Choosing Cultivars

The hardy kiwifruit plant is a strong-growing perennial vine with small leaves and bright red stems. It can grow to 40 feet in length. If not pruned and trained, the vines will grow up trees and over fences.

Most plants are dioecious—they bear either male or female flowers but not both. For this reason, you need to plant both a male and a female plant if you want to harvest fruit. Some nurseries sell hermaphroditic plants, which bear flowers of both sexes, but their performance has been poor.

In early summer, the vines bear small white flowers with chocolate-colored centers on the previous season's spur growth. They have a fragrance similar to that of lily-of-the-valley and are pollinated by wind or insects. Greenish yellow fruits develop in the summer and into the fall and ripen very late in the season. Plants usually fruit by their fourth year and bear full crops after the eighth year. Once established, plants can live for 50 or more years.

Several cultivars are available through various nurseries. Improved selections that perform well in New York include Ananasnaja, Geneva, Meader, MSU, and the 74 series.

0 0

Post a comment