You may find many trees for sale and you may know kiwi fruit from what you see in the grocery store: an odd, brown, egg-shaped fruit with green or golden flesh.
Other types of kiwi fruit produce bite-sized fruits with a smooth, edible peel. The variety you can grow in your home garden depends on the climate in your area.
Kiwi fruit plants are dioecious, which means that the male and female plants are separate. While male plants do not produce fruits, they are necessary for pollination and fruit production in female plants.
It is better to plant vines and females of the same species. Some self-fertilizing kiwifruit varieties do not require vines for male pollination. In most species, vines and females can only be distinguished from each other at the time of flowering.
Male flowers of vines contain only pollen-producing petals. Female flowers have anthers that do not produce viable pollen. You can tell them from the male flowers by the multi-branched central pistil. After successful pollination and fertilization, the pistil develops into fruits.
While the types of kiwi fruit differ in flower size, you can distinguish between male and female by the pistil. Sometimes nursery plants are misnamed. Gardeners may think that they buy one female (a bearer) and one male vine, but they produce two males or two women. A female vine does not bear fruit without a male.
To be sure, check the gender of each vine on the inflorescence. Kiwi fruit plants are vigorous climbers. They are native to the extreme cold of tropical regions of East Asia, depending on the species. Many of these varieties are available from nurseries. Some were developed for fruit production, others for decoration.
Most people are familiar with the green and brown kiwi fruit. This variety is only suitable for the warmer locations of western Oregon. For most other regions, this winter cold is not enough.
The golden-brown kiwi (Actinidia chinensis), which is also found in many grocery stores, cannot be grown in the home garden in any area of Oregon.
However, the small, soft-fruited kiwifruit (Actinidia arguta) is adapted to most areas of Oregon. This variety was formerly sold as hardy or small kiwifruit but is now called kiwi berry.
The most common or cultivated kiwi varieties have green or red flesh. Arctic kiwifruit produces fruit that is smaller and less flavorful than Actinidia Arguta in our region.
However, the arctic kiwifruit is the cooler cultivar available. Arctic kiwi fruit is also commonly grown as an ornamental for its pink-tinged leaves. The flavor varies greatly between the varieties. Kiwi fruit is one of the best natural sources of vitamin C, containing 430 mg per 100 grams of fresh weight.
(An orange contains 70 mg per 100 grams of fresh weight.) Kiwi fruit is also rich in oxalic acid. People who are prone to developing kidney stones often need to avoid fruits and vegetables that are high in oxalic acid. kiwi fruit varieties Choose a type and type appropriate for your area.
Kiwi fruit is relatively easy to propagate using hardwood cuttings. Wood removed during cutting can be used to make scraps and share. Only one group of green-pulp kiwi fruit is available for the home garden: 'Hayward'.
'Hayward' and Wanted Male (Actinidia deliciosa) are not suitable for the colder regions of Oregon.
Stems and fruiting woods can be damaged by cold temperatures, especially after a warm spell and when the vines are not completely dormant (fall or late winter).
Stem damage weakens older plants and sometimes kills young vines. A scale is provided in the cold hardness zone to determine the suitability of the zone.
Note that the cold hardiness zone varies within the region. Many of these (and others) are available through local retail and mail-order nurseries.
Plants often sell out quickly, so order before planting in the spring. Buy a male of the same species. Site selection Kiwi fruit vines have been producing for more than 20 years depending on species, climate, soil pressure, and pest pressure.
Choose a site carefully for optimal plant life. The ideal environmental conditions for kiwi fruit are full sun exposure and fertile, well-drained soil, sandy loam, or clay soil with moderate water holding capacity.
In central Oregon, amend the native soil with compost to increase water-holding capacity. While the plants can tolerate partial shade, crop quality, and fruit quality may decline.
Avoid planting in low or low-lying areas where cold air may accumulate. All kiwi varieties are susceptible to frost damage in late winter to early spring. Avoid high winds in your garden.
Kiwi fruit vines are delicate because their long stems can break in the wind. Wind can also cause the fruits to rub against each other or the stems. causes wounds.
Kiwi plants are also susceptible to Verticillium wilt, a soil-borne fungal disease. Avoid planting vines in areas where other crops susceptible to verticillium infestation, such as strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and some ornamentals, have been grown within the past five years.
Soil Nutrient Testing and Adjustment If you are going to grow kiwi fruit in your garden soil, it is a good idea to take a soil sample and test it before planting. Collect soil samples a year or more in advance.
This will provide enough time to amend the soil if necessary.
Kiwi fruit plants require a soil pH of 5.6 to 6.5. If the soil test shows that the soil pH is too low (too acidic) or too high (too basic), you can amend the soil to improve the ph.
A typical soil analysis would also include phosphorous (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sodium (Na). Also test for organic matter and boron (B), especially in the Willamette Valley where vitamin B deficiency is common. Nitrogen (N) levels in the soil are not useful because N is not applied before planting.
Alternatively, supplement with N fertilizer after planting. Table 2 shows the recommended soil nutrients for kiwifruit.