I have ordered a male and female Issai Kiwi from Edible Landscape. Is anyone else growing this kiwi and what do people think about the taste as compared to other kiwis such as Anna and Ken's red, etc?
Issai is the name of a self pollinating variety. If they sold you a male and female separate they are ripping you off.
Another way of saying this is that "Issai" is a female cultivar of Actinidia arguta, there is no male "Issai" -- although there is such a thing as a male Actinidia arguta. My understanding is that Issai is not self pollinating but rather sets fruit parthenocarpically when there is no male nearby to donate pollen. I think nursery catalogs will usually say self-pollinating just to avoid the effort of explaining "parthenocarpic".
I have "Issai" but have no male Actinidia arguta nearby. I have never been impressed with the fruit.
to clarify- the edible landscape website says "Sets fruits without a male, but sets more with one"
Gene- do you have other kiwis that you do like?
I bought the issai as it is supposed to fruit the second year after planting.
are there any other kiwis that taste good that set fruit within 3 years
My Issai's have never set fruit in seven years without pollination with viable male pollen. However, they are in containers, and I suspect they need to get larger and more mature in order to set fruit without pollination.
I would rate the fruit of 'Anna' higher than 'Issai', but with 'Issai', you will likely get fruit the very next year with a late blooming male nearby, while with 'Anna', you may be waiting 3-10 years to start getting fruit, and 'Issai' is only moderately vigorous, flowering readily even when small, while 'Anna' could compete with kudsu and gets enormous. "Issai" literally translates to "first year" or "year one" from Japanese, in reference to its precocious nature.
My Anna has struggled to keep up with a nearby sweet autumn clematis each year for the past 4. (this year it should win, though as the SAC was killed to the ground).
I probably should start another thread, but what the heck, two quick questions...1) can corrective pruning to get better form to the top and over my 6+ foot arbor be done after leaf growth (I know they bleed, but I've got to get the vines up and over the top of the arbor as long as they are un-hindered by the SAC) and how long should I wait for new green growth to be mature enough to attempt grafting to (I got cuttings of A Purpurea to attempt to graft and then root).
I do most of my pruning during the summer, and very little dormant pruning. The bleeding does not hurt the vines.
You can do the grafting as soon as you think the new green growth is strong enough for supporting the weight of the graft. The green and juicy shoots are soft, but the grafts will really take off if the weather is warm. Just be careful and graft a short scion, with only one or two buds, and you should be ok. Otherwise, the only issue is making sure the shoot and scion match in size.
If anyone happens to be in the area and wants to see how monstrous an 'Anna' vine can get, check out the one at Hidden Springs Nursery in Cookeville, TN. It is at least 25 years old, and has a trunk about 2 feet in diameter, which is actually several trunks about 5-6 inches in diameter that have grown together. This single vine produces about 300 lbs of fruit each year! It is surrounded by three male vines, and completely covers the frame of an old greenhouse. I'll try to take pictures of it one of these days, although I don't know how it fared this spring after the Easter freeze.
Just to say that I am growing Issai and find the fruit absolutely amazing when they are ripe, with a whole range of flavours way beyond any traditional kiwi I've bought! I'm really keen on grafting this to a traditional seed grown Actinidia to get more vigour, as the Issai, Act. arguta, is a real wimp and very feeble.
I'd love to hear from someone who has actually done this successfully.
Adrianfox: do you need a male plant to set fruits?
Issai will set fruits without a male pollinator, but you'll likely get more fruit and larger fruit with a male nearby. One Green World and Burnt Ridge Nursery offer a male variety called Flowercloud that, because it also blooms early in life, is supposed to be a good pollinator for Issai.