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How to Grow Kiwi Fruit in Your Home Garden

Actinidia deliciosa

Kiwi vines are native to southwestern China.
These deciduous, perennial plants are dioecious which means that male and female flowers are produced on separate plants
Vines of both sexes must be grown to ensure pollination. A single male plant can pollinate several nearby females...
Hardy Kiwi are often used as a screen or shade vine because of their ability to create a dense cover of 3 to 5 inch, glossy dark green leaves on long red vines

Growing Requirements for Kiwi Plants

Kiwi vines thrive in full sun or light shade.
They can be grown in any good garden soil but prefer rich humus soils with a soil pH of around 6.5. Plant Kiwis in an area that is moist but well drained. Be sure that the soil does not become dry in hot weather.
Feed established plants sparingly in spring when the plants are dormant and then just after they bloom in early June, with a general-purpose (10-10-10) garden fertilizer.
The roots of Kiwis are very sensitive to fertilizer burn, so over fertilization should be avoided.

Pruning Kiwi Vines

Mort the Garden Gnome
Prune Kiwi vines in late fall after fruiting, or in early spring.
Cut the vines back about one third of the previous year's growth to produce more blooms and larger fruit.
Flowers develop on growth of the previous year.
Since male plants do not produce fruit, they can be pruned back to vigorous new growth immediately after flowering. Propagate Kiwi plants from 6-12" stem cuttings taken in midsummer, rooted in moist sand. These cuttings will be ready to set out in the garden the following spring.

Varieties of Kiwis

Because of its large fruit size, Actinidia deliciosa is the variety of Kiwi that is normally grown commercially.
The stems and leaves are covered with velvety red hairs.
It produces 1 1/2" cream colored flowers that appear in midsummer.
The flowers turn orange yellow as they age and are followed by 1 ½" to 2½" fuzzy green fruits.
Unfortunately, Actinidia deliciosa is only winter hardy in zones 8-10.
Actinidia arguta and Actinidia kolomikta are hardy in zones 5-9 and can survive temperatures of -25° F.
The fruit size of A. arguta is is considerably smaller than that of A. deliciosa and is about the size of a large cherry.
The skin of Actinidia arguta is smooth and is consumed as part of the greenish yellow fruit. The fruit is very sweet and juicy.
Actinidia kolomikta has even smaller fruit than A. arguta and has beautifully variegated pink and white foliage.

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