Kiwi diagnosis and resuscitation

I planted an Anna and Ken’s Red about 2.5 months ago into the ground. They had previously been in containers for 2 seasons with marginal growth. I amended the hole with compost, bio-live fertilizer. I was on vacation with a drip system in place. My question is - is this dieback a result of underwatering or Vercillium wilt? Notice on the right of the photo is my male which I kept in container ( it is in a bit shadier location and it even received less water than the other two. I live in Coastal California and the weather has been cool - 50s at night, 60s during the day. I am also doing a rapid soil test to see if the soil is out of whack. What should I do? prune back to a couple stronger vines , pull them out of the ground and back into a container ??

It’s likely you’ll lose the kiwis.
Never use wood chips with kiwis. Kiwi root crowns need to stay exposed. Always.
I lost a 6 year old huge Anna kiwi when I made this exact same mistake.

Kiwis need to be planted high. Or you’ll lose them. And never mulch close to the crown.

First thing is remove mulch near crown and expose the root crown. And hope for the best.

1 Like

Thanks for the advice. The root crown is exposed and mulch doesn’t start until about 6-8 inches out. I will pull it back more.

1 Like

Multiple sprouts from the base is a bad sign generally. It means that the kiwi is sending out new shoots because it senses danger to its current shoots.
Its possible that the nursery you bought these kiwis from had potted them wrong to begin with. For such a rampant growing vine, it is surprising that they are so susceptible to something as tiny as mulch. But I’ve seen too many examples of dead/dying vines. Kiwibob, who is unfortunately not a member of this forum also has about 40 years of experience with exactly this issue.