The Right Male Kiwi?

Asked March 30, 2015, 1:37 PM EDT

I just planted two female Hayward Kiwi plants, but had some difficulty locating a male to go with. I eventually obtained one, but am now concerned that it was mislabeled... The growth form is (to me) significantly different from the two female plants. First, the females are putting out vining leaders and already starting to climb. The male plant is just putting out leaves and short leaders, more like you'd see in a shrub. Second, the leaves are somewhat diferent... the females have larger leaves, while the male has leaves with a more "wrinkled" appearance. Also, the male has leaves with more of a slight yellow-bronze tinge to them (they look healthy, but not as "green" as the females). Is there any way to verify, beyond waiting until flowers appear, that I have the appropriate male plant for my female kiwis? I can upload photos if necessary, but that might take a day or so.

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

Hello,

Male and female kiwi do have different leaves/color. Not sure about the growth being different though. It's possible the male vine got some frost damage to young shoots that are emerging? No it is not possible to check the sex of the plant until it flowers. I've attached an image of each of the male and female flowers of Actinidia deliciosa (the one you have).
You may also wish to check out the kiwifruit publication accessible here. Note that the 'Hayward' type of kiwi is not as adapted to the home garden as the hardy kiwi because we can get winter injury to the trunk in very cold years. Still we've grown it with good success (have had to re-train the trunk from a sucker in a couple of years during the last 20). http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20677/pnw507.pdf?sequence=1

Best wishes,