Do I want arguta or kolomikta if I'm not Arctic cold?

I want to try a hardy kiwi on the chain link fence on my back property line. It faces south, but there are a few privacy evergreens on my side and on the side of the adjacent retirement community property, so it’s more like dappled or half sun. Also the lowest part of the property.

I thought I wanted a kolomikta: the variegated leaves seemed more attractive and neighborly, they like shade most, and they’re less aggressive than arguta. But in reading through the search history, I saw comments that arctic kiwi can break dormancy so early that they’re more susceptible to a late spring frost. I don’t have to have fruit, but I don’t want to be disappointed year after year.

So how early is early, and what triggers it? I’m on the south shore of Lake Erie, so we tend to have cool, damp springs. Historically, real frost danger ends late April, but the ground isn’t warm enough for beans or tomatoes until Memorial Day. And the day length is, of course, increasing steadily.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have!

I hope it’s not a huge faux pas to reply to yourself.

Maybe those of you who grow kiwi berries, if you could share what kind you have and when they start to wake up?

If not, I’ll learn by doing in the spring! Thanks!

All conditions are local. Why don’t you plant both and see what happens? That’s what I did. The arguta kiwi all died and kolomikta suffered until I moved them into the shade. The kolomikta seem to be very slow growing. The fruit is really good- I had a single ripe berry a couple of days ago and it was like a mix between a kiwi and a watermelon.

I went back and looked at my pictures. By mid May and late May nearly everything is in bloom except the kolomikta. The kolomikta are just waking up. They are slower to wake up in the spring and just putting out some leaves. Last year they didn’t bloom until the start of July. This year they didn’t bloom until the end of June. That’s pretty much right in the middle of summer. By the time the kolomikta starts blooming, some of my honeyberry plants have bloomed, fruited, and ripened.

The late blooming I experience could be due to the shady location. If they were in a spot with more sun things would probably be different. Even now the season is rapidly coming to a close and most of the fruit is not ripe yet.

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