will my akebia thrieve in an antique metal crate about 18 X 24″ X 12″ tall?
It has not arrived as yet, coming through the mail. I live in Sacramento, CA.
That's not easy to answer. The size of the crate sounds okay for a short term period of time, a couple of years maybe. But Akebia is a large growing vine and will need more soil volume eventually. Will you be able to transplant it out?
Does the crate have solid sides and bottom? With drainage? Because if it is too porous in anyway the soil will dry out too readily; if it doesn't drain well the soil may stay too wet and cause root rot.
I would also be concerned about the material of an antique metal crate. Is it possible that the soil could become contaminated with heavy metals from lead paint, corrosion or flaking.
Think about those factors and here's an article to help you get the growing conditions right: