Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Variegated Porcelain Berry Vine
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata 'Elegans'

Family: Vitaceae (vee-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ampelopsis (am-pel-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: brevipedunculata (brev-ee-ped-un-kew-LAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Elegans

Synonym:Ampelopsis glandulosa
Synonym:Ampelopsis glandulosa var. brevipedunculata
Synonym:Ampelopsis glandulosa var. glandulosa
Synonym:Ampelopsis glandulosa var. heterophylla
Synonym:Ampelopsis sinica

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 22 photos.
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14 positives
3 neutrals
15 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Eudai67 On Sep 16, 2014, Eudai67 from Hamden, CT wrote:

DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT BUY THIS PLANT!!! And if you see your local nurseries selling it please notify them that it is a INVASIVE MONSTER. IF YOU CAN IDENTIFY IT RIP OR CLIP IT. Regardless of your zone do not even take the chance. Here in the New England/ Tri-State area it is wreaking havoc and displacing thousands of acres of native, beautiful habitat EVERY YEAR. It is utterly horrifying to myself (a botantist and horticulturalist) Sure it might not seem so bad on your trellis but keep in mind that the birds will eat the berries and drop them to another spot which exponentially increases their numbers. The seed passing through the birds gut actually increases the germination rates by helping to remove the dormancy inhibitors naturally found in the seed (Same with Asiatic bittersweet). DO NOT BUY THIS PLANT. DO NOT HELP IT'S SPREAD, IT NEEDS NO HELP. There are plenty other beautiful NATIVE vines anyways.

Positive yrrej On Aug 19, 2014, yrrej from El Paso, TX wrote:

I guess everything is relative to where one lives. This plant is not invasive here. It's too dry.

Positive levi52 On Oct 1, 2013, levi52 from Saugeen Shores, Ontario
Canada wrote:

We planted this vine about 10 yrs. ago, to give some privacy when neighbours put a deck on their 2nd storey. It is growing on a 10 x 20' trellis in 5b zone. It has almost covered the trellis and has never been trimmed but we remove new shoots in the spring. The birds don't seem to like the berries but we do get the small pollinating bees on it during the summer. It is alongside our driveway and where the kids play basketball. They've never been bitten. In this location it has been a blessing.

Negative PA_weeder On Dec 12, 2012, PA_weeder from West Grove, PA wrote:

I'm astounded that this is sold commercially.
It is, by far, my worst enemy, variegated or not.
It can cover a shrub in a few months.
I have 9 acres of trees and shrubs in SE PA
and I find it impossible to keep it under control.
It would be a full-time job.
We have wetlands in this area that are completely covered with it,
including killing all the trees.
Its irresponsible to plant it, even if you can control it, as you can't
control where the birds take the seeds.

Positive dollymae On Apr 26, 2011, dollymae from Milford, NJ wrote:

I have not had a negative experience with my Porcelin Vine here in western NJ, maybe because of where it's planted, next to a tree. It's got only part sun and is growning up the tree a bit more each season but nothing that seems alarming or out of control. It is a gorgeous plant. I think some of the plants that go crazy & take over in southern gardens don't have the chance to do that up here with our hard winters. Good Luck! I haven't ever trimmed it but wondered about if & when.

Negative sheshrew On Nov 19, 2010, sheshrew from Raleigh, NC wrote:

Porcelain berry is a weed of natural areas throughout the eastern US except the deep South. It is native to very cold regions of China, Japan, and to the warmer Phillipines. The main concern with this plant is not that it seeds around your house, an already disturbed area. It's that the berries are eaten by birds, which fly to streams and it spreads into wetland areas that way. It smothers native vegetation like kudzu does. Please be a responsible gardener and do not plant things like this just because you keep it in a pot. Think about why it is considered invasive and how it spreads. There is a lovely native, Ampelopsis cordata, for the southeast which is very similar (and invasive too, but it's native at least!).

Negative Crescentan On Sep 29, 2010, Crescentan from La Crescenta, CA wrote:

I live in La Crescenta, California, a foothill suburb of Los Angeles, Sunset Magazine zone 21, USDA zone 10, at 2500'.

The porcelain berry vine is quite invasive here. The berries sprout plentifully wherever they fall and find water, and the plant vines up into existing shrubbery and trees, in many cases engulfing and killing them. The vine roots deeply and strongly, and is difficult to dig out and eradicate. I haven't resorted to Round-Up yet, but may have to do so to deal with a huge area of growth.

I bought the vine originally with the idea of having it cover an unsightly concrete block wall, but it will not climb or adhere to such surfaces. One vine, which was in a 4" container, and its progeny, are now engulfing a good 30' of shrubs on one side of the yard, and berries are causing seedlings to spring up plentifully throughout the yard.

On the plus side, the leaves of the vine are quite attractive, as are the clusters of metallic blue berries when they mature. When in bloom, the vine attracts swarms of bees.

The Sunset Western Garden Guide describes this vine as "choice." In some respects it certainly is, but it needs to be watched carefully. It thrives wherever it finds water and is a strong grower.

Negative lelewaxen On Aug 29, 2009, lelewaxen from Slatington, PA wrote:

Uh-oh. I've always admired these, and just bought one today- it was on sale and hard to resist and now that I'm checking your comments I'm getting worried! Is there a chance that I could safely grow this here in SE Pa., IF I took certain precautions? I wondered if it could be grown in a large tub/half-barrel, either above ground or sunk in the earth, to keep the roots in bound. Maybe if it was placed on our cement porch- to prevent too many seedlings from taking root- I could train it over the porch for shade. Since our cats and dogs have access to that area they would keep birds from eating and distributing the berries. I hate to return it, even if they would accept a sale item, but don't want to be responsible for the ruin of our few acres, not to mention the entire Eastern U.S. forest network. It's quite pretty- seductively so, and I fell for it completely :-) Thanks for your suggestions (please don't be unkind)!

Negative Diantha On Jul 13, 2009, Diantha from Lafayette, IN wrote:

This plant volunteered in my backyard, along with a cedar! Birds must be spreading its seeds from somewhere else. At first, I loved the fancy leaves, as I am a leaf-lover with hostas and coleus tops on my garden list. I even got a pillar trellis for my porcelain vine. BUT, the past two summers it has been eaten away by a huge invasion of JAPANESE BEETLES! I don't want to spray because of bird poisoning problems. So not only is it an invader, it is attracting NASTY INSECTS. Now those beetle are devouring my geranium flowers and some of the leaves, and if I had roses, I'd be in serious trouble. The beetles piggyback and mate before my eyes, and either the plant is putting out a sweet attractant odor, or all the beetles are sending out pheromones. Based on your comments, I am just going to pull it up because I know it will come back. I live in the middle of town, so who knows where it came from originally? Now it's a tower of tea-stain lacy leaves. I need to know how to totally destroy it for the trash-compost collection so it won't reappear somewhere else. Short of fire, how do I do this?

Positive pickinflowers On Jun 7, 2009, pickinflowers from Lagrange, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've had this plant for 3 or 4 yrs. After reading this I am wondering when it is going to take over or if it hasn't by now do I not need to worry. I love it but so does the japenese bettles. It has never even covered the fence I planted it on. It is growing in a somewhat shaddy spot. wondering what to do in zone 7a

Positive MTVineman On May 3, 2009, MTVineman from Helena, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Hmm, seems like this vine is horror for many people and environments. For us here in Montana, this vine is well behaved although it does reseed itself occasionally. It hasn't become a pest at all and is in fact a beautiful fruiting vine, at least for us here in the high Rockies. I don't think this vine would ever have a chance of becoming a noxious weed here. Too high up in elevation I guess. I have it growing in partial shade on the side of my home. The china blue berries attract all manner of beneficial insects, birds and other wildlife including human beings! Though the latter at times are certainly not beneficial. Grin.

Neutral Photodan On Nov 4, 2008, Photodan from Ferndale, CA wrote:

We discovered this plant on a trip to Salem, Oregon. It was growing in the garden of a beautifully restored Victorian known as the Deerwood House. The plant trailed over a fence around a portion of an estate garden that was being restored. It was perfect for the setting. I was surprised to discover the invasive nature of the plant. It will be interesting to take a trip there in the future to see what has become of it.

Positive plant_manager On Jul 31, 2008, plant_manager from Lombard, IL wrote:

Zone 5a chicago, Illinois. I've had this for 4 years. It is not invasive in my yard. I did find that it attracted wasps so I moved it to the back fence. It's lovely there and does not spread. It's quite dry in that spot too. I just train in on the wood fence. It's forming berries right now and they are so beautiful when in full blue color.

Negative DeborahLink On Oct 22, 2007, DeborahLink from New Canaan, CT wrote:

This attractive vine has been, for me, a horror. I wish I had a picture of it consuming with a thick five-foot-deep mat) a whole little stream valley -- it choked a stand of lilacs and even swathed a stand of cuspidatum. Both are now dead thanks to a rigorous ordeal of spraying with vine killer. I think it came to my property on our spring flood of 2007. A local nursery person said "get rid of it or it will comsume your whole property". I went on the Connecticut agricultural site and found Ampelopsis brevipedunculata on Connecticut's "LEAST WANTED" list. BEWARE!

Positive kathy1955 On May 17, 2007, kathy1955 from Mchenry, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

i live in zone 5a . i bought this plant 3 years ago at our local k mart. it has been very well behaved and i rarely have any babies from the plant. i love the variegated foilage and the beautiful berries. it took 3 years for the vine to produce berries.. maybe its my soil....

Negative FarmerFoxxe On Dec 22, 2006, FarmerFoxxe from Oxon Hill, MD wrote:

This plant rates right up there with kudzu, mile-a-minute and english ivy for annoying invasives. Yes, the berries are lovely, but I work in a national park here in the Zone 6-7 border and this thing is swallowing the trees on the forest edges in many of the parks & public spaces in the region. It has practically eliminated the native wild grapes that used to grow here. I spend many hours every season yanking these off of the trees & out of the ground. Fortunately, the park's Ossabaw Hogs love them and will eat root, vine, leaf & berry. It might be safe to grow in the cooler or more arid states, but I wouldn't let this get a foothold in the windrows of the Midwest, and I know what it's doing to Virginia & Maryland.

Negative sladeofsky On Aug 31, 2006, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

If anyone chooses to grow this plant, I still don't understand why they would buy it. It grows in every untended lot or cracked pavement. You've probably even pulled seedings up out of your landscaping without realizing what it was. This plant is everywhere it doesn't need to be.

Negative Bexter On Aug 31, 2006, Bexter from Woods Hole, MA wrote:

Some people think that a so-called invasive plant like porcelain berry is just not a problem if they themselves are going to plant it in a place where it won't get out of control.

Well, if you're planting it in a bucket or between a parking lot and a sidewalk, it may not cause trouble for YOU. But take note when you see trees and even whole areas of woods in your area being levelled by invasive vines like bittersweet, virginia creeper, porcelain berry, etc. The seeds from plants possibly a mile or more away could be causing it. I think porcelain berries look lovely, but we've lost so many trees in our property and area to various ferocious vines, and when we try to eradicate them, this is one of the culprits.

So please think twice before planting something that many people in your area consider an invasive. Thank you!

Negative aturner4u On Jul 21, 2006, aturner4u from Marietta, GA wrote:

We moved into our house 3 1/2 years ago. I let the plants in the yard do what they wanted the first year so I could see what existed before doing my own thing. That was the first year the Porcelain berry had its fruit. Since that time we have been battling it. This year I have pulled them up 3 times. They are ALL over our 3/4 acre plot, especially near the fence or anywhere a bird might hang out - birds love the berries by the way. We pulled a bunch of the vine to the ground last weekend and yesterday I went into the yard and some of it was 6" high already. We have dug out the root (what we could - very long roots that run) and within a month there are little vines everywhere. I DO NOT recommend this plant for the south east.

Neutral JenniferE On Jun 13, 2006, JenniferE from Lebanon, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love blue, so I am a sucker for this plant's beautiful berries. I have two of them, one in the sun and one in the shade. Both plants are very well-behaved, except that the one in the sun reseeds PROFUSELY. I can't bring myself to get rid of that one yet, but I definitely recommend that if you plant one, put it in the shade. It doesn't seem to be so much of a problem there.

Positive Gabrielle On Jun 6, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I may end up regretting having planted this and change my rating later, but right now the foliage is absolutely beautiful. I have it in an area of my yard that is fairly confined, so maybe it will stay under control.

Blooms mid July in my garden.

Negative ppatnaude On Mar 3, 2006, ppatnaude from Amherst, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Plant is very INVASIVE, once you have it chances are that it will take over any space where planted. Don't be astonished when it escapes, it took several applications of brush killer to erraticate this plant. I don't know why anyone would plant this weed.

Negative snapple45 On Feb 22, 2006, snapple45 from Holland, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

My candidate for a very troublesome vine in zone 5a recently offered at garden centers:

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata 'Elegans'
Common Name: Porcelain Berry

It seeds prolifically. I failed to do my homework when purchasing this plant. I recognized my mistake in the second spring ('05) and have eradicated the vine using VineX. I tried the method recommended by the manufacturer to a trimmed vine first. It had no effect. Then I cut the vine off six inches above the ground, and within seconds applied the produt to the fresh cut surface. Then I coated all the remaining stems and covered with a clear plastic bag. I waited one month. It did not resprout. Then I dug up the roots. You would not believe how much this plant put out in roots in one year: over 4ft away from the main trunk(s)! I had to ask permission of my neighbors to enter their property so that I could remove it there as well. Luckily they were obliging. I pulled seedlings the entire season last year and will have to be vigilant this year as well. My neighbors are on the lookout too. This was sandy loam, full sun ph6.5 fairly moist. Please dont plant this vine. It has the potential to cause great harm. It grew about 15 feet in its first year! The kudzu of the north.
Holland, OH
Zone 5a
Feb 15, 2006
5:08 PM


The link to the Nature Conservancy which lists this plant as invasive in Ohio with its ranges.


Positive CatskillKarma On Apr 20, 2005, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I planted this in morning sun two years ago. It is good-looking and well-behaved. Plenty of berries, but no seedlings in my hard clay. It is growing over a shed on a bamboo arbor and not showing any signs of being out of control--barely above the roofline. Half a dozen branches. It is late to come alive in the spring--no signs of life yet this year and my notes said it didn't start growing again until June last year. If I'd read this first, I probably wouldn't have planted it, but I'm enjoying it a great dea.

Positive smiln32 On Apr 19, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Well-adapted to Oklahoma conditions. Prune it in the summer to keep it within the limits of its support system. No major pest problems. Birds like the berries.

Positive GardenKonig On Apr 12, 2005, GardenKonig from Bronx, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This robust vine's foliage is pretty. It grows rapidly and is ideal to cover a fence, arbor or other vertical space that needs filling. It does attract bees so be mindful if grown in high traffic areas of the garden.

I prune and trim every spring (and throughout the growing season if necessary). This spring, I pruned it back harder than usual to encourage more dense growth on my fence.

It readily sets seed, but the seedlings are easy to remove or transplant.

I can see its potential to be invasive, but in my garden it is easy to control.

If you are concerned about it being aggressive, I suggest planting it in an area that is partially shaded and withhold applying chemical fertilizers.

Negative lmelling On Oct 31, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

My neighbor has this vine growing and I've marveled at the variety of colors on the berries - very beautiful. Last year she had me cut a couple stems to see if the berries would dry for use in arrangements (they don't).

I was thinking about asking permission to try and root a couple of cuttings and seeing the picture reminded me. But after reading about it's invasive nature, I don't think I'll take a chance. My neighbor's vine is growing all through the trees and everywhere next to her driveway and garage. She's not a gardener and I thought it was just because nothing was ever done to it. Now I realize it probably wasn't intended, but just the invasive nature of the plant. Phewww! I could have made a real mistake - don't need another invasive species here!

Positive gonedutch On Oct 29, 2004, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

I grow this vine in zone 5 in upstate NY near the Erie Canal. After six years the plant is well behaved in my garden despite the many birds that could spread the seeds. The only seedlings are 6-10 plants annually right near the base of the trunk. After seeing the spectacular fall showing of the berries (see my image) my neighbors and friends have happily tranplanted these few seedlings each year.

Positive OhioBreezy On Jun 2, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I am in zone 5-6 OH, it grows nicely here and is not totally invasive here. The berries are beautiful, the varigated foliage is a definite plus. I don't have a problem with it taking over here.

Positive elecre On Aug 20, 2003, elecre wrote:

I grew this beautiful vine on my arbor and had wonderful results. By the 4th or 5th year it was covering the arbor nicely and I never cut it back. It was in part sun and part shade. I loved watching the berries change from deep purple to aqua. We moved recently, and I plan on planting this on my arbor again. It is nice because there is no mess from blooming flowers that fall to the ground. Just a nice "English Garden" feel to the entrance of my yard.
I live in Michigan and it grew nicely for my purposes.
The varigated leaves were uniquely shaped. I would definately recommend for something different!

Neutral Karenn On Aug 13, 2003, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I had this vine for several years (the variegated variety) and found even this one to be toooo agressive for my tastes! I dug it out because it literally upended and pulled over the arbor it was growing on! This, after cutting it back to the ground EVERY spring. I have to agree that probably given ideal growing conditions, this could be VERY invasive! It certainly was an agressive grower for me!

Negative PurplePansies On Aug 12, 2003, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

WARNING!!!!! Please, please don't plant this vine. It's not that showy anyway, the berries are somewhat pretty and are the only pretty part. This vine is a NOXIOUS INVASIVE from Asia. It has choked out trees, bushes on my property and is poking through the screens on my house. I didn't plant it, but it's here anyway. Perhaps for some of these people where anything's hard to grow, (i.e. Arizona), it's not invasive, but it is everywhere else. It's ILLEGAL to plant in some states and for good reason. It has Kudzu-like potential, (Kudzu, the vine that ate the south....). It's minor ornamental value is not worth battling its evil nature. It escapes into wild areas and CHOKES OUT NATIVE FLORA. It's berries readily re-seed, and before you know it, you'll have seedlings springing up all over the place, and going into the neighbors yard, and going into wild areas. Almost impossible to eradicate!!!!! PLEASE DON'T HELP SPREAD THIS NOXIOUS WEED!!!!!!!!!!!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)
Trumann, Arkansas
Alameda, California
Oakland, California
Aurora, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
Hamden, Connecticut
Fort Pierce, Florida
Shalimar, Florida
Marietta, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Lombard, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
Lafayette, Indiana
Wichita, Kansas
Ewing, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Oxon Hill, Maryland
Amherst, Massachusetts
Milton, Massachusetts
Battle Creek, Michigan
Hemlock, Michigan
Stephenson, Michigan
Whittemore, Michigan
Chaska, Minnesota
Camdenton, Missouri
Helena, Montana
Milford, New Jersey
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Croton On Hudson, New York
Fairport, New York
Greenville, New York
Himrod, New York
Ithaca, New York
Rye, New York
Schenectady, New York
West Kill, New York
Raleigh, North Carolina
Wilsons Mills, North Carolina
Hazen, North Dakota
Cincinnati, Ohio
Dundee, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Holland, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Slatington, Pennsylvania
West Grove, Pennsylvania
Dallas, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Mc Lean, Virginia
Sterling, Virginia
Olympia, Washington
Orchards, Washington
Merrill, Wisconsin

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