Ampelopsis Brevipedunculata: Tips On The (Invasive) Porcelain Berry

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata [am-pel-OP-sis, brev-ee-ped-un-kew-LAY-tuh] comes from Asia and often gets confused for a grape species.

It’s also commonly known by the following names:

  • Creeper
  • Porcelain berry
  • Amur pepper vine
  • Wild grape

It’s a climbing vine producing large fruits resembling grapes. It is also an invasive plant.

Invasive climbing - Porcelain Berry - Ampelopsis Brevipedunculata

The porcelain berry belongs to the Vitaceae family, which also includes the grapevine.

The plant is native to temperate parts of Asia and is an easy ornamental plant to cultivate in other parts of the world.

Ampelopsis Brevipedunculata Care

Size and Growth

The climbing vine has tendrils reaching 15’ – 20’ feet if allowed to spread.

It produces broad leaves with white-shiny undersides and toothed margins.

The plant is a climber and clings to surfaces with its tendrils.

As the temperatures start to drop at the end of the fall season, the leaves drop.

It then produces new growth in the spring.

Flowering and Fragrance

The porcelain berry produces five-petaled flowers at the start of summer.

After the flowering season, the plant produces clusters of blue-colored berries.

Light and Temperature

The plant can thrive outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 4 or higher, allowing porcelain berry to grow year-round in parts of North America.

It’s best suited for outdoor growth in cool regions.

It also doesn’t need a lot of sunlight.

Place it under partial shade.

If grown indoors, set it near any window except a south-facing window to avoid giving it direct sunlight.

Depending on the layout of the house and the surrounding area, west-facing windows may also provide too much light, especially in the late afternoon.

While the plant tolerates cooler temperatures, freezing temperatures can stunt the growth of the plant.

When cultivating the plant in a region with freezing winter temperatures, place the plant indoors in a cool, draft-free spot.

Watering and Feeding

Water the plant evenly and frequently throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

In the winter, allow the soil to dry.

The porcelain berry doesn’t need much water in the winter unless the leaves start to wither.

Feed the plant every other week throughout the active growing seasons.

Don’t fertilize at all during the winter.

Soil and Transplanting

Grow the plant in regular potting soil.

Transplant in the early spring if the plant outgrows its pot or the soil requires freshening.

Grooming

Manage the growth of the plant by pruning it back in late winter.

During the spring or summer, trim back stray shoots as needed.

How to Propagate Porcelain Berry

Propagate the porcelain berry using seeds or cuttings.

  • To collect the seeds, remove the ripe berries at the start of winter.
  • Squeeze the berries to remove the seeds and then sow immediately.
  • Use sandy soil in a seed tray and place the tray in a cool spot for the winter.
  • The seeds should germinate at the start of spring.

To propagate with cuttings, take cuttings in September.

  • The new plants will start producing shoots the following spring.
  • When taking cuttings, cut 4” inch sections containing at least two nodes.
  • Plant several cuttings together in a small pot.
  • To prepare the soil, create a mixture containing equal parts of sand and peat moss.
  • Keep the cuttings away from drafts of air and bright sunlight.
  • Cover with a plastic bag containing holes for ventilation.
  • At the start of spring, the cuttings or seeds should start growing.
  • Move them to a warmer spot with more sunlight and begin misting each day.

Wild Grape Pests or Disease Problems

As the plant drops its leaves each year, pests rarely become a problem, but spider mites and aphids may still attack.

Aphids settle on the leaves and produce a sticky substance causing the leaves to curl.

Rinse the leaves with cold water or create a mixture of rubbing alcohol and soap.

Rub the mixture over the leaves.

Spider mites produce yellow webbing under the leaves.

Treat infestations with a miticide.

Along with pests, there are two more issues to pay attention to.

First, the plant is an invasive species in parts of the Eastern US.

It spreads quickly and may take over other plants.

Birds like to collect the seeds and fruit, helping to spread the plant along roadsides.

Before growing the plant outdoors, find out whether it’s invasive in your area.

The second issue is the toxicity of the berries.

Humans and pets should not eat the berries as they may cause digestive problems.

Some individuals may experience more severe reactions.

To be safe, don’t leave children or pets near the plant unsupervised.

Suggested Uses For Amur Pepper Vine

This hardy plant looks great on a patio or garden room but remember it is invasive!

Thanks to its bright flowers and berries, it helps add a splash of color to any room.

Use caution when planting near other plants, as the vines can overtake other plants.