Kiwi Berry Bush
These instructions are sent with the plant gift
As kiwi’ berries originate in Northern China and Russia, they do very well in our climate. This kiwi berry Actinidia ar. Kiwi berry is the variety ‘Issai’ and is a frost hardy and self-fertile vine producing smaller non hairy fruits that once ripened can be eaten straight from the vine.
Kiwi plants are vigorous climbers and will do best trained up a spot int the garden that is protected on a sunny wall or strong trellis either south or west facing. They should put on a fair amount of growth each year, so it is worth choosing a spot with room to grow
Whilst your plant is in a small pot it will need regular watering. Aim to water it heavily and then allow the top of the compost to dry out before watering heavily again. As soon as practical your kiwi will benefit from being planted out in the garden or potted up in a much larger pot. Add a top dressing of well rotted manure or other rich compost to help your plant settle in and stake or tie in the central stems so they have support as they grow. Over the summer months your kiwi plant will benefit from a small dose of general-purpose balanced liquid feed once every other month in the growing season to help keep the foliage healthy and to set flowers, In spring add some organic fertiliser like well-rotted manure.
These young plants should flower and fruit next year. After your kiwi berry plant has fruited for the first time, you will need to start pruning to get the best crops. Prune in winter to remove branches that have already fruited the previous year or are dead, and in the summer prune off long arching vines that extend beyond the fruits, along with any non-flowering vines.
If the leaves start to turn a pale or mottled colour your plant needs more nutrients and will benefit from a good dose of general-purpose liquid or citrus feed every couple of waters until it greens up again. Kiwis can be susceptible to over feeding however so do err a bit on the side of caution when feeding.
If during the summer months your plant doesn’t start flowering, or the buds drop before they open it may not be getting enough sunlight so try moving to a sunnier spot or even training the fruiting branches into a greenhouse to give the fruits that extra push.
This is the edible kiwi plant, but it is deciduous so don’t be alarmed if it starts to lose its leaves in winter. These plants are hardy but if we do have particularly cold spells (-10C or colder) then a fleece or heavy straw mulch will give your plant a bit more protection especially in the first couple of years.