"Prolific" Hardy kiwi?

Does anybody have experience with “Prolific” hardy kiwi? Do they taste good and are they really self fertile? According to the label they can even be used to pollinate other females. Is this possible?
For what ever reason I haven’t been able to keep a male kiwi alive and I desperately need a pollinator. Last year I had a huge flush of blossoms and no fruit on my 2 “Jumbo” argutas. The “Prolific” plants have been showing up in the big box stores like “Home Depot/CAL Ranch” and the price is low. I would buy one but I really need the space for something that can pollinate my other females.
It seems the big box stores have stepped up their game this year because they had other fruits that have have never seen locally like hardy fig, goji berries etc.

You need to know if it is Kolomikta (Arctic Beauty) or Arguta type. I’ve heard them both called “hardy.” I suspect that one is a male. They are supposed to be more ornamental. I wouldn’t buy it unless I knew for sure what it is. I’ve never heard of a variety called “Prolific.” Try Googling it.

Here’s a blurb on it: http://retail.degroot-inc.com/product_info.php/cPath/25_45/products_id/856

Definitely arguta. Must be a pollen monster if it is supposed to be able to pollinate females as well as itself. You’d think we would have heard more about it.

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I’ve had the same problem. Mine grew very slowly and then died after 3 yrs. “Prolific” sound like a good option if it performs as advertised.

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I saw these at Costco a couple days ago and have been meaning to google them. I have an Anna and a Meader that are just a couple years old. I don’t think I have room for a third hardy kiwi given the sizes they can reach.

So far my male is as vigorous (well none of them are VERY vigorous…yet…) as the females, except for “Issai” which just sulks, puts on a little growth, then that burns, and it goes dormant. Since we’ve actually had rain this season I’m hoping it will get farther along this year. I grew them all in containers for a few years trying to get some kind of root system developed (very tiny starter plants) and this is their second year in the ground. I’ve got almost complete lateral arms on two of them…Just keeping my fingers crossed…

I splurged and bought a “prolific” at home depot today, how could I say no it was only $10. It is already growing and well ahead of the outdoor kiwis. I will keep it indoors until it is time to plant the garden around the first to mid May. Then maybe in the next year or so we will see if it can actually pollinate the other plants.

Any updates on this…I plan on putting in Hardy Kiwi this year.

Kolomikta kiwis aren’t the speediest things, but they get there eventually. I planted several in 2009 and 2010. Had a good crop last year (2018). The nicest plants came from One Green World. They were about two or three years ahead of the scrawny ones from Gurneys.

I just found out that my mother’s kiwi is the one named “Prolific.” She bought it at a big box store a few years ago; we found the original package in her basement.

She says this should be its 4th summer in the ground. It has not yet fruited, but is flush with what appears to be fruiting spur-like growths.

According to the sources linked below, Prolific was originally named “119-40b” and was selected at the Arnold Arboretum in Massachusetts.

It is thought to be primarily female, but is one of two cultivars, including Issai purported to be self-fertile or able to fruit without a pollinator. We shall see…


I’ve got Prolific but this is only 2nd year in the ground. It sailed through the Winter, and was one of the first plants to wake up here in 6B, green buds when the crocus were just up and no apparent damage in a few 29 degree nights. It’s my first experience with Hardy Kiwi, I was surprised how determined it has been to send branches out on it’s vertical climb to 7 feet last year. Sounds like I shouldn’t look for any fruit for another year or two.

Has anyone grown these recently? I just purchased a small plant from lowes. There’s not much on how much they truly fruit without a male companion plant.

Not sure but I just planted one a couple days ago.

My Issai appears to be setting a decent amount of fruit in year 3 without a male pollinator

What happened to kill them? Is this something that’s common to kiwi or was it just a run of bad luck? I ask because I’ve been collecting various kiwis the last year and keeping them in pots. This summer I plant to make a trellis system and plant in the ground. Is there something special I need to do for the males? Or is it just part of growing kiwis that some males will die? If that’s the case I should probably make clones of my males and grow them in pots in my greenhouse in case I need a replacement for an outside specimen.

Graft them onto females

I to have lost a male vine.

Given that this seems to be a common trend there may be a male clone circulating commercially which simply isn’t very resilient. Perhaps we all need to start avoiding un-named males listed simply as “male” given that there actually are named male selections available. If no one knows which male clone they have it makes it hard to compile data to determine if it’s just bad luck or actually a poor quality clone.


I have 2 males which are now doing quite well. They were much scrawnier than the females and I was given a 2-for-1 deal on them since it seemed iffy both would make it. They are named and I got them from Whiffletree.
I’ve propagated a bunch off of the kiwis and the males are both harder to get to root and significantly more fragile than the females. 1 in 4 survival generally compared to 50% for the females. They seem slower to start and have a harder time with late cold snaps.
On the up side, it seems like the bunnies might not like the taste of them as much. They are also prettier with the variegation on the leaves.

I’ve read up on that and according to the study I read, grafting a male onto a female rootstock didn’t demonstrate any greater or lesser success for vine survival. I have heard some people have difficulty keeping kiwi alive. I wonder if the problem might be growing them outside their native range. I’ve never grown them commercially, but in all my years in California I never heard of this problem. I know several fuzzy kiwi vines in Northern California that are very old and still yielding lots of fruit. Even where I live now in western Oregon there are a few commercial operations that seem very successful. I’m just taking shots in the dark here because I have no specialized kiwi knowledge at all.

The replacement male is growing fine after a few years but the frustration now is that it hasn’t flowered.

I’ve had male and female 'Dumbarton oaks" kiwi vines for about 5 years now, and I still haven’t seen a single flower bud. They both got heavily pruned last spring and last fall and are both in full sun. Does anyone have any suggestions on getting them to flower? Thanks.