Kiwi varieties - what's your favorite?


I found the same thing with some big ones here. The kiwis I grew myself were twice as sweet.


Does any know how to tell male/female kiwi ?I got some seeds and some little kiwi plants are popping up. How long does it take for it to fruit from seed


I don’t think you can sex them until they bloom. This pic is the of the 1st bloom I have had of seeds I started 5?6? years ago from a zespri gold. Hort16a I imagine. I think it’s a male:( based on not seeing ring of stigma in center, but it does seem to have a small buttton center, but not certain with limited experience with anything beyond the hardy Arguta, and not really much there either. What would you folks think male? Regardless only one of the 5 I have that shows bloom so a member of the lonely flowers club. There is always next year, or the year after if I keep moving them in for winter and don’t plant them out.


5~6years is long wait。but nice plant and flower might worth it。 is there any scent on the flowers?how big the pot do you put it in?


That’s interesting. Sounds like grapes not getting enough sun. Would it help to have the fruit over a spot somewhere that gets really hot during the summer?


Ok thanks Scott.
Do you guys find high winds a problem?


Last year, my Anna kiwi was fantastic. By far the best of the 4 I had along with Ken’s Red, Dumbarton Oak, and Cordifilia (died 2 years ago). My theory was we had a very dry Aug and Sept which caused the flavor/sugar in the fruit to go way up. By the time the other two were ready for harvest, we had a lot of rain and neither one tasted as good as Anna.

Don’t know if it was really the rain/lack of rain, my superior pruning technique (hahahah), the varieties themselves or something else altogether, but that’s my story and i"m sticking with it


The vines I planted this year are performing very poorly so far. They seem stunted, and are just now putting out a bit of growth.
Before I read on the Internet you’re not supposed to add fertilizer when you plant them, I had added a lot of aged chicken manure ( good safe kind ) to the planting hole when I planted them. Did this cause some kind of nitrogen burn?
Or is it normal for them to slump in growth now?
I had one of the vines temporarily planted in a worse location as a holding area, and it grew quite vigorously until I transplanted it to the “better” location.


I’ve harvested my kiwi for the year and it was very disappointing. Rather than a larger and larger crop, it dwindled considerably. Issai is the only thing that fruited for me this year, even though I got some from Fortyniner, one male (??), and lots from Geneva in past years. Ken’s Red and
Codifolia have flowered, but haven’t produced any fruit, after 6 and 5 years respectively. Even the Issai only gave me a handful, much less than in past years where it produced multiple quarts.

Here is my whole crop, which doesn’t even cover the bottom of a quart basket.

I was pretty sure that some of the other vines had set fruit and it started to size up. Then, all of a sudden (and I wasn’t watching it like a hawk, so I’m not sure exactly when- June?), there was nothing. I’m not sure if it was a delayed reaction to the hard April frost or if I let them get too bushy and shaded to ripen fruit.

I know I wasn’t able to finish my winter pruning on them, as after I finished Issai and 49er, I went back out a few days later to continue pruning and had to stop almost immediately when I cut off a branch and was greeted with a river of sap…Next time I’ll prune earlier- maybe late Feb.

Here’s a panoramic, which shows most of the older vines. I’ve also got another planting on a more suitable trellis structure. This one is just on a series of single wires, most of which are 5-8’ tall, with the plants spaced about 10’ apart.

Not only are they reaching out to grab the peach trees, but a 2nd male and the 49er have crawled up a tall pine, which is growing to the NW of the kiwis.

Note the vines near the top of the tree.


Bob, my guess is the spring weather hit your crop hard. I have about 10% of my usual kiwi crop this year, the worst crop in many years. I had a hard freeze which killed all the early shoots.


I, very respectfully Scott, disagree.

My kiwis fruit poorly. I have 5 females and 3 males. The youngest is 4 years old, and fruited this year Jumbo (which is also supposedly known as Michigan State. It’s fruit were 1/4 th or 1/2 of the size of my Anna’s.

I suck at pruning these.

Anna was pruned heavily because it really wants to choke a pawpaw tree. It’s not a well behaved plant, at all. This rejuvenated it sufficiently to fruit heavily for the first year in 4 years. Stem thickness is about 1.75 inches in diameter.

I built it an arbor when I planted. 4x4’s two feet in the ground and six above. Only 2 feet wide, but very nice. It’s right along the fence line of my neighbor and she loves it as much as I do. She does, however, keep her side pruned to about 6 inches below the bottom of the top part of the arbor. She gets better production than I do.

I hate pruning these. I don’t cut back enough. I also don’t do it as frequently as I should. I get phenomenal vine growth, but fruiting seems to suffer for it.

I will admit I don’t water these and besides a bit of spring compost or an application of granular fertilizer, I do very little to them. I did autumn prune my Anna last fall and the Jumbo was cut back hard in its 3rd year because I was pruning a goimi and it got in the way.

I wish it was possible to hire a master pruner. Or, better yet, take a course in pruning various fruiting species for optimal fruit production. Unfortunately if such a class existed, it’s unlikely that pruning pawpaw, kiwi, pomegranates and figs as well as goji berries and citrus would be made available in, say, Michigan. I’d prefer to hire the master and observe and ask some questions



That’s possible, though I’m thinking that the rampant growth and self-shading could still be a factor. The Issai (the only one with fruit) is also the least vigorous. In fact, the most open, least shaded part of the vine was the part which produced the fruit. I didn’t see any fruit on the other end of the vine, which abuts to a larger vine.

I’m planning to stay much more on top of the pruning next year. These vines are so large that they will need a lot of hacking to get them back into shape, especially over the winter. Hopefully there will be some not-so-cold times in Feb.

Edit: Here is a pic of my younger kiwis (planted August 2013, 3 full years in the ground). For those, I did a better job (hard to be worse…) in giving them enough space and support. I’ve also spent some time tying and training them into the right shape…so far…I think.

This planting consists of a male, Rossana, Chico, and Jumbo (one at each corner).


Hi Kevin, I’m going to respond to your question earlier in the thread and my apologies if my answer ends up being redundant as I have not read all of the later posts yet. I was able to go to Edible Landscaping for their harvest festival a couple of years ago and tried a variety of hardy kiwis from the vine. I liked them all, the red one (Ken’s Red) most. I am an ardent sweet lover as well, so I think that my pallet may be more aligned with yours and you will probably enjoy them too.


Thank-you, Chris. Hardy Kiwis have caused me more dilemmas than anything else because every single year I have a debate with myself about whether I want to try them or not. On the “not” side is my fear that I just won’t like them, and this very thread has been a contributor to that fear, Its really nice to hear that another lover of all things sweet enjoys (certain varieties of) hardy Kiwis!! Now if we can just do something to shorted the time between planting and and harvest! :wink:
Thank again



I don’t think that a lack of sweetness should be the big fear. Most of the ones I have grown have been in the 20’s for brix. They also have some tartness to them, but a lot of sugar. The bigger fear should be that the vines will grab you when you walk by and swallow you up. It is one thing I really need more space for.


My biggest and most productive has been grabbing ahold of and girdling a couple of my pawpaws. It’s already choked out an established Sweet Autumn clematis.

It likes telephone wires too.


I’ve got an Issai (supposedly self fruitful) to plant this year (it’s in the ground but just in a temporary spot because it came earlier than we were ready for it) and have been talking with my husband about him making an arbor for it. We were thinking using landscape timbers for corners, 2x4 for cross braces and cattle panel pieces attached to the timbers and top. Something like 7 feet tall, 6 feet wide, 4 feet-6 feet deep. I was figuring we’d plant another kiwi on the other side of the arbor next year, either another Issai or a male. But now I’ve read a lot of folks are training their kiwis on pipes or strong wires and pruning/training them like grapes. Does my arbor idea sound workable? I would guess I might need to tie some of the branches to the cattle panel area or weave them through a bit as it grows (or does it attach with tendrils?).


I have tried too many cold hardy varieties to properly evaluate them. I had the yellow/red large kiwis last year and liked them much better than the pure yellow varieties.


I would like to grow one of those yellow/red types, maybe I will look for some in the store to get seeds. I am a big fan of the red-fleshed kiwis based on Ken’s Red which is one of the tastiest kiwis.

Fortunately my kiwis made it through the spring OK this year, I should have a massive crop. I also added many more sprinklers so the deer will not get so many hopefully.


Glad to help, Kevin!

Yes, sounds like a practical plan to me. They do like to grow, so be prepared to clip them a lot in a few years. They don’t attach with tendrils but I wouldn’t weave them in and out if I were you because their diameter grows with time; I don’t know how far apart the wires are on the cattle panel (if they are broadly spaced, you should be fine), but if they are close together I’d just let them rest a bit on the outside and hang on to the beams on top. I have a pergola to support mine, similar concept but more vines and more space between my uprights (4’ x 6’s). I actually don’t think you would need the cattle panel, you can just train them up the uprights if you like.

Sounds good… do you know what the variety is?