Aconitophylla weinberga

Ambelopsis or vine for vertical gardening by Cottagen

I love ambelopsis – or vines from the Vine family (Vitaceae) among unpretentious perennial vines with beautiful leaves and fruit. Resembling grapes, and that’s how the word “traffic lights” translates from the Greek (traffic light is grape, opsis is similar), they are much more graceful than their relatives.

Ampelopsis aconitolifolia on a stand

Ampelopsis aconitolifolia on a carrier

What are these creeping plants?

They are tank whiskers: they are attached to a support by antennae. Unlike grapes, their fruits are inedible berries, smaller ones that are colored from white to black when ripe, making the liana more ornamental. Plus the bright red leaves, which “burst out” in all grapes with a bright fall fire.

In addition, the leaves on vines can vary from simple to deep. As botanists say, they are variable, changeable. You won’t see their inconspicuous greenish flowers; they are hidden from view by the gorgeous green of the leaves.

Ambelopsis have many advantages

  • They are shade-tolerant and grow best in wind-protected dachas in moist, loose, fertile soils.
  • There is not much care involved in growing them. Some breeders keep the lights without pruning so that they grow as they wish.
  • Others, on the contrary, every summer after flowering or early spring (southern regions) prune the shoots to the desired length and keep the vines in certain boundaries, or rather, contours.
  • Vines are resistant to diseases and pests, so they are grown virtually untreated.
  • Ambelopsis propagates well by cuttings, stratification, and stratified (1-2 months) seeds. When using long single stem cuttings, they are kept in a humid environment for 20-25 days at a low positive temperature, root formation is improved with growth stimulants. Short, 10-12 cm long, stem stem cuttings of spring collection root just as well.
  • Ambelopsis are good for hedges, using supports, decorate the walls of houses (with solid bars), fences, aligned to the south and west.

So here they are, my favorites.

Ambelopsis short-stemmed.

Ambelopsis short-stemmed or short-flowered vine (ampelopsis brevedunculata) is a viable, up to 5 m tall, deciduous liana native to Northeast Asia.

Ampelopsis short stemmed, photo by Anton Papkov

Short-stemmed ampelopsis, photo by Anton Papkov

Leaves wide-oval, 3-5-lobed, 5 to 12 cm long, flowers small, inconspicuous; blooms in July. Berries small, globular, first pink, then blue, 5-8 mm in diameter; Ripens in August-September. Your decorative form ‘Elegans’ (leaves with white marbled pattern) is interesting.

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Ampelopsis short-stemmed form Elegans, photo from Pinterest

Short-stemmed Ambelopsis pen, ‘Elegans’ form, Pinterest photo

The short-stemmed celestial is best used in vertical landscaping in southern regions.

Ampelopsis short stemmed in wall and column decoration, photo by Anton Papkov

Ambelopsis short-stemmed in wall and column decor, photo by Anton Papkov

In central Russia, its shoots often freeze to the floor or to the snow cover and grow back in the spring.

Ambelopsis aconitofolia.

A frost-resistant species and one of the most beautiful is Amelopsis aconitofolia (ampelopsis aconitofolia). It is a viable liana from Mongolia and Northern China, reaching 4-6 m in height.

Ampelopsis aconitofolia

Amelopsis aconitofolia.

The leaves are very beautiful: 3-5-lobed, up to 12 cm long. Flowers are simple, greenish, aggregated in small apical racemes, blooming in July August. Berries are globular, 6 mm in diameter, orange to black, with dark lenticels, bitter-ochre, cover in October.

Ampelopsis aconitifolia when creating stage enclosures of clematis

Acolopsi s-aconitoliths in the creation of clumps of clematis cells

Acolopsi s-Conitoliths grows, blooms and bears fruit well in the south, in northern regions it suffers from frost in harsh winters, wintering with protection. The plant becomes more frost-resistant with age.

Large trees

I can’t help but tell you about another form, the large-leaved traffic light (megalophylla traffic light), which comes from Western China.

Ampelopsis large-leaved, photo of Asiatic Flora and Floravera locations

Large-leaf traffic lights, photos of Asian flora and floravera growing places

Under optimal development conditions, it can reach a height of 8 m. It is a mighty liana. The leaves are unpaired, up to 60 cm long, with 7-9 oval leaflets. Flowers are simple, greenish, inconspicuous in brushes, blooming inconspicuously in summer. The berries are black, up to 6 mm in diameter.

Also found in botanical gardens are A. luminiferous (A. Heterophylla, Syn. A. brevipedunculata var. Maximowiczii), A. cordate (A. cordata), A. Bodinieri (A. Bodinieri) and A. vitifolia.

Grapevine: description, species, planting and care

Grapevine is often used for vertical landscape design on the site, that is, for the design of walls, arbors or special supports. Gardeners are usually attracted by the relative negligence of this vine, the lack of need for pruning, its beautiful patina on the leaves and decorative shiny berries of beautiful color.

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The grapevine, whose second name sounds like ampelopsis, is a woody leafy strebelly that is a member of the grapevine family. Although this genus unites about 20 species, in the Russian Federation only two of them are usually grown: aconitolina – wine mountaineer and grapevine low, aka udsurian. The first species is widespread in Moscow, the Moscow region and in the southern regions. The second requires more heat, so it feels better in Lipetsk or Bryansk regions, but reacts poorly to dry air and heat.

Plants usually have mature rhizomes and bark with tubercles. The antennae are either suckerless or absent altogether. The leaf laminae have a leathery surface and long leaf stalks. Small green flowers are combined with false umbrellas. The fruit of the vine is unfit for consumption and contains 2 to 4 seeds. The shade of the berries varies from green to orange to purple, so unlike the buds, they are responsible for the ornamentation of the crop. The smooth seeds are oval in shape. The thin shoots are colored purple.


Aconitolite vine extends to almost 3 meters. Leaf plates of beautiful green color are arranged on long leaf petioles. The growing fruit is first colored orange and ripening blue. The variety, native to northern China, tolerates low temperatures well during the winter months. The heart-shaped vine differs from the previous variety in the shape of the ragged leaves, which resemble only a heart. The mighty vines are covered with green-blue fruits.

The low-growing vine is 6 to 7 meters tall. The vines are covered with glossy dark green leaves, although some varieties have beautiful plates with spots of cream color.

Over time, the fruits change their color from green to dark purple, and the coverlets become completely turquoise.

It must be said that this species is now called the glandular grape and is often sold in Russia as Usurian amelopsis. One of the most popular varieties of short-fruited Vila is the variety Eleonera. It does not have very good frost resistance and therefore requires additional placement during the winter. It is grown as a dwelling complex.

The differentiated grape is covered with leaf plates of different shapes. The vine can be about 9 meters long. The fruits are colored in a light blue tone. Japanese grapevine can even be classified as a groundcover vine. It is characterized by glossy leaves, and the mature blue-purple berries are covered with a black dot. Another well-known species is grapevine.

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How to plant.

Ambelopsis requires good and abundant light. If it is grown in room conditions, you should choose a place on a window facing east or west. The liana should be planted in bright areas, but with several lighting options. It is important to remember that the vine does not tolerate the midday sun in the summer months, so it is better to cover them. The culture is not very fond of artificial lighting. In principle, the vineyard can also develop in partial shade, but in this case you need to be prepared for a change in the shade of the leaf plates.

The soil mixture for the culture is better made of garden and greenhouse soil in equal parts, sand, fertilizers and compost. Repotting should be carried out every 2-3 years, regardless of where the vineyard is grown – in living conditions or in the open ground.

With proper protection, the culture can survive low winter temperatures.

How to care for it?

The care of the culture seems difficult for the novice gardener, but with an experienced specialist will not cause any difficulties. Despite this, it should be noted that the vine is grown not only in the open ground, but also in residential conditions. In principle, the process of care in this case is not too different, but a certain specificity still exists. For example, the life of a house plant should take place in containers and pots, the volume of which is larger than the diameter. The container should not be too wide, as a powerful and deep-rooted rhizome develops poorly in such conditions.

Young domestic vines should be transplanted every year, and mature vines – after 3 years. This is done in early spring with the first signs of growth. Transplanting should be carried out in a marching way, that is, with the preservation of the earth clod. The bottom of the pot must be covered with a layer of drainage.

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As ampelopsis develops, it should be watered frequently and quite abundantly. However, the culture equally poorly tolerates both the lack of moisture and its excess, so it is better to adhere to the “golden mean” and observe a stable regime. Drought contributes to the fact that the bush begins to shed leaves, and stagnant moisture leads to rotting of the roots. Practically from March to November, the culture should be abundantly watered, as soon as the first centimeter of soil dries out.

At this time of the year, it is also not forbidden to spray the bushes.


In order for the culture to actively develop, it should be regularly fertilized. Usually fertilizers are applied once every few weeks. Ready-made mineral complexes are best for the vineyard. Fertilizers can be applied practically from April to October.


Ampelopsis is well tolerated by pruning, which in turn not only improves the appearance of the vine, but also contributes to more dense and lush flowering. If the shoots are abruptly shortened, the vine will grow better and branch more evenly. In addition, timely shaping can change the size of the crop in the right direction and bring it almost to a potted state. The vineyard also needs to be tied to supports, since due to the lack of tendrils, the plant is not able to “crawl up” on its own. Curly bases and tapestries are suitable for this purpose, as well as cascades and even ordinary ladders.

propagation methods

Propagation of the vineyard is quite simple. Most often for this choose cuttings, which are harvested in May or in the summer season. Cuttings are taken from young shoots at the top of the vine, and then rooted either in wet sand or in the ground under a plastic or glass cover. If the temperature is maintained at 20 degrees, the crop will root in a short time. Prior use of a growth stimulant will only speed up this process.

It will also be possible to propagate the vineyard by stratification. The shoot is wrapped at the top of the internode either in moistened moss or in soil mixture and secured with foil or cling film on top. If the stratification is regularly moistened, it will soon be possible to root the shoot, that is, to transplant the young vine to a new place. Seed propagation is recommended for ampelopsis varieties with uniform green leaves. Seeds should be stored temporarily in the refrigerator at 0 to 2 degrees Celsius. Your cultivation will be successful if the crop is provided with sufficient light, growing medium and high humidity, which is aided by a glass screen or cling film.

Spring is the beginning of the summer season

Diseases and pests

Vineyards grown both in the apartment and in the open air, are often attacked by aphids, scale insects and whiteflies. Damaged parts in this case should be removed and then insecticides should be used. Diseases likely to develop include rust, grey rot, and fusarium. Infected parts are removed if possible, and then the entire vine is treated with fungicide. If the plant is infected with mosaic, no treatment is possible, so the vine must be immediately uprooted and destroyed, after which the soil is treated. It must be said that most problems with the health and development of ampelopsis are due to failure to comply with planting conditions and the requirements of agrotechnics.

Symptoms can be caused by, for example, high humidity, insufficient fertilization or a “neighboring” sick crop. As prevention, it is customary to treat the plant against infections and pests a couple of times a week, and not to forget about organic methods of protection – for example, plants “neighbors” that repel insects.


Although in the nature the liana extends up to 15 meters, in the landscape design is usually involved three-meter plants. They look most harmonious when used for vertical landscaping of buildings, fences or special supports. No less effective look hedges, used for fencing, zoning or hiding not particularly attractive objects on the site. It is also worth using the vine as a background for a rock garden, rose garden, flower bed or tiered flower bed.

The culture is indispensable when decorating a pergola, attic or porch.

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