Until fairly recently, kiwi was considered an exotic, difficult to obtain and special-occasions-only fruit, with a price per pound to match. No doubt this was because kiwi fruit was imported from such far off lands as New Zealand, Chile and Italy. But did you know that if you crave kiwi and live in USDA zones 7-9, you can grow your own? In fact, growing kiwis in zone 9 is quite easy, especially if you select kiwi vines suited for zone 9. Read on to find out about growing kiwi vines in zone 9 and additional information about zone 9 kiwi plants.
Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) is a fast growing deciduous vine that can grow 30 feet (9 m.) or more. The leaves of the vine are rounded with reddish hairs on the leaf veins and petiole. The vine blooms creamy white blossoms in mid-spring on one-year-old wood.
Kiwi is dioecious, meaning plants are either male or female. This means that in order to set fruit, you need both a male and female kiwi in close proximity for most cultivars.
Kiwi also needs a period of about 200-225 days to ripen their fruit, making growing kiwis in zone 9 a match made in heaven. In fact, it may come as a surprise, but kiwis thrive in almost any climate that has at least one month of temperatures below 45 F. (7 C.) in the winter.
As mentioned, kiwi, also called Chinese gooseberry, available at the grocers is almost exclusively A. deliciosa, a native of New Zealand. This semi-tropical vine will grow in zones 7-9 and varieties include Blake, Elmwood, and Hayward.
Another type of kiwi suited for zone 9 is the fuzzy kiwi, or A. chinensis. You will need both male and female plants to get fruit, although only the female sets fruit. Again, A. chinensis is suited to zones 7-9. It produces a medium sized fuzzy kiwi. Pair two low chill varieties, those that only require 200 chill hours, such as ‘Vincent’ (female) with ‘Tomuri’ (male) for pollination.
Lastly, the hardy kiwifruit (A. arguta) native to Japan, Korea, Northern China and Russian Siberia can also be planted in zone 9. This type of kiwi is lacking the fuzz of other varieties. It is similar to A. deliciosa in both taste and appearance, albeit a bit smaller.
One of the most common varieties of A. arguta is ‘Issai,’ one of the few self-pollinating varieties of kiwi. This early fruiting kiwi will produce fruit on one-year-old vines. It bears small fruit, about the size of berries or large grapes that are exceptionally sweet with around 20% sugar content. ‘Issai’ tolerates heat and humidity, is hardy and disease resistant. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Plant this kiwi in rich, loamy soil that is well-draining.
Kiwis have become a staple in the produce department at grocery stores and now they are becoming more commonplace in the backyard as well. The lovely perennial vines create a unique cover for trellises and arbors. And kiwi fruits are good for you. They are packed with vitamin C, potassium, vitamin E, high fiber, and are low fat.
Kiwi are dioecious and require cross-pollination of a male and female plant for fruit production. Male plants pollinate female plants but do not fruit. To make kiwi growing as easy, we have done the research for you and have included 2 varieties, a male and a female, in our Kiwi Kit that work best together.
Best for warmer regions, Zones 7-9, these attractive, ornamental vines grow easily and vigorously, resist pests and diseases, and produce abundant crops of delicious and nutritious fruit, high in vitamin C. The vine grows thick and dense with foliage and attracts birds and bees. The leaves can be cooked and eaten, mainly as an herb.
Hayward (female) is the most popular variety in the produce isle as well as in home gardens, due to its abundant crops. Selected in New Zealand, Hayward produces kiwis that are large, flavorful, and attractive.
Male Fuzzy (male) does not bear fruit but can pollinate up to 8 female plants. It has a long spring bloom period in which it is covered in fragrant, bright white flowers. Young foliage is purple green, becoming green with pink and white variegation in early summer, aging solid green.
Uses: Vertical Edible Gardening, Edible Garden, Coastal Gardens, Containers, Walkways, Accent, Barrier, Mass Planting, Specimen, Create a Screen
This is a non-GMO item and is grown with sustainable and ecologically sound growing practices. Plants are 1 to 2 feet tall when shipped.