Kiwi is one of the fruits with the highest levels of vitamin C and E, and also provides other nutrients such as lutein, and minerals such as copper, phosphate, and magnesium. The fruit of the Kiwi plant also has anti-inflammatory, calming, and digestive properties. For its part, its delicious flavor has made this berry one of the essentials in culinary recipes around the world, appearing in desserts such as ice creams and even fruit salads.
Would you like to get all the benefits of the kiwi plant in your home, but don’t know how to plant it? Do not worry, We will teach you how to plant kiwis and everything related to their care, flowering times, and more.
How is the kiwi plant: male and female
The kiwi plant or Actinia deliciosa is a deciduous and shrubby semi-woody climbing species, native to China and has spread throughout the world due to its delicious fruit. The kiwi plant can reach up to 9 m in length. Its leaves are petiolate, oval, and curved from the base, dark green in color with light green veins. This plant, in modern crops, is usually monoecious or hermaphrodite, that is, it has male and female organs in the same flower, therefore, some species are self-fertile plants.
Of course, there are also kiwi plants that are dioecious, that is, unisexual and that need one another to reproduce through the pollen that the flower of the male plant expels and that fertilizes the flower of the female plant, giving consequently the development of the fruits. The flowers of the kiwi tree are usually fragrant and arise singly or in groups of up to 3. The flowers of the kiwi plant, female and male, have 5-6 yellowish-white petals.
The only way to tell a female kiwi plant from a male is through the flowers. The flowering of the female kiwi plant is distinguished by white-colored pistils surrounded by yellow-colored pistils, inside the flower. The male kiwi flower is distinguished by having only yellow-tipped pistils that protrude from the petals.
How to plant kiwis
To plant kiwis, you need to take specific details and advice into account, so you can obtain a healthy crop that meets your needs. Therefore, in this article, we present you a simple step by step to planting kiwis below:
- Choose the right seeds, remove them from the fruit, or buy them at a local nursery or a specialized store. Keep in mind that if you do not know if the seeds you will plant will be male or female, then you run the risk that all the plants will grow from a single genus and therefore there will be no fertilization or harvest. For this reason, it is recommended that you buy the seeds and thus you will know exactly where you are going to grow male and female plants. There is also the option of planting hermaphrodite kiwis. They all have the same planting process.
- Germinate kiwi seeds using the stratification method to awaken them from dormancy.
- Take absorbent paper and form several layers with it. Then, get it completely wet, but not too weak to break.
- Separate the layers of paper and place the kiwi seeds inside them. Subsequently, proceed to cover the seeds with layers of damp paper.
- Put the paper with the seeds in a bowl and cover it.
- Take the seeds to the refrigerator to about 3 or 4 ºC and leave them there for 5 weeks.
- Remember that, every 3 days, you have to take out the bowl with the seeds and leave it out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Also, during this time, uncover the bowl and remove one of the layers that cover the seeds in order to aerate them.
- After 5 weeks you will notice that some of the seeds will have sprouted their first roots. These will be ready for planting.
- Already having the germinated seeds, he proceeds to prepare the ground for his final planting. Prepare substrate for seedbeds or 50% peat and 40% organic fertilizer and earthworm humus with cow dung, also add 10% sand to improve drainage.
- Poke holes about 4mm deep in the prepared substrate. Place one seed per hole and cover it with a very thin layer of substrate, a maximum of 2 mm.
- Water is abundant in the form of a mist so that the seeds are not exposed to the water. Be sure to moisten all the soil, but without flooding. That’s it!
How to plant kiwis by cutting
Another way to plant these fruits is through cuttings, and for this, you must use supports for kiwis. These can be made of wood or metal, the latter recommended for their long durability. Now, to know how to plant kiwis by cutting, follow the steps:
- Cut the cuttings that you want to plant at the end of the winter season. You want to make a 4-7 inch cut with some leaves on it. The cut must be completely straight and must not have flower buds.
- Scrape about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long of the bark from the rootstock or base plant into which you will graft the kiwi cutting. For kiwi cuttings, the pattern can also be a rooting hormone.
- Insert the exposed part of the cutting into the rootstock or rooting hormone, making sure that the exposed bark of the cutting is fully in contact with the rootstock or hormone.
- Spray the base of each cutting with cool water, pressing down on the rooting hormone.
- You have to make sure that the cuttings will be at a constant temperature between 20ºC and 24ºC. For this, you can use a heating mat for plants.
- Every day you have to spray the cuttings from the base of the kiwi cutting with a spray bottle.
- After about 50 days the roots of the cuttings should have sprouted.
- Once the cutting starts to grow, you need to make sure you have the right kiwi support. As the species is a climber and will need a guide in order to develop and bear fruit in the future. For this, it is necessary that you build the supports for kiwis with resistant and durable materials. Since the plant will go through several processes before giving its first harvest.