Another non-fruiting kiwi question

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by westcoastgarden, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    I see that others are asking similar questions but in order to avoid confusing their issues I thought I would post my question seperately.

    I have a kiwi that is about five years old. It is very vigorous and deciduous. I wish I still had the tag but I recall it is supposed to be a small fruit and self fertile.

    Two years ago it started to flower and tiny fruit started to form. The same thing last year. Unfortunately, something happened to the forming fruit and they were nowhere to be found after a few weeks.

    At least I think they were starting to form fruit - a small yellowish flower followed by what looked like a small green beginning of a fruit. Perhaps I am mistaken and it was just the petalless flower.

    Anyway, the result was - no fruit - again.

    I am also starting to notice rust spots on some of the leaves. I have been picking the rusty leaves off but it just keeps spreading.

    The vine is trained over a simple arbour in full sun.

    Any help - hints - advice - would be very welcome.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Possibly eaten by birds, squirrels or some other hungry critters? The squirrels love the kiwis at UBCBG, although they usually just take a bite and toss them.
     
  3. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    I certainly have lots of hungry squirrels, stellar jays and rats (ugh!) in my garden but I am not sure that would be the cause because I don't see anything within weeks of the fruit starting to develop. With all of my other garden fruit these critters are wily enough to wait until they are nice and ripe - strawberries, blueberries, grapes.....sigh.
     
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Even proposed self-fertile Kiwi can slough
    off their fruit soon after it appears the fruit
    is starting to develop. This kind of stuff can
    happen due to the flower not being pollinated.
    The two self-fertile forms I am aware of both
    are technically a female but can pollinize itself
    with the male flowers but it still takes a bee or
    wind to transfer the pollen from the male flower
    to the female. I think what you are seeing is the
    result of incomplete fertilization in which the
    flower had a male flower nearby to pollinize
    but not enough pollen to pollinate the flower,
    thus a fruit can start to develop on the vine but
    it will quickly be sloughed off. We can see this
    same kind of thing with some Fruit and Nut trees
    when a pollinizer is not nearby. You may want
    to place or plant a male form near your vine and
    see if you can improve on the number of fruit that
    will set. It is also not out of bounds that your
    Kiwi may do this naturally as one self-fertile
    form we had was rather tough to set fruit alone
    by itself. If we had a second same self-fertile
    Kiwi nearby we were able to yield some small
    fruit then.

    Jim
     
  5. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice Jim. I will take a branch into the local nursery when it leafs out. I can't remember the variety but I am sure they will figure it out.

    Does anyone have any comment on the rust spots I am seeing. Is kiwi a rust host? Do I need to be concerned it will create a problem for my whole garden?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Erica

    Erica Active Member

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    I am in no means an expert on Kiwis but when my husband bought his 3 years ago, Cannor nurseries told us we needed a "male" and a "female" plant for it to bear fruit (sort of what Jim just wrote). This might be an avenue to follow? Do youhave both plants?
     
  7. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    When I purchased the plant I was told it did not need a pollinator but I am now thinking that was incorrect information.

    Thanks
     
  8. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    A commonly available self-fertile variety is the hardy Actinidia arguta 'Issai' (not sure if there are any others). Should produce fruit soon after planting. The fact that you saw fruit or buds forming makes me wonder. I noted someone complaining on another forum that their 'Issai' did not produce fruit without a male. Maybe you are getting buds but something is causing them to abort before pollination?
     
  9. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    For Kiwi if the seeds do not develop the fruit will not size
    up. When the fruit from a professed self-fertile form such
    as 'Issai' and 'Blake' set a what appears to be a prototype
    fruit and the fruit never sizes up and drops off the vine, this
    is due to incomplete fertilization as the females can produce
    a small fruit on their own without bee pollination but the
    fruit will not last on the vine for any length of time and will
    be sloughed off. This is true for Fruit trees also. For Nut
    trees such as Almonds, Pecans, Pistachios and Walnuts
    we will see these "blanks" as we call them, empty nuts
    with no kernals (nuts) inside the hulls, go ahead and
    develop but will remain on the tree instead of being
    sloughed off.

    Kiwi names are a problem as the 'California Male' and the
    'Chico' male are synonymous. The 'Chico' female and the
    'Hayward', sometimes erroneously called Chico Hayward,
    the industry standard female are not quite the same plant.

    We sold the self-fertile 'Blake' in the nursery and later
    brought in some 'Issai'. Some years the 'Blake' could
    produce its own fruit without a male being around if we
    had bee activity but we found if we had a 'Tomuri' nearby
    we got lots of fruit. We sold the 'Tomuri' and the 'Chico'
    (female) as a pair of Kiwi for landscapers, home gardeners
    and for other nurseries that wanted them. We sold the
    'Blake' in singles but that Kiwi did better for setting fruit
    with a second 'Blake' planted near it.

    Jim
     

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