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Kiwi: Do I Need Male and Female Varieties to Bear Fruits?

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 26 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Kiwi Fruit Male Female Pollination

Q.

Can you please help us with a problem we have with a Kiwi we bought. We did not know that you needed male and female and the garden centre could not tell us which it was. It is named "Paul" and the garden centre seemed to think it did not need another plant of any type male or female.

We have tried on the internet and also looked through all our garden books but cannot find "Paul". Your help will be very much appreciated as my wife will be very disappointed if there are no fruits. I will get the blame - she usually says I've planted it upside down!

(B.P, 29 April 2009)

A.

We are so sorry to disappoint you but we’ve been unable to find any evidence to say that Paul is a self-fertile kiwi fruit vine. In fact we can’t find any information about a variety called Paul at all! The only advice we can proffer is that its name suggests it may be male?

In which case you will need a female plant as well. Male and female flowers grow on separate plants so you need both for pollination. One male plant can pollinate up to eight female plants but they must be planted reasonably close to each other. The recommended distance apart is 5 metres. You may also like to help pollination by gathering some of the male pollen on a small brush and dusting it onto the female flowers.

Good female varieties to choose from include Abbott, Bruno, Hayward and Monty. They all crop well with good-size fruits. To be absolutely certain of fertilisation – and in case Paul turns out to be Paula! - you may be advised to buy another male plant too – just in case! Male varieties include Tomuri, Atlas and Matua.

The female, Hayward, is one of the most popular and successful plants and, as a later-flowering variety, is well-matched with the male, Tomuri.

If you’re limited for space, the variety, Jenny, is self-fertile. The resultant fruits are smaller - walnut-sized - and the plant is less hardy than other varieties and therefore unsuitable for colder areas, but if you can provide a sheltered sunny spot, Jenny will twine and climb vigorously.

Actinidia arguta Issai is also self-fertile and grape-sized fruits are produced in clusters.

The kiwi fruit vine is best grown against a south-facing wall in well-drained richly-organic soil. It needs both sun and shelter, the young shoots especially needing to be protected from frosts.

We assume you have already planted Paul in your garden, otherwise we would have advised you to return it to the garden centre. If they are unable to provide you with adequate information we recommend that you take your custom elsewhere! If you can’t find well-known named plants in your local garden centre, there are reputable nurserymen.

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[Add a Comment]
@Conners - I've grown the cocktail kiwi (Actinidia arguta) - they are easier to grow because they come from a much colder climate and are sweeter. But I've not attempted to try the normal Kiwi. Another plus for the cocktail kiwi is it's also smooth skinned. Cass.
FlowerPower - 27-Jan-17 @ 12:16 PM
Has anyone been able to grow edible kiwi fruit in the UK ? If so what's the secret
Conners - 26-Jan-17 @ 6:06 PM
Hi. I have a question that might seem simple but i can't get an answer from any of the experts i asked. If i plant only female plants without male ones (and also there are no male plants near the area too from other growers) will my female flower shape fruits at least small or the flowers will wither and drop. Thanks in advance.
Geo - 4-Nov-16 @ 9:57 PM
Will self pollinating Jenny also fertilise Hayward? Many thanks Derek
dechogg - 29-Jul-14 @ 11:14 AM
I have had a Kiwi plant for over 9 years, in the summer it grows rapidly, however at no time has it ever blossomed muchless bear fruits. I am rather bewildered, because I thought both male and female had flowers. Please explain or provide some advice.
cooldale - 25-Oct-13 @ 11:47 PM
do you know of a method of bottling (in glass bottles that is) the fruit called kiwi fruit?
--- - 26-Jul-13 @ 8:35 AM
I have a kiwi which grows happily but whilst producing flowers does not produce fruit. I don't know which sex it is. i have just planted 'Solo' next to it which is self fertilising - will it also fertilise the one that produces flowers but no fruit - clearly if its male it won't and if they flower at different times it is unlikely. How do you determine the sex of a kiwi?
Richard - 27-Apr-13 @ 6:49 PM
How do I tell the diffrence I have two kiwi plants that look the same,one flowered and the other did not,they are both growing well but am not sure how old they are and if I need another were can I get it from or does any 1 have any that I may have Free.
NEV - 23-Jul-11 @ 10:51 AM
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