Follow a set of rules and you will enjoy your own homegrown kiwifruits
You can get kiwis (Actinidia) at any major garden store today. The kiwi plant comes from East Asia, and it is sometimes called Chinese gooseberry but the shape and colour of these fruits can be quite different from the kiwis you buy in supermarkets. Depending on the variety you get, you will have different shapes and different sizes.
Where to grow kiwifruit
The plant is a dioecious, deciduous and partially self-pollinating liana-type plant so, you should choose a location with partial shade but warm enough. Kiwi needs some kind of supporting stakes during growth, so you can plant it near a pergola, wall or wire net and tie the plant as it grows to provide proper support . Also keep in mind that the plant can grow up to 9 meters. The entire plant (including fruits) is hairy.
A dioecious plant…
In addition to the female plant that bears fruit, you must also grow the male plant that will pollinate the female plant. Without the male plant you will not have any fruits. There are however, some self-pollinating varieties but they do not produce as well as dioecious plants. Fortunately, one male plant can pollinate up to five female plants. Be prepared to wait for your first harvest, as kiwis usually bear fruit after the third year.
Kiwi is a pretty strong and resilient plant and it is not susceptible to diseases, however sometimes you will encounter root or fruit rotting, or it may be attacked by a bug called Diaspidiotus. If your plants get hit by late frosts, which damage the flowers, expect much smaller harvest or none at all.
Kiwis are most often propagated during the spring and summer by using half-ripe cuttings, however the plant can also be propagated by grafting (in March using a seedling of the same species) or simply by sowing…. Young cuttings that have already developed a root system can withstand temperatures around 0 °C, but you should plant kiwis at the permanent site only after two years of cultivation. Make sure to water properly during the summer.
Preview photo: Pixabay
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