Kiwi tree planting and care

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by pia, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. pia

    pia Member

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    Hi,

    I'm interested in buying a kiwi plant(s). I noticed there were female and male plants for sale. What does this mean?

    How do I go about planting the trees? I presume I need some sort of structure that the kiwi can climb. Do you have any suggestions about what kind of structure works best? And I presume I need at least one of each, male and female plant, to get fruit. Can I trust the bees to take care of pollination or do I have to intervene? Are there any other things that I need to keep in mind when caring for the plant(s)?

    If you know of any good web resource, I'd be happy to do the research.

    Thank you very much,
    Pia
     
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years of Activity

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    The kiwifruit, Actinidia deliciosa, is an aggressive woody climber, capable of growing nearly 10m annually when established and ultimately more than 30m tall (with support). Kiwifruit are dioecious (male and female flowers are borne on separate plants). For fruit production, you will need both male and female plants and you may need to wait a few years before they are established and begin to flower.

    At UBC Botanical Garden we grow kiwis on stout trellisses in our Food Garden and up mature coniferous trees in our Asian Garden. In the Food Garden, plants are carefully managed with regular pruning to keep them contained and productive. Perhaps because we have beehives (honeybees) nearby, as well as a diversity of native bees in both gardens, we nearly always get a good fruit set; however, fruit ripening is less reliable in the forested setting of the Asian Garden.

    Oregon State University has a good information page (see this link), but the subject is readily searchable, and you may find information more appropriate to your area elsewhere. See also this link to a UBC interpretive sign on vine management.
     
  3. sussieads

    sussieads Member

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    Growing Kiwi trees

    Hello,

    I saw the previous message and read the reply and looked at the links and got blinded by science!

    I have one Kiwi tree growing - grown from fruit brought in the shop by my father-in-law, which now looks to be producing vines- its about 2 yrs old, and growing in a pot at the moment.

    Since the closest I have ever got to a kiwi tree is the fruit in a supermarket, ( I live just outside of Oxford, UK) can you let a poor novice know whats best to do.

    How do I tell male from female, what sort of support is best, how does it do best, and if I have one sex of plant, how easy is it to get the other - do they grow true from seed? All and any advice very welcome

    Many thanks
     
  4. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    You cannot distinguish male from female plants until they bloom. The male flowers have stamens, and the female ones have carpels (I hope you have enough basic flower anatomy to tell), however some species of kiwi take a really long time to bloom. You can grow kiwi on any kind of trellis, just make sure it is strong! My father grows mini-kiwis (because they are hardy) and he designed a square with tall metal pipes at each corner and the centre. Between the pipes he strung a lot of heavy wire in a cris cross pattern. This lets him walk under the kiwis as he's trained all the vegetation to be on top of the wires. The more usual methods (and less complicated) can be found all over the internet. For instance; http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1426.html describes a t-bar trellis
    For a less scientific kiwi talk try http://www.raintreenursery.com/how_to/ACTI.html.
     
  5. rlvancouver

    rlvancouver Member

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    kiwi leaves as fodder

    greetings,

    I never knew kiwis grew locally...

    I have a question about kiwi leaves and stems as animal fodder. Somebody asked me (I'm a pharmacist) if i knew whether kiwi leaves and stems could be fed to goats. they have a bunch of plants and they need to be trimmed 3-4 times a year, and they wondered if the foliage would be okay as a "treat".

    i looked some stuff up on the internet, and saw that allergic reactions and skin irritation (dermatitis) can occur, and that kiwi has an enzyme in it similar to papain found in papayas... maybe foliage might cause mouth irritaton or other gastrointestinal upset.

    I've suggested they contact their veterinarian for advice, but i wonder if anyone out there has any opinions or experience?

    thanks!
    ray
     
  6. Susan

    Hi,
    Thanks for the above info on Kiwis.
    I bought a male & a female last fall, and found out shortly after that we may be moving. Can I keep them happy in pots until we know where their permanent home will be? Should I transplant them to something larger than their current 8" pot?

    And if we do stay in our current home, we want to build an 8' trellis style fence for them to grow on, that would double as a privacy screen, and plant them about 10' apart. Would this work, or do they need an arbour style like the professional growers use?

    Thank you!
     
  7. i bought a kiwi plant and am unsure if i can plant it outside or leave it in a pot as a house plant. i live in northern b.c. and the wheather can drop into the -30"s, if i do plant it outside will it go dormet or die, please help.
     
  8. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Unregistered Guest,

    If you read the links that were posted you will have all the info you need.

    Newt
     
  9. I need some help with my kiwis. I live in a California coastal mountain area in Santa Cruz County (Central California). I have both a female and male kiwi purchased 4 yrs ago and planted in their own large pots (15 gal size) that are 4 ft apart. There is a trellis between them so that their vines will interwine together. They have lots of leaves and long vines, but the leaves are turning yellow and dying. First it was the female for quite some time, but now the male plant leaves are dying too. I have never produced any fruit. The kiwi are watered almost every day with lots of water. They receive approx 6 hrs of sun a day and are somewhat sheltered. They do get fertilized with general purpose fertilizer, but not on a routine schedule. The vines never seemed thick enough to prune so neither plant have ever been pruned.

    My question is: Why are the leaves dying? Is it a disease? Too much water? Need to be moved out of their pots? Not enough fertilizer? We are really looking forward to having kiwis. Can anyone help turn our kiwi around so we get fruit?
     
  10. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Hi Lynda,

    My thoughts here are that you are fertilizing and that could either burn the roots causing yellow leaves or cause lots of leafy growth at the expense of flowering and fruit. Generally it's not good to fertilize vines. You don't say what the growing medium in the pots is. The lack of fruit could also be that the vines just aren't mature enough. See the links.

    Another possibility for the yellow leaves could be that they are rootbound and need larger pots, but you don't say how long they've been in their present pots. As to the watering, you don't say how wet you are keeping the soil. Did you read the links that were given to an earlier poster?
    http://berrygrape.oregonstate.edu/fruitgrowing/berrycrops/kiwi/kiwiplan.htm
    http://www.raintreenursery.com/how_to/ACTI.html

    Newt
     
  11. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Lynda--I really doubt that such a vigorous plant as kiwi can be grown in a container for years. 4 years in the #15 sounds like lots for most plants, but kiwis are incredibly strong growers. Our main problem even up north here is trying to manage all their growth, collapsing pergolas, etc.! Is there any way to plant in the ground there?

    Sounds like you're in a great location for kiwis otherwise.
     
  12. Some trees bear in 5-7 years,
    you need to plant them an average distance of 8' apart and you need
    1 male for 3-4 female plants. Sometimes two of kiwis
    will yield up to 10 gallons of fruit. (that's alot but after the time You've spent growing your kiwi trees It's worth it.)
     

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