Remember to apply the recommended rate to avoid any accidental damage and soil toxicity.
See more hanging vines you can grow.
*image by kariphoto/depositphotos