How to a kiwi gender if I start it from seed

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by sean86114, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. sean86114

    sean86114 Member

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    Hi there, I am trying to start a kiwi tree from seed, since I cant find the golden kiwi (actinidia chinensis) for some reason this plant cant be found in our local garden centers.
    my question is how can I tell the gender of the plant after several months old? or do I have to wait couple of years to tell by their flowers?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    You have to wait until it is old enough to flower (which might be more than 2 years, too). But you will also need both sexes for pollination if you want fruit to develop.
     
  3. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    It took my first set of kiwis about 3 years to produce flowers and I got them at about 24" in height. I have found that some varieties of males tend to have fewer flowers than the females, but they are larger than the females. You can also tell by looking at the flowers themselves; male kiwi flowers feature an abundant number of pollen-filled anthers. Female kiwi flowers feature white ovaries in the center of the bloom, and sticky stigmas around the outer edge of the ovaries

    And if you are looking at getting different varieties, make sure you know if they are early or late bloomers. For example, the "fuzzys" (A. Deliciosa) are late in pushing leaves and flowers and are no good for pollinating say "Ken's Red" or Dumbarton Oak (A. Arguta), which should be well leafed out and producing flowers by now.
    I am suspecting the "gold" to be late as they are related to the A. Deliciosa, which used to be classified as A. Chinensis.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. sean86114

    sean86114 Member

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    Thanks for the info guys! You guys are awesome. I was told garden works personnel that I could use my Hayward (fuzzy) male to pollinate my new hardy kiwi female. I hope this is correct. And I am hope I can use my Hayward male to pollinate my future addition female gold(chinensis) kiwi. Please advice...
     
  5. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Be prepared for disappointment with the results of growing kiwi vines from seeds. If the female plant that produced the seeds was pollinated by a different species, it's unlikely that you will get golden kiwi fruit. Even if the pollinator was the same species, the fruit may not be the same quality as the cultivated variety. However, the results may still be interesting; the commercial varieties were selected seedlings.
     
  6. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    I did manage to start some gold kiwi seedlings (seeds came from Italy) but found they are very sensitive to temperature changes and over-watering / under-watering.....they either dried out very quickly or rotted away from too much water so I never managed to grow them beyond 1" in height.
    That being said, you can grow them if conditions are just right which includes cold stratification for at least 30 days. I experiment with the seeds I had and only those stored in the refridgerator for more than a month actually germinated; which I unfortunately lost when I couldn't keep conditions optimal.
    That being said, I will be trying again this year to grow them up once the gold kiwis arrive in super markets this summer.
     
  7. sean86114

    sean86114 Member

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    thanks for all the info guys, everyday I am learning more and more. another question that has been bugging me, how does the Nursery know what gender are the kiwi plants that they are selling, isnt too young to tell gender? how do they know?
     
  8. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    What the nurseries sell are cuttings from a "parent" plant, either male or female - much faster than seed and guaranteed to be what they claim.
    If you look closely at the stalk of your "Hayward" you will see that the rooted portion is probably thicker and disproportionate to the actual growing area. This "stalk" is what was cut from the parent and rooted. The new growth is what occured after planting. Wholesalers of plants can "make" hundreds of new plants from only a few large, mature plants, and they can do it in a fraction of the time it takes to do so from seed.
     
  9. sean86114

    sean86114 Member

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    Interesting. .. thanks for the info.
     
  10. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    ....something I want to try to do with my "exotic" kiwi varieties, but first I need a mature plant...... :)
     

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