We have two kiwi vines, one male, one female, growing onto our solarium. I have no idea what variety and according to the previous owner they produce a "bumper crop every couple years". They didn't have any fruit last fall (we first saw the house mid September and moved in at the end of October) and I'm wondering if that's normal and if I should be expecting any this year.
They are growing like crazy and have lots of buds...which I guess are the flower buds but they seem to be taking a long time to open. I don't know which plant is the male and which is the female yet.
We're not huge kiwi fans but are willing to give them this year before we decide what to do with them. I do not like where they are and if we decide to keep them they will have to be moved.
I've had so much to learn with our new yard that I haven't had a chance to research them much yet. I do know there has to be a male and female (which I'm told we have) and they will need adequate pollination (which I don't think will be an issue with the number of bees I've seen in the roses), but I don't know if there is anything else I should be concerned about right now, other than perhaps, fertilization.
Thanks in advance for any info and/or advise.
First picture is from April 12...the kiwis are on the left side of the picture. The buds on the fourth picture are just on one of the plants.
The vines are now covering the solarium. The close up is of the other vine, which has no buds.
Last edited by Daniel Mosquin; July 5th, 2012 at 10:11 PM.
Reason: Merged 2 posts into 1
If only one of the vines has any flower buds, you won't get any fruit, unless there is another Kiwi vine of the opposite sex in the vicinity. The sex of the flowers will be easy to determine once they open.
Thanks vitog...I've been waiting for the flowers to open. I could be wrong about only one of the vines having flower buds since everything is so entwined, it's hard to follow the vines back to the plant. But if that is the case, can you speculate on why the other doesn't have any? Do I just need to give it time...or do I need to fertilize? Is it normal to not have flowers on one of the plants and to only have fruit every couple of years?
Also, can you tell from the pictures what kind of kiwi this might be?
It's a bit difficult to tell without going outside and comparing your photos to the kiwis that I have growing on the back of my house; but they appear to be mostly male fuzzy kiwis, if there are as many flower buds as there seem to be. It's hard to tell at this stage, but you will be able to tell as soon as the weather warms up a bit. My own kiwis are quite variable in the amount of flowers they produce, and my brother had some vines that never flowered. But, generally, the male vines produce more flowers than the females. One thing is certain: those vines need to be pruned back and retrained to get some order into their shape. It's possible that you have a male plant that is growing more vigorously than the female and shading it out. That could easily result in a lack of flowers from the female (or vice versa).
It hasn't been cut back at all, so you're probably right. Can we do it now or do we have to wait? Can you offer some tips or point me in the direction of a good website with good pruning advice for kiwis grown here?
I have a male and a female Hayward Kiwi – a fuzzy variety that looks just like your pictures.
I always prune when they are dormant in the late fall or early spring. A couple of times I cut off an errant cane in the summer and the result was alarming – the sap dripped out the cut end every few seconds for over a week. It scared me into not ever doing it again.
I would be afraid that a harsh pruning in July would cause the plants to loose massive amounts of sap.
My experience with standard Kiwis is that flowing sap is a spring phenomenon. I would avoid pruning after the buds swell until the new shoots are perhaps 6 inches long. After that, there is very littly sap flow. I prune my Kiwis very heavily all summer long (both new wood and old) and don't have any problems with the sap.
Other than a few water shoots, I haven't pruned much at all yet. There are only so many hours in a day and the weather sucked up until now. I plan on cutting back more to get it off the house but I want to be careful as it seems we do have a few kiwis. I thought we only had male flowers, but I don't remember seeing the flowers on this particular shoot. I guess it's possible these will just fall off, but I'll leave them to decide.