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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Male kiwi plant died ?

Male kiwi plant died ?

Sudbury, MA
Post #: 85

I planted a male and female arctic kiwi plant in an area that gets plenty of sun. This spot can be kind of wet in the spring. The female plant seems to be ok, but the male plant has died. I recently planted some kind of hybrid that doesn't need a male plant to produce fruit apparently. An old hermit who lives back in the woods told me someone he knows said the male plants are problematic. Any comments or ideas on what I might try and how close does the male need to be from the female ? Will the female plant be adversely effected in some way if there is not a male plant around, or do I have plenty of time to get another male plant (even maybe next year) and try that ?
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 872
This is why I have never tried these. I have heard this story many times. Maybe if you started with more plants to cover losses. They are usually expensive though.

Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,155
Hi Larry, I have suggested that people plant a backup male in case they get a dud, although I'll say that usually the male is vigorous, just not producing flowers. I haven't heard of just the male vine failing completely yet. I have just heard (and need to research further) that the males often produce flowers on third year wood so our vigorous pruning regime might actually be the problem here:) as we've had female flowers for two seasons, no problem.

I have no experience with the so-called self-fertile kiwis.

At any rate, I am in the process of propagating both male and female vines here and happy to swap for plant material if you want to bring in some diversity at low/no cost.

FWIW, the folks who have successfully gotten their male to flower are typically awash in fruit ~ about 50-100 lbs per vine. And the plants are just beautiful so it feels worth it to me to try to make this crop work.
Nicky A.
user 11391029
Portland, ME
Post #: 12
We've had to replant male kiwis twice. 2010's made it & seems to be doing great. Our female is HUGE. Last year she had her first flowers which all fell off. This year she flowered dramatically - thousands, I think. We had hundreds of little green fruit which started falling off yesterday & we're down to nothing so 1 more year with no fruit. Any ideas? This male has done well and looks very healthy. the female is gorgeous & close to 6 yrs old. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. Thanks!
Christina B.
user 12054343
West Baldwin, ME
Post #: 16
Maybe lack of water during the heat wave caused the fruit drop?

Our hardy kiwis are from Rolling River Nursery. We lost the female Cordofolia, but the male has been fine and the female Ken's Red is fine.
A former member
Post #: 1
I have two kiwi vines that have been around for 7 or 8 years. They have taken over an arbor seet I had. they are probably 8 feet tall and cover a 6 foot space. I don't remember ever seeing flowers and they have never produced anything. I haven't pruned them and really had no idea what I was doing with them. How do you find out if they are male or female..didn't even know you had to have
Can you take clippins of them and reproduced..if so you are more than welcome to take a few. smile
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,163
Nicky, that's interesting....last year we had alot of what I thought were tiny fruits setting up but then they totally fell off (I figured they had not been fertilized and were therefore not actually fruits???)

Hmmmm, need to get to the bottom of this!

Oh, one other thing I've heard of...grafting a successfully flowering male vine onto a female vine. Might try this!
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 336
I think I'm just going to let my male grow up into a large tree just north of my females. I've been interested in letting kiwis climb and was thrilled to see them at Triple Brook Farm doing that (thanks for that field trip again Lisa). But seems too difficult to harvest the fruit that way. I figure why use the arbor space for males if I can send one up a large maple tree? If the 3rd year wood theory is right this will work out well as I'll just never be pruning it. Should make piles of flowers for pollination that way What do you guys think?
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 337
I guess this is my only concern with sending my male into a big can they get:
It looks so completely different from what we saw at Triple Brook Farm. I've heard that this site in Western MA is one male plant? It must be rooting as it grows to cover 3 acres like this. Stephen's plants probably can't do that because he mows around them??? Has anyone else ever seen seedlings of kiwi popping up in wild areas around the mother plants? That link is the only example I've ever seen, representing one plant that managed to survive and thrive.
Gorham, ME
Post #: 17
Just a comment on pruning male kiwis to produce flowers since talking to you, Lisa, about males flowering on third year wood. My four year old male is very healthy, but has never flowered. (For the record, neither has my female.)


Pruning Male Plants
Since male plants do not produce fruit they can be particularly vigorous. These plants are pruned immediately after flowering and the flowering shoots are cut back to vigorous new growth closer to the leader. Male plants are not pruned during the dormant season so that maximum flowering is achieved.

I've pruned during the dormant season only so won't prune my male plant next year unless it flowers. Maybe that will help.
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