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Kiwi Vines

Like Eating a Fruit Salad!
A new fruit for Southern growers. Kiwi fruit brings a pretty price in the supermarket, and it is easy to understand why, when it boasts the flavors of pineapple, strawberry and melon. It is really like eating a fruit salad! Two kinds of kiwis can be grown– the more familiar fuzzy kiwi and the more cold tolerant smooth kiwi. We’re all familiar with fuzzy kiwi, but most folks haven’t had a chance to try the smooth skinned kiwi, they are much sweeter and the skin is edible, just pop them in your mouth and eat like grapes.

Fuzzy Kiwis grow on a large, rambling, deciduous vine with broad, deep green leaves and soft, white undersides. New growth is covered with velvety red hairs. In May, the vines burst forth with large, white blossoms that fill the air with a heavenly perfume.

Smooth skinned kiwis are slower growers and less take up less space on the arbor. The smaller growers like Issai and Lonestar can be easily grown in a container with a fan trellis for support.

Fruit harvest on both types of kiwi begins while the fruit is still hard in late September and October. The fruit can be picked and stored in a cool place like  your refrigerator and will last for up to 6 months.

Both types of kiwis prefer well-drained soils and part to full sun. All Female kiwi vines except Lonestar need cross pollination. Fuzzy Female varieties need Fuzzy Males to set fruit. Smooth Skinned Females need Smooth Skinned Males to set fruit. Buy at least one male to pollinate up to four Female vines.

Exotic Beauty
You could not ask for a more exotic-looking plant to weave into your landscape than the kiwi. Throughout the late summer and fall months when most of the landscape loses its interest, the kiwi comes to life, as clusters of fuzzy fruit swell and turn to contrasting browns and reds amongst the deep green foliage.

The vine’s large heart-shaped leaves offer excellent shade throughout the hot summer months. Create a cool summer retreat by building a lath-roofed arbor and gracefully twining the smooth-barked trunks around the pillars. Train the vines along the top rail of a fence to enjoy the cascading form in a colorful show of foliage and fruit.

The versatile kiwi can also be espaliered against a wall or even trained into small, graceful, weeping trees that look marvelous in large wooden tubs or in the border.

«Not sure what to do with Kiwi or how to grow them? Click here for Just the Facts on planting and care.

«Click here for the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for your area.

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