Kiwi Pollination Distance

strudeldog_gwApril 17, 2008

After several years and minimal fruit on my Issai Kiwi (?Self Pollinating?) I will be planting a male (Meader), and a Anna (female). Trying to work this in a wooded residential lot. I am thinking about putting the Meader male a distance away in considerable shade hoping the expected fewer blooms in the shade still sufficeint for pollination. What distance is reccomended as a maximum distance for good pollination? I am hoping to locate the male about 60 feet away from the fruiting plants would that be stretching it? and do you think in the denser shade that I will get enough flowering for pollen. Thanks in advance.

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I would just plant them right by each other. You can prune away nearly all of the male to keep it a tiny plant compared to a huge female (think those big female spiders with those tiny males). You don't have to have too many male flowers in order to pollinate all the female ones.

If you want to plant them apart anyway, 60' should be OK. If your location is dappled shade I think you will be OK. If it is deep shade maybe not.

By the way I agree on Issai - not worth the bother. Mine died last year in a dry spell and I'm not missing it a whit.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 8:38AM
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The hardy kiwi are wind and insect pollinated, so if you must plant the male far away, up-wind would be best.

While Issai is self-pollinating, it is NOT self-fertile. There is a difference. It's pollen is completely dead and non-viable, but it can still induce fruit-set from selfing (parthenocarpy), but without producing viable seed. This makes it useless for pollinating anything else. It must need to get big and mature to do this, as mine have never set selfed fruit while grown in containers. It does have the advantage that it fruits prolifically in containers if cross-pollinated, and usually blooms the very first year after planting. The fruit is not bad.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 1:09PM
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Thanks Folks I think I am going to plant the Male where I had planed. It is high shade and not real dense. I like the idea of keeping a male real small closer, maybe in a 15 Gal pot that I could move right close during flowering. I only have one male I think I am going to try Layering a couple shoots of the male just pinning them to the ground with a scraping and some rooting compound as I do many plants. I assume the simple layering will work on Kiwi, and I have found it much less work and better results than cuttings, but then I have never tried with Kiwi. My male has multiple vigorous shoots and I'm thinking I would need to prune them off anyway except a couple to develop as main trunks. I might as well give it a go. I was really suprised to find the Anna and Meader Male where I did, right at "big box" Lowes. Vigorus plants in large gal + pots for $10, and I could not pass. Not giving up on Issai yet either, Assuming the male pollen will improve fruiting, and I had let it pretty much go unpruned for a several years after getting discouraged on it, and it was a tangled mess wrapping all around itself. Pruned it back hard this spring hopefully re-inivigorate it. Intresting about the "parthenocarpy". I will have to do some reading. I know some fruits did not need pollination for fruit set, but never really thought that much about it, now you have me curious.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 9:28PM
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