Mini kiwi

Hello everyone,

So long story short, i want to grow some mini kiwi unfortunately its impossible for me to provide it a trellis or have much space, so i was wondering is there a mini kiwi variety that its more like a tree more woody i could grow instead? Would also be a plus if is self fertile

thanks,
Marius

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Welcome to the forum!

Kiwis are dioecious (male and female are separate plants), so this part isn’t possible unless you graft a male on a female or vice versa.

I don’t have much experience with different ways to train kiwis, but I think they all generally become large vines that need something to grow on. It’s possible you could aggressively prune it to try to get a bush instead, but I’ve never heard of someone doing that. Maybe someone else can chime in on that front.

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I saw a video of how someone had done one. They cemented a 8 foot beam in the ground going straight up with the kiwi next to it. Let it climb to the top then just kept trimming the top till it became a bush. From there it was just pruning to keep in shape. Seemed to work for them, but I have not tried it yet.

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Issai Hardy kiwis are self fertile, but they grow into large long vines. You might be able to keep them pruned low, but I wouldn’t know how to do it.

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Shows what I know! Do you know if it produces male flowers also, or does it just produce fruit in the absence of pollen?

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Issai is not really self-fertile, but can be self-fruitful. It can set fruit without viable seeds parthenocarpically. Flowers are female and only produce non-viable pollen like any other female kiwi, so it cannot pollinate other females. Issai is very precocious and will bloom well in a relatively small container and can be kept pretty compact (4-5 ft tall).

Be aware that there are two different genotypes in the nursery trade under the name Issai. One is tetraploid, with long fruits, the other is hexaploid with smaller round fruits. I have both and the long fruit version is much better and blooms much more. I don’t know how well it will set fruit at a small size without a male, as mine gets pollinated.

A. kolomikta is the only other type that I know will bloom well in a container while small. There are supposedly self-fruitful kolomiktas in Europe, but I’m not familiar with them. I have fruited kolomiktas at 3-4 ft tall in containers. I’m in a 7a climate, and kolomiktas will leaf out after 3 warm days anytime near or after Christmas, so they have to be brought inside, which is inconvenient.

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I’m thinking that if you have room for a tree, you may be able to just get creative with what your kiwis will grow upon.

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I have the round issai and am very disappointing in its production and growth. I will not row any kiwi fruits.

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I have the round issai, and they are very fruitful for me in the absence of any other kiwis nearby. Mine grow up and over a large arbor, and I prune them once while dormant and again once in summer. Maybe the pruning helps with fruitfulness?

@kiwinut I didn’t realize there are two types of issai! If I have a mature round type issai, is it worth it to try to graft some vines over to long type? If yes, what’s the best grafting time/method for kiwis? If I were able to source summer bud wood, would that work? Or would it bleed to much during summer? Would I have to wait until next year to dormant graft?

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Kiwis are easy to graft. The only bad time during the growing season is early spring when they bleed profusely. I always graft to new green shoots (which don’t bleed) later in spring. Chip grafting from summer bud wood works well and there will not be bleeding issues in late spring and early summer. Semi-green shoots from current years growth is the best, but older wood will work. The main issue with summer wood is getting it fresh and protecting cuttings from summer heat during shipping, so best to find a nearby source. If you can’t find a source close to you, I may be able to collect a couple of cuttings for you. My vines have very thin wood, so chip buds may be a little challenging.

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If you want to grow kiwi like a tree instead of on a trellis, just train it up a pole and let it flop over at the top. The end result will be shaped like a palm tree. Ideally the pole should be tall enough that you will be able to walk under the canopy for harvest and trimming.

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That is what I did for my grape vine as well as kiwi

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