Kiwi Vines

Also known as Chinese Gooseberry,  Kiwi. Kiwi plants are in great demand for their fruit and beautiful foliage. There are 3 species: Actinidia arguta, A. deliciosa (syn. chinensis), A. kolomikta

White-pink leaf colouring of a decorative kiwi

Requirements for all Actinidia species

Sunny and warm Position, sheltered from wind to promote fruit ripening. The “true” Kiwi or Chinese Gooseberry (Actinidia deliciosa) is only suitable for wine growing regions, other species can be grown in areas up to approx. 600m above sea level. Fresh, moist and humus rich garden soil is best; where position is dry, water regularly, but avoid water logging.


Twining climbers with very healthy and long-lasting foliage, from April / May until October / November.


Flower and Fruit

(Yellow-) white flowers in June / July, usually hidden under the leaves, A. deliciosa flowers already at the end of May. Leave the fruit on the plant until just before the first frost, to promote ripening and reduce the acidity. Kiwi is extremely rich in Vitamin C and suitable for long storage with subsequent ripening (refrigerator). Apples stored next to the Kiwi fruit will speed up their ripening, but also their decay. Almost all species are dioecious, and fruit will only develop if both female and male plants are grown together.


Kiwi / Chinese Gooseberry (Actinidia deliciosa)

Produces the popular Kiwi fruit. Originally from Asia and distributed from New Zealand, there are now plantations also in Southern Europe. Very vigorous shoot growth, young shoots hairy and rusty coloured. Susceptible to late frosts. A well-known cultivar is “Hayworth” (“Hayward”). “Jenny” is  monoecious  (see below) though bears smaller fruit. Pruning is complex, professional training similar to the Horizontal Cordon. If not trained properly, can cause damage similar to Wisteria. Refer below for suitable growth support systems, stem training as described for grapevines. Medium, but better Heavy Duty Systems.


Hardy Kiwi / Baby Kiwi / Dessert Kiwi / Cocktail Kiwi (Actinidia arguta)

Also known as Bower Actinidia, Tara Vine, Red-Fleshed Actinidia Fruit and Cocktail Kiwi, this plant originates from Japan, China and Korea. Fruit is small, but fruit bearing is reliable, a plant with modest requirements and low maintenance. Yearly pruning required to thin out growth. Growth slightly less vigorous than A. deliciosa. Smooth, red-brown, non-hairy shoots. Grows to about 8m in height. Yellow autumn colouring! The cultivar “Issai” is monoecious (see below). The high frost resistance of the plants allows for Pot Cultivation, given the right conditions. For suitable growth support systems, see below, similar as described for grapevines. Medium, but preferably Heavy Duty Growth Support Systems.


Kiwi / Kolomikta Vine (Actinidia kolomikta)

Similar to the Kolomikta Vine is the “Silver Vine” also known as "Cat Powder" or "Chinese Cat Powder" (Actinidia polygama), however it has bitter fruit. An ornamental Kiwi with filigree foliage, leaves on male plants have white-pink apices in early summer. Grows only to about 2 - 3m. Shrubby twiner, occasionally blue-black fruit on female plants. Especially suitable for small espaliers, wire rope systems as for Clematis. Medium as well as Heavy Duty Support Systems.

Climbing Plant Support System

Refer above. Lightning conductors, downpipes, eave gutters etc are not to be reached  by Actinidia species, always keep a distance of 1.5m to these and the gutters, to the side as well as to the top!