Kiwi

marricgardensApril 20, 2013

This winter I decided to try my hand at starting some 'produce' from seed. The mangoes have turned out great. I've tried avocado but never had any luck. Now I have kiwi seeds germinated. I watched a You Tube video about it and thought I'd give it a try. Has anyone ever grown them? Apparently the houseplant has velvety foliage. Right now they are just really tiny so I think they may take a while to really grow well. Any thoughts? Marg

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Marg, I think that you need to reconsider your hope of growing kiwi as a house plant. They are very large woody vines by the time they reach production age....most people don't want to construct a large arbor inside their house.

Speaking of 'production ', kiwi are dioecious plants, which means that the male and female sex organs are located on two different plants. You must have a plant of each sex in order to have fruit. The male provides the sperm that will fertilize the egg within the ovary. So that means two very sturdy arbors.

In a kiwi orchard, one male will be planted within a cluster a cluster of females and the bees do the pollination.....carrying the sperm (pollen) to the female. Of course, only the female plants bear fruit.

Kiwis are never seed grown, except by hobbyists. Why? Because there is no way to determine the sex of a plant until it flowers. Kiwis are purchased as rooted cuttings, or grafted plants. There are numerous cultivars available, each with its own unique characteristics.

And then there's the matter of light but there's no need to go into that.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 2:05PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Sounds like the chances of growing one inside is extremely low. The pure vigor of the vine would be overpowering even in a greenhouse. Unless you can sua huge amount of space and sunlight, which is unlikely, it wont work. But here is good news, there are species of kiwi which will survive your winters

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 3:05PM
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marricgardens

I'm growing it in my sunroom under lights right now. I know it probably won't work as a houseplant but thought It would be fun to try anyway. Thanks for the info though. Marg

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 4:23PM
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rina_

Marg

My neighbour has kiwis that he started from seeds more than 10 yrs ago (he just sliced the kiwi, put slices in soil & lots of them sprouted).
As rhizo said, there is no way to know if you getting male or female. He ended up with 7 (!) male plants & 5 female. Not knowing, he planted them all. They are growing well, and have plenty of fruit. He really needed only 1 male for all 5 females. They form a nice screen, and they all have flowers.
Definitely not a house plant. It is very vigorous vine - not as 'bad' as wisteria, but close.
You can plant your plant in the garden later on this spring; if it overwinters, you will have ornamental plant. Just make sure you plant is where you want it as they don't like transplanting (I know, I killed one I had for about 6yrs...It was grown from cutting, but I didn't know if male or female at the time). And don't forget a sturdy trellis/arbor/support.

Rina

This post was edited by rina_ on Sun, Apr 21, 13 at 0:16

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:00AM
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