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PlantFiles: Bower Actinidia, Hardy Kiwi, Tara Vine, Yang Tao
Actinidia arguta

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Family: Actinidiaceae (ak-tin-id-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Actinidia (ak-tih-NID-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: arguta (ar-GOO-tuh) (Info)

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Vines and Climbers

Height:
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Spacing:
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Purple

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Variegated

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
By grafting

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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Profile:

2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive CBarking On Nov 14, 2012, CBarking from Eugene, OR wrote:

Hello, I just discovered Hardy Kiwi and now I am obsessed with the texture and flavor. I must buy myself a pair "or" try to grow from cuttings of a friends plant. I am fairly sure the Hardy Kiwi I ate was "arguta." Yummmmy

I was wondering which tastes better: Actinidia arguta or Actinidia kolomikta?
Can Actinidia arguta and Actinidia kolomikta cross pollinate?
Does one species perform better than the other?
Can they be propigated from cuttings?

I live in Eugene Oregon and they seem to do well here.

Thank you for your time, Claudia

Positive ChiTown On Jun 17, 2005, ChiTown from Chicago, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I planted actinidia arguta in the back of our 3-story condominium in 1995. It took 4 years for the first one to bloom, another year before the male bloomed and I began to have fruit. But the male was not well situated for pollination and I only had fruit from the blossoms that I pollinated by hand. Last year a second, well-placed male began to bloom and the crop improved. This year the fruit set is large (athough less on the vines that are farther from the male) and I look forward to lots of delicious fruit in the fall. I now have 5 females and 2 males and one vine on a fence fully shaded by a tree that has never bloomed.

Here are a few things I've learned over eleven years:
- Be patient. Actinidia evolved to climb up through trees, like grapevines. The plant will focus on establishing a root system and breaking through the tree canopy (real or virtual) before it decides it's time to start blooming and fruiting. Don't let it drive you nuts.
- What to call it? When New Zealanders first tried to market the hairy brown actinidia deliciosa in the U.S., they called it "kiwifruit", a cute reference to its appearance and source. We shortened it to "kiwi", which may dismay New Zealanders because they reserve that nickname for themselves. But the hardy actinidias - arguta and kolomikta - aren't fuzzy. They used to be known as "chinese gooseberries" or "monkey fruit". The Chinese name "mi hou tao" (rhymes with "we know how") means "macaque peach", referring to the fact that you have to be a monkey to pick them in the wild. Then there's "yang tao", meaning "sun peach". Other names like "bower vine" or "tara vine" make no sense to me. How about "bald kiwi"?
- Forget what the plant catalogs say about one male per five females and up to 25 feet away. Here in Chicago, I have seen NO insects on the flowers. Wind pollination or hand pollination seem to be the thing. And last year, the first time there was evidence of wind pollination, the ones I did not hand pollinate seemed to be smaller. So plant a male with every female and grow them as together as possible, or have the male above and upwind from the female.
- It's a great plant for vertical gardening, along with grapevines. These old Chicago 2- and 3-storey back porches are just perfect. So is the 6-foot fence around our parking lot. Just don't let them pave every square inch of ground.
- Actinidia arguta and actinidia kolomikta (I have a pair of them, too) are pretty forgiving. No problem with Chicago winters. No pests that I've seen. My soil is what's left after sifting out rubble - light, sandy, fairly alkiline, amended irregularly with occasional compost and mulch. If the ground gets too dry, the ends of the leaves will dry and die. The vines that do best have more fertile soil and more moisture.
- They need sunlight, but half a day of direct sunlight seems to be enough. Initially blossoms will only appear up high and in those parts of the vine with the most sun, but after a few years the entire vine will bear, including areas with only indirect light.
- The flowers have a wonderful fragrance. Imagine a porch shaded with a green curtain of kiwi leaves and the air filled with a smell somewhere between camelias and lily of the valley. Too bad its over in less than two weeks.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chicago, Illinois
Urbana, Illinois
Marietta, Mississippi
Binghamton, New York
Raleigh, North Carolina
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Eugene, Oregon
Tillamook, Oregon
Eastsound, Washington
Port Townsend, Washington
Presque Isle, Wisconsin



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