I am sure you have seen them all over Lowe’s and other large box home improvement stores, the elusive and enticing looking Arctic Kiwi!
How cool is that? A vine that grows tropical fruit in pint sized form. So small and so perfect that you do not even need to peel the skin off of them. No, in fact you eat the entire thing. The kiwi berry is also known as a kiwi grape, or an arctic kiwi.
Whatever you want to call them, they are delicious, and now they are made to grow in our gardens here on Long Island; so long as we follow a few simple steps into the health and growth process of this particular interesting and unique new vine.
Anyone like me whom is an avid gardener will naturally be enthralled by this new addition.
Sadly many of you this season will end up purchasing one of these vines without knowing that you indeed will not have a successful fruit bearing kiwi vine unless you purchased both male and female plants.
That is pretty much how they get you. You see these vines are sold for around $11 for a small, yet healthy vine. You will need to double that up in order to have these vines cross pollinate in order to produce fruits.
Granted $22 is not a whole lot of money for a fruit bearing kiwi berry vine that will produce fruit, it is rather annoying to learn this after the fact, and then not be able to find a male, or female later on.
If you are serious about fruit bearing kiwi berries, you will likely want to invest a little more than that. In fact you will only need one male vine for every 9 female vines. Keep in mind, our female vines are our fruit bearing vines, no matter how cute they make the male kiwi’s look on the box they will not produce the fruit that the box top advertising leads you to believe! Bummer I know.
At any rate, for more fruit, you will want to have more than one female vine. The choice is yours really. One vine or 9 vines, it is up to you.
Another tip I feel I should mention is that bees tend to not like the nectar in these beautiful flowers, so cross pollinating can be tricky. If you notice that bees or other insects are not taking an interest in your flowers, simply wait for the male and female vines to flower. Cut the some of the males flowers off of the vine, and literally rub them onto the female flowers. Shake the male flowers all around the vine after rubbing them.
I know it sounds a little plant erotic, but it works, and it works well. Especially if your vines are not cross pollinating.
Aside from that you will also want to keep in mind that these vines are climbers, so prepping a trellis or large tomato trellis over them will allow them to grow and stretch their wings.
Do note that it could take a few years before your vines bear fruit. They are quite hardy and easy to care for, so truly patience is a virtue when it comes to these vines. They come back year after year without needing to dig them up. Like I said, they are hardy as heck and can withstand our cold, icy Long Island winter.
Imagine in a few years how neat it will be to show your friends and neighbors your very own mini kiwis that can be plucked right from the vine and popped into your mouth. Not to mention the fact that they are simply delicious!