Content Detail

Hardy kiwi is an ornamental twining vine that also produces edible fruit. The fruit are smaller that the kiwis sold in stores. Fruit production requires a male and a female plant.This plant has some cultivated varieties.

  • Family (English) Actinidia
  • Family (botanic) Actinidiaceae
  • Tree or plant type Vine
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Dry sites, Wet sites
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Vining
  • Growth rate Fast

Native geographic location and habitat:

Hardy kiwi is native to Asia.

Leaf description:

Hardy kiwi leaves are arranged alternately. The simple, oval green leaves are somewhat rounded at the base. The margin of the leaf is toothed and leaf stalks are often reddish. Sometimes it has a mild yellow fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size description:

Male and female flowers are dioecious meaning they are on separate plants. Late spring to very early summer flowers are small and fragrant, green-white, and not very showy.

Fruit description:

The fruit is an edible berry that is one inch long and smaller than the kiwi that are found in grocery stores. A male plant is needed for the female plant to set fruit.

Plant care:

Plant in full sun to partial shade in rich, well-drained soils, although it tolerates a range of soil types. Prune heavily in winter as the fruit will be produced on new growth.

Ananasnaja hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta ‘Ananasnaja’):

A female cultivar with good cold hardiness and sweet fruit.

Issai hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta ‘Issai’):

Flowers of this cultivar are perfect, meaning they have both male and female flower parts, so a pollinator plant is not needed.

Ken’s Red hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta ‘Ken’s Red’):

This cultivar’s sweet fruit is larger with red flesh and purple-red skin.


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