why are my kiwis not blooming?!

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by jemmagirl, May 19, 2009.

  1. jemmagirl

    jemmagirl Member

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    Location:
    Aldergrove, BC
    Hi,
    We planted one each of labeled male and female kiwis (Vicent and, I think, Hayworth?) in 2005 in a sunny wall location against a large trellis. They were probably at least second year plants as they were good sized and in gallon containers. They have since grown like crazy and are about 12-15' tall and about 6 feet wide each. They have only been pruned for crossed, nicked, damaged, or sprouts in the late fall, but have never been cut back excessively. Both vines look very healthy with virtually identical large velvety dark green lobed leaves with a purplish vessels on their underside. But, we've yet to see any blooms whatsoever! Looks like another year has passed us by, because again no flower buds. Any ideas as to why they are not blooming?
    Faith :-)
     
  2. khall

    khall Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Hi
    When I bought my kiwi vines I was told "it could take up to 7 years before they bloom". Right on cue the male started with a few flowers in the 7th year. It is now the 11th year and it had hundreds of flowers this year. The female still hasn't bloomed. Sigh. Seems that one needs a lot a patience with kiwis.
     
  3. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    PNW
    Mine are only a few years old and bloomed like crazy earlier this year. Perhaps your soil is deficient or they have severe competition from other plants, although by all accounts they seem to be growing well? Mine have no competition for several feet each direction and a couple inches of arborist chip mulch. I also fertilized with blueberry fertilizer with micros (as that is what I had kicking around).

    If only I can keep the bears away until the fruit is ripe...
     
  4. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    I haven't had any problems with kiwi vines not blooming in a sunny location. However, my brother had some planted in partial shade, and they never bloomed. I suspect the lack of ample sunshine had a lot to do with it.
     
  5. David Payne Terra Nova

    David Payne Terra Nova Active Member

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    Location:
    Port Coquitlam, B.C. Canada
    Here's my Kiwi story

    My company has done alot of landscape maintenance contracting to strata's over the years.
    Some Strata councils and property managers won't accept advice from us educated professionals.
    They can be very frustrating.
    Some-times we get the attitude like, "oh, you cut the lawn so there's no way you know what you're talking about."

    For reference, a "bare land strata" is one where each unit owns their own yard and they are responsible to maintain it. There are common areas of lawns and parks that the entire strata shares the cost of maintaining.

    Most stratas are the opposite of this and all yards, parks areas and lawns are part of the entire strata corporations property maintenance.

    The council who signed our contract got voted out at the AGM and the new council of a "bare land strata" in Coquitlam decided that an owners two Kiwi's should be cut down. They were over forty feet tall. Very beautiful, loaded with fruit and growing into the green belt, up the side of an Alder like a trellis. (common property)
    They weren't doing any harm to the unkept greenbelt.
    The owner of the property wasn't warned of the butchering and the Kiwi should not have been pruned until after the fruit was done. My intervention was shot down.

    The logger went onto the private yard and cut the Kiwi's as ordered by the council. He left stumps that were three feet from the ground.

    The Kiwi's cut trunks were about three to four inches across. Water poured out of what was left of them like a tap was turned on full force. I've never seen any-thing like it.

    The Dentist who owned the property came home and bawled like a baby.
    Some strata councils are so heartless.

    I don't know if he sued. That council was very difficult to deal with and breached our contract
    (a regular occurance in landscaping) We quit on them.


    Note: Strata in the U.S. is refered to as an HOA or Home owners association. AGM is annual general meeting
     
  6. fiberleaf

    fiberleaf New Member

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    Seekonk
    I was getting frustrated for the past 9 years with a hardy male that would not bloom. The trunk 1.25 inches across and it's height is over 10 feet tall. My female Issai was 4 years old and had flowered for 2 years, not many flowers but this year it was loaded. Giving up on the male and I was about to purchase a male variety (flowercloud male) from One green world but was reluctant to spend the money and checked the male one last time. Well, after nine years there are now flower buds on a few branches. Perhaps it had enough poking by the female to get with the program, more likely it took longer than the 7 year rule. Anyway, don't give up and nature proved once again, males take longer to mature than females.

    Dan
     
  7. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    If you really have Actinidia arguta 'Issai', you don't need a male plant because 'Issai' is self-fertile and produces an abundant crop without a separate pollinator. I've had an isolated plant at the back of my garden for many years, and my only complaint about it is that it was too productive, resulting in smaller individual fruits. A male pollinator might result in larger fruits but is certainly not necessary.
     
  8. fiberleaf

    fiberleaf New Member

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    Thank you Vitog for your response. I recently learned that my tagged Actinidia arguta 'Issai' is a self pollinator. Out of ignorance I had purchased the two (male and female), the first female did not make and the second female is only 3 years old and has this season produced 25 to 50 flowers. Well, now I'm positioned to get the best outcome for size and yield. How does that variety taste? There is a wide range of likes and dislike for the Issai. I think if you are expecting the common store bought Kiwi there may be disappointment although some individuals are over the top pleased with the quality of the fruit. Your thoughts?
     
  9. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I like the taste of 'Issai' better than 'Anna', mainly because it has more tartness to it. Obviously, it's a personal preference; but I generally like fruit to have both sweetness and tartness. I still prefer the taste of the regular fuzzy kiwi to either of the A. arguta varieties that I've tried, but A. arguta ripens a lot earlier than A. deliciosa; so you get an extended season by having them both.
     
  10. fiberleaf

    fiberleaf New Member

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    Thanks vitog for the recommendation for having both which I will definitely do. Now I have a large male plant that is taking up 1/2 the room on the trellis (12 X 10). I have had some success with grafting apple trres, your thoughts on grafting the A. Deliciosa on that male after it has been well established on its own? Guess I'm asking if kiwi grafts easy.
     
  11. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm suspecting a third even earlier blooming variety besides the A. arguta 'Issai', and this one is not self-fertile.

    I have 6 different varieties of kiwi and have noticed the A. Deliciosa flowers the latest. Before that my various A. arguta species (i.e. Ken's Red) will flower. But I have one female that is flowering right now while everything else expect the Issai hasn't even begun to produce flower buds.
    I've had this female for about 7 years now and have had a heck of a time finding a matching male after we lost ours in its second year. The leaves are unlike any other variety: large, thick almost heart-shaped that are smooth with a bit of serration on the edges. After losing the male it took a couple of years to find another that was blooming at the same time (after much trial and error and lack of knowledge at various nurseries/garden centers) we finally found one and we managed to get fruit that year - small grape sized - before that male was killed by a playful raccoon. Finally, again this spring, I was able to find a male flowering right now that is not 'Issai' to use as a pollinator and it turned out to be A. polygama 'paval' - silver vine kiwi - and again, it is very different from our female in appearance. But hopefully I can use it to pollinate my mystery female
     
  12. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Regarding grafting of kiwi vines, I haven't tried it seriously; but there is plenty of information about it on the Web. Grafting seems to be possible, but you have to be careful about timing and how you do it. The main difficulty is due to the copious sap that runs out of any cuts to the vines during early spring when you would normally be doing the grafting.
     
  13. fiberleaf

    fiberleaf New Member

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    Thanks Vitog. I checked the internet and I anxious to start my grafting project in the fall.
     
  14. TomfromPA

    TomfromPA New Member

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    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I just wondered do you any body has flowered male kiwi fruit tree, if they can give a few brunch flower, I can shake them on female kiwi flower to get some fruit. My female tree flowered third year and male tree dose not flower. Thanks a lot. I am in Philadelphia area.
     

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