I just discovered that there are kiwi vines (Actinidia arguta 'Michigan State') that are now available for zone 3-9, so they are very hardy! I did find that they need a male kiwi plant to be with up to 8 other female kiwis. However, they say that in 2-4 years, I'll start getting 100 lbs. of kiwis for each female plant! Some guy last year told me that the females are called Annie, and the male plants are called Andy.
My friend and I are going to buy together that we can get less cost for each of the vines. And I still wonder how to know if it's a male or a female kiwi, do they have to peek in their underwear? ;)
I found this one, but, I'm going to keep looking for better prices still.
By Kas2 from Grand Rapids, MI
Thansk very much. Kiwis are expensive here & a good source of viamin C. I will look into this in the spring. Thanks again.
Just so you know: Hardy Kiwi are not the "fuzzy" kiwi you find at the store, but related species. The fruit is about the size of a large grape -- maybe a little larger in the variety -- amooth skinned, higher in C and sweeter than the fuzzy type. They are normally hardy in zones 4-8 for the Actinidia arguta types, and 3-8 for A. kolomikta types, which also have pretty variegated foliage. There are several others. Just for reference, the fuzzy kiwi is A. deliciosa and is hardy in USDA zones 7-9.
I've seen a kiwi vinyard near me in PA. They need sturdy trellises.
There are many named varieties. Male and female have flowers with different sexual parts, stamens and pistils. They are propagated by cuttings, so that's how they know which sex you're getting.
There are other nurseries that offer more varieties of kiwi and the price may be better. If you need zone 3 though, the variety you mentioned would be the way to go.
Here are a few sites to check. Search "hardy kiwi" + "nursery" for more.
Unfortunately before they flower you can't tell them apart. I bought a set of a male and female about 3 years ago. We had a late spring freeze and one died back all the way and never grew more than 6 inches tall over the next 3 years. Since I couldn't remember which was the male and which was the female I eventually just pulled them both up and put them in the compost bin. The other one wasn't doing too great either but if I had known which was which I could have replaced the stunted one with the right sex. As it was I still would have had to buy 2 more anyway and I don't have have room for 3. Thanks for the links, I'm going to try again next spring.
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