Plant Taxonomy of Hardy Kiwis:
Plant Type for Hardy Kiwis:
Characteristics of Kiwi Vines:
Planting Zones for Kiwi Vines:
Sun and Soil Requirements for Kiwi Vines:
Outstanding Feature of Kiwi Vines:
Care for Kiwi Vines:
Problems in Growing Kiwi Vines:
- Spring's variegation may fade by summer
- Growers may experience a waiting period for variegation to appear
- Leaves may be damaged by frost
- Rabbits may eat the branches in winter
- Cats may eat the leaves
In my Arctic Beauty kiwi vine's second spring, the leaves had just barely unfurled when my zone 5 region suffered a frost. The existing leaves were ruined. New ones (mainly green, not brilliantly variegated leaves) replaced them and the plant remained healthy, but I was robbed of the color display for that year.
Uses for Kiwi Vines:
Hardy Kiwis: What About the Fruit?:
Kiwi vines are dioecious; female kiwis will fruit if accompanied by a male. Many gardeners, however, as mentioned above, treat kiwi plants as ornamentals, forgoing fruit production. In such cases, growers are more interested in the variegated foliage of kiwi vines (especially the unusual pink splotches) than in their fruit; and since the variegated foliage is more striking on male kiwis than on females, those who plant them as ornamentals will grow exclusively male plants.
That's precisely my own approach, as I grow one lonely male 'Arctic Beauty' kiwi vine. Consequently, having no expertise in kiwi fruit production, I'll mention the fruit only in passing: in comparison to the kiwis at the supermarket (Actinidia deliciosa), the fruit is said to be smaller, not covered with a fuzzy skin, and similar in taste.
The foliage display on kiwi vines is not static. I'll provide an example based on my observations of my own plants this year (yours may behave differently). As mentioned above, leaves start out green in spring. The first change I noticed was a bit of white at the tips. The white then spread, and, as it did, the pink emerged at the tips (although some leaves develop pink tips before there is any whitening). The pink, in turn, then began spreading into and merging with the white, creating a color that was no longer either white or the brilliant pink that I saw earlier (and that I captured in the photo above). These changes occur gradually, over the course of the spring. At some point in summer, the color can fade, leaving the plant rather uninteresting.
One winter, rabbits ate some of the branches of my Arctic Beauty kiwi vines. Ever since, wild rabbit control has been part of my kiwi vine care regimen.
A rather curious problem growers of kiwis report is the predilection cats have for the plants' leaves. To address this problem, you may wish to consider using cat repellents around your kiwis. In my research into arctic kiwis I have not come across any references to their being poisonous plants, but it's always best to be on the safe side and keep pets and children away from plants you don't know to be edible for certain.
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