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Actinidia deliciosa

Pronunciation: Ak-tih-nid-ee-uh de-lis-ee-oh-suh
Family: Actinidiaceae
Common Name: Kiwi fruit, yang tao, chinese gooseberry
Plant Type:
  • vines and climbers
  • perennial
  • fruits, vegetables
Height to: 30'
Width to: 10'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid summer
  • late summer
  • early autumn
Bloom Description: Fragrant, cream
Soil Type: Deep, fertile, moist but well-drained soil, preferably a friable, sandy loam. Heavy soils subject to water logging are completely unsuitable.
Pests and Diseases: Kiwifruit vines are subject to attack by rootknot nematodes–meloidogyne hapla and, to a lesser extent, heterodera marioni–in new zealand. Because of the surface hairs, the fruit is not damaged by fruit flies. The leaf roller, ctenopseustis obliquana, which scars the surface of the fruit, sometimes eats holes where 2 or more fruits touch each other. In new zealand, crawlers of the greedy scale insect, hemiberlesia repac, have been conveyed to the plants by wind. This pest infests the leaves and fruit and kills the growing tips of the vines. The passionvine hopper sucks the sap of the vine and deposits honeydew on the fruit, and sooty mold growing on this sticky substance renders the fruit unmarketable. A small moth native to new zealand–stathmopoda skellone–may occur in abundance some seasons and do damage to the fruit under the sepals or where fruits touch each other. Silvering and browning of the leaves may occur in late summer or early fall because of infestation by thrips, (heliothrips haemorrhoidalis). Other pests in new zealand include the salt marsh caterpillar and mites. In chiremba, south africa, red scale has been observed but it is easily controlled by spraying. In 1984, the new zealand pesticides board approved ivon watkins-dow's lorsban insecticides for spraying on kiwifruit crops for export, and also cleared 4 herbicides for kiwifruit orchards. A major disease of the vine is crown gall caused by agrobacterium tumefaciens, but many suspected cases have turned out to be merely natural callousing. Crown gall can be avoided in budded or grafted plants by leaving the upper roots exposed. The roots may be attacked by phytophthora cactorum and p. Cinnamomi, and also by oak root fungus (armillaria mellea) which is fatal. In humid climates, botrytis cinerea infects the flowers and contaminates the young fruits. New zealand growers may apply 8 or 9 sprays during the dormant period to achieve control of pests and diseases. Post-harvest fruit decay is caused by alternaria spp. And botrytis spp. The greatest enemy is gray mold rot arising from botrytis cinerea which enters through even minute scratches on the skin during storage at high humidity. Alternaria alternata mold is superficial and can be avoided if styles and sepals are completely removed during the brushing operation. Alternaria-caused hard, dry rot often is found on stored fruits that have been sunburned in the orchard. Such fruits should be culled during grading. Blue mold, resulting from infection by penicillium expansum, may occur on injured fruits. Leaf scorch results from hot dry winds in summer and early fall.
Propagation: From softwood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings, can be grafted
Native to: China
Notes for Identification: From wikipedia propagation inasmuch as seedlings show great variation, it is not recommended that the vine be grown from seed except in experimental plots for clone selection or to produce rootstocks for budding or grafting. To obtain the small seeds, ripe fruits are pulped in an electric blender and then the pulp is strained through a fine screen. The seeds, mixed with moist sand, are placed in a plastic bag, plastic box or other covered container, and kept in a refrigerator (below freezing temperature) for 2 weeks. Then the seed/sand mixture can be planted in nursery flats of sterilized soil, or directly in the garden or field, no deeper than 1/8 in (3 mm) and kept moist. Germination will take 2 to 3 weeks. The seedlings should be thinned out to prevent overcrowding and can be successfully transplanted when 3 in (7. 5 cm) high if the soil is taken up with the root system intact. If intended for rootstocks, they should be set 12 to 15 in (30-45 cm) apart in nursery rows. When 1-year-old, the plants are ready for budding. Budwood is taken from the current season's growth and defoliated, leaving only 1/2 in (1. 25 cm) of the petiole of each leaf, and is inserted in the rootstock about 4 in (10 cm) above the ground, using the "t" or shield method. When the buds have "taken", the stock is cut back to just above the union. For grafting, scions are taken from a parent vine while it is dormant and should be trimmed at both ends, leaving 2 or 3 buds. The scion is joined to the stock by either the whip or tongue process about 4 in (10 cm) from the ground. Soft-wood cuttings, trimmed to leave only 2 leaves, are treated with hormones and rooted under intermittent mist. Dormant cuttings have a low percentage of success. In new zealand, cuttings are not popular because they do not develop a strong root system and are prone to attack by crown-gall. Root-grafting was formerly practiced but abandoned because of susceptibility to crown-gall at the graft union. Old vines bearing inferior fruits can be reworked by budding or, preferably cleft-grafting, which must be done before new growth begins or the vine will bleed sap. Some growers graft a branch of a compatible male onto a female vine to promote pollination. The increasing demand for plants of cv. 'hayward' in south africa has led to in vitro propagation using vegetative buds of female plants.
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
Seed photo: 1
Located in: Climbers
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