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Kiwis are dioecius vines, meaning you must plant a separate male plant to pollinate a fruiting female One male can pollinate up to 3-4 females. It is often the male plants that have been planted for their ornamental value, leaving the females and their wonderful fruit by the wayside.

Kiwi vines are extremely vigorous once established and require a rugged trellis, arbor or heavy pruning. Plant vines 6-10 feet apart each way in moderately rich but well drained soil. Plant a male within 30 feet of any female. Although the vines are quite hardy the flowers and foliage are frost sensitive. Planting in a protected site, not out an open field where winds could be damaging, will help to reduce the risk of damage. You can mulch with compost, wood chips or hay. Once the vines are established often their dense foliage will shade out the sod below.

There are two families of northern hardy kiwis that can be grown here. The Argutas can be distinguished by their narrower, more pointed leaves, the Kolomitkas have broader more heart shaped leaves. Each one is more sure of pollination by sticking to its own kind, or for the best pollination plant a male and female of the same type.


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Text by Effie Elfer - Fruit Drawings by Gabe Tempesta
Text and fruit drawings © 2009 Elmore Roots

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