What's the best self fertilizing kiwi to grow in zone 5?

mdo003April 16, 2009

I wanted to plant an Issai Kiwi but I've seen several negative reviews about them, especially if you dont plant a male with it... or does it kind of vary plant to plant? but i really dont want 2 huge vines in my yard. Ive heard arctic kiwis are better but can take 5-10 years to fruit (plus you need a male) and im not that patient. Are there any other good alternatives that will fruit within a couple years and will grow well in zone 5, almost zone 4?

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Try 'Anna'.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 11:55PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

You don't need a very big male. I keep my males head-pruned to about a 3' radius: the vine comes up to the wire and I let it go a foot or two each way. You don't need many flowers to get pollination. Also during the year I prune them back harder than the females. Think black widow spiders: huge female tiny male.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 9:30AM
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There probably are no self-fertilizing hardy kiwi, at least not readily available. Issai is self-pollinating, but technically not self-fertile (the pollen is dead-no seeds). All other available hardy kiwi require a male for pollination to get fruit, except possibly one. The one that is claimed to be self-fertile that can pollinate other females, is named 119-40B. I have it (from Hartmann's) but it has not bloomed yet, so I can't confirm that it produces good pollen.

Not sure where you heard that about arctic kiwi. I have found them to be extremely precocious, typically fruiting the year after planting (provided you have no issues with late spring frosts). I grow mine in containers and they have never failed to bloom. Hardy kiwi, A. arguta, are the ones that often take 5-10 years to fruit and need to get really big. Issai is the exception, but it is a hybrid and not a pure arguta. It is also not reliably hardy much below -10F.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 12:39PM
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Kiwinut- dont remember i read somewhere that somebody had several of them and it had been 5-6 years and they still werent fruiting. How big of a container do you need to have to grow them in a pot? and how do you have them rigged up to grow? I might be intrested in trying that. Especially if you can keep the male very small as scott says and still do ok. Also, did you get your arctic's online or have a recommendation for a good play to buy? gurneys.com had them for $30 a pair and it seems like a reputable place. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 6:35PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

Mine are 6 years old (3 males, 6 females). The males started (well one of them) blooming after 3 years, the females have been a little more bashful. Last year two of my females bloomed (their 5th year), others still have not bloomed. I am leaving them unpruned this year, until I see if I'm pruning too heavily. I got about 1/2 pound of fruit between the two females that fruited for me, but the squirrels thinned the fruit pretty early on.

I can't imagine putting them into pots. These are HUGE plants, any pot you put them into will be overturned regularily by the sheer weight and wind treating the foliage as a sail. Mine are on a 6-7 foot tall arbor and they have tried to hitch a ride on the telephone lines nearby each year. If you're a clematis grower, imagine Sweet Autumn on steroids.

I just dug a hole, 6+ feet from the stems of the kiwi and was cutting thumb thickness roots that I can only assume were from one of the kiwis. I potted up one of the roots, to see if it would grow as a root-cutting. I wish all my plants had as healthy roots!

If my plants ever start producing heavily I don't know what I would ever do with all the fruit. My wife picks up Arguta fruit at Trader Joes for 3.99 for 4 ounces. ($16 a pound?!?!)


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 7:41PM
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oh, ive seen it as some nursery sites like this one too, but they say "up to" so maybe most people see fruit a lot sooner

Here is a link that might be useful: nursey site that says 7-10 years

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:20PM
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If you plant an arctic kiwi in an area that gets frequent spring frosts, it may take 7-10 years or longer (or never) for it start to bear. However they are very precocious and will fruit in a small container if protected from frosts once they leaf out. Here is a picture of a male I just took tonight. Notice the flowers. This is in a two gallon pot. I will re-pot it to a three gallon after it finishes blooming, as it has gotten root bound. I have kept this one this size for 3-4 years with just a little pruning.

Chills, you are talking about A. arguta, which can be a huge plant. Arctic kiwi is A. kolomikta, aka Siberian kiwi-very hardy and not very vigorous. They have extremely low chill requirements, and will sometimes leaf out after a few warm days in January, which is why I grow them in containers.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 11:43PM
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sorry, hate to keep asking you questions but its tough to find good resources/consistant info on these things and i dont want to buy one, wait 5 years for it to fruit and then find out i hate it... id say your potted vine looks like its maybe 3-4 feet tall? how much fruit do you get off of it? just a pound or two, or more? and arctic beauty is the only major kolomitka cultivar right?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 11:19AM
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oh, and do you think i could successfully grow an issai in a pot w/o a male and put it in the garage during frosts/cold months? roughly how much fruit would you get off of potted plant kept to maybe 4 or 5 feet? i was reading that arctic kiwi fruits are often only the size of a raisin and i want something bigger, so i might just get one of those and if i like it maybe invest in some Annas next year

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:29AM
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The potted vine is just under 3 ft tall. It is a male, so no fruit. The females are at the other end of the house. One of them, Sentyabraskaya (September Sun), produced about 50 fruits a couple of years ago when I let it get about 3 x 3 ft. That is not a very big crop, and most produce less in pots. I grow these mostly for hybridizing. I think they make an interesting ornamental potted plant, but this is not the way to produce a lot of fruit. 'Arctic Beauty' is a male selected for colorful foliage. There is a female selection that is suggested to possibly be self-fertile, that is sold as Hero by One Green World. It does not appear to produce viable pollen, but it may be able to set without a male like Issai. It has done well for me in a small container. One that has not produced much at all is Krupnopladnaya.

Issai has bloomed for me every year in a container. I have it in a 5-gallon pot, and usually keep it no bigger than 4 ft high. With good pollination, one this size can produce at least 50 fruits. I really don't know how much you would get without a male. It can be sensitive to root rot if the growing medium holds too much water, so use a well draining material around the base of the trunk. Mine had some die back last year due to high rainfall, and wet leaves around the base of the trunk. It seems to be recovering well after I started keeping the leaves off. As it has gotten older, it leafs out pretty late, so I only had to move it inside during late freezes the first year or two.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:47PM
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My Issai are coming into their 3rd growing season since I planted them (potted plants that were flowering when bought). They are about 6' tall and a couple feet out in size. Last year they had tonnes of flowers but none set fruit. I'm not sure how big they need to grow before they do their magical self fruiting thing but mine haven't yet. Hopefully one of my male argutas will flower this year to pollinate them.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 8:40AM
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OK, last question before i go buy something, i swear; are there any other argutas that i could grow successfully in a pot. basically heres what im looking for in a kiwi plant:

1. can be grown in a pot, will keep to maybe 4-5 feet or so
2. Would like at least a couple pounds of fruit, its the reason im growing them, the more the better
3. Would like it to flower within 3 years or less
4. One plant would be a plus, but id be willing to plant 2

do you think issai would be the best choice, or are there any argutas or kolomitkas that would be better. i guess i could maybe even try a fuzzy since id store it in the garage during the winter

thanks for the advice everyone!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:00PM
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I really would not expect any other argutas to bloom in a pot. They typically will not fruit until they get quite large. Issai is the only exception I know of. Fuzzy kiwi are also very vigorous and need a long growing season, so I don't think they would do well either.

I think you could do really well with kolomiktas in 5 gallon containers. They grow more like a shrub than a vine. The females that have fruited well for me in containers are Sentyabraskaya (also sold as September Sun), Red Beauty, and Dostoya-sold as Hero by One Green World. OGW has the best selection I know of. I think I got the other two and the male from Tripple Brook Farm.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:11PM
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I have a male and 2 females and I had thought about putting them in my greenhouse..but if they get HUGE maybe not..we get awfully danged cold here

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 7:13PM
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kiwinut i saw on your profile you have an MSU kiwi, how does that treat you? that was one of the argutas that was appealing to me if i decided to plant some in a couple years

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 7:58AM
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Still waiting for it to bloom. Like the all my other kiwi, it was killed to the ground in 2007 (the year I was expecting the first blooms), so it is still recovering. It has not handled hot weather well at all, and needs frequent watering. My cordifolia has handled hot weather much better than the other argutas, but leafs out earlier.

Ronbre, kiwi require a dormant period, so you could not grow them in a greenhouse unless you let it get cold for a month or two.

BTW, the kolomikta sold by OGW as "Hero" is named 'Dostoynaya', not 'Dostoya'. I think "naya" means fruit in Russian. They don't list the real name of these cultivars on their web site, but substitute these new names so they can get a trade mark on them, something that will cause plenty of confusion later on. They do or at least used to put the real name in the printed catalog.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 2:24PM
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Dostoynaya, means "worthy" in Russian. "naya" is just ending for ajectives. Fruit is "fruct" in russian, basiacally the same root as in english.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 8:44PM
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Thanks Olga!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 1:50PM
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Well I ended up going with an Issai, i have it in an 8 or 10 gallon pot with a 6 foot stake, anybody have a good idea of how to trestle it? i dont know if i should get a couple more stakes and do something similar to kiwi nut's setup for is male or if i need something sturdier for when it bears fruit down the road

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:17PM
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It's been very interesting reading this thread; nice to know you came to the same conclusion as I (Issai).

As far as support, I'm trying an 8' stake (will see about 2 stakes, maybe, later), with the thought that Issai is supposedly less vigorous than all the other types that are not self-pollinating.

Tried some of the arctic kiwis before, without success (guess zone 7 was pushing it), but at least, in their place, the schisandra (magnolia vine) seems to be doing well.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 5:41AM
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Here's a link showing kiwi (arguta) growing in a pot with the vine supported overhead by a horizontal wire. It appears to have flowers on it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Potted Arguta

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 9:06AM
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im thinking about maybe getting some wire fencing supported with a stake or two and wrapping it around the inside perimiter of of the pot and just weaving the vine through the fencing, dont know how well that will work

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 9:53AM
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It is hard to tell for sure, but that vine looks a lot like Issai. That is about the size I would expect Issai to reach in that size container. Maybe someone who speaks Polish could try to find out what it is.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 3:13PM
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jethro75(Z 5 N Central PA)

I know this is an old post, but was close to what I am searching for. I have a September sun and a victor female kiwis. I also have a male, can't remember the name off hand,I think it is a pasha or something like that. I planted all three last spring. To my surprise the females had flowers, but not the male. I was happy that they flowered and hope next year the male does also. So, yesterday I happened by the trellis and noticed some long runners that I do not want and was going to cut them off. When I lifted some leaves to see if the flower pedals had fallen off, I was even more surprised to see tiny fruit where the flowers once were.
I don't know of any other kiwis around or even in the township I am in. Being that the male didn't flower, I am wondering why there are fruit on the females? Will the eventually fall off before ripe. I couple are fair size and hanging on pretty tight.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 6:01PM
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