The Kiwi is one of the fruits with the highest levels of vitamin C and E, it 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, soothing 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 you don”t know how to plant it? Don”t worry, here, 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 oval petiolate and curved from the base, dark green with light green veins. This plant, in modern crops, is usually monoecious or hermaphrodite, that is, it has female and male 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 expels the flower of the male plant and fertilizes the flower of the female plant, giving as a consequence the development of the fruits. The flowers of the kiwi tree are generally fragrant and appear singly or in groups of up to 3. The flowers of the kiwi plant, female and male, have 5 to 6 yellowish-white petals.
The only way to distinguish a female kiwi plant from a male is through the flowers. The flowering of the female kiwi plant is distinguished by white pistils surrounded by yellow pistils, inside the flower. The flower of the male kiwi is distinguished by having only yellow-colored pistils at the tip that protrude from the petals.
How to plant kiwis – step by step
To plant kiwis, it is necessary that you take into account specific details and advice, so you can obtain a healthy crop according to your needs. For this reason, here we present a simple step by step to plant kiwis below:
- Choose the right seeds, removing them from the fruit or buying 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. Therefore, it is recommended that you buy the seeds so that you will know exactly that you are going to grow male and female plants. There is also the option of planting hermaphroditic 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 wet it completely, but keep it from getting 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 wet paper.
- Put the paper with the seeds in a bowl and cover it.
- Take the seeds to the refrigerator at about 3ºC or 4ºC and leave them there for 5 weeks.
- Remember that, every 3 days, you have to remove the bowl with the seeds and leave it out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Also, at that time uncover the bowl and remove one of the layers that covers the seeds in order to aerate them.
- After 5 weeks you will notice that some of the seeds will have already sprouted their first roots. These will be ready for planting.
- Having already germinated seeds, he proceeds to prepare the land for its final sowing. Prepare substrate for seedlings or 50% peat and 40% organic compost and worm castings with cow manure, also add 10% sand to improve drainage.
- Cut holes about 4mm deep in the prepared substrate. Place one seed per hole and cover it with a very thin layer of substrate of maximum 2 mm.
- Water abundantly in the form of dew so that the seeds are not exposed to the water. Make sure to moisten all the soil, but not puddle. It is done!
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 in late winter. You should make a 4- to 7-inch cut and have some leaves. The cut should be completely straight and should not have cocoons.
- Scrape about an inch (2.5 cm) long from the bark of the master 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 cold 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 at the base of the kiwi cuttings with a spray bottle.
- After about 50 days the roots of the cuttings should have sprouted.
- Once the cutting begins to grow, you should make sure you have the proper kiwi supports, as the species is a climber and will need a guide 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.
When does the kiwi flower?
The first flowering of a kiwi plant occurs after the first 3 years of life and always in the spring, although, depending on the region and the climate, they can also flower in late August or early September.
On the other hand, once the flowers are pollinated and fertilized, they take around 5 months to develop and ripen their fruits. Another interesting fact is that kiwi fruits develop after 6 years of life of the plant.
The kiwi plant requires special care so that, from germination to maturity, it can develop healthy and without problems. For this reason, we give you a guide of tips to keep your kiwi crops healthy and fruitful:
- The first care that you should have so that your kiwi plant grows without so much effort is in the climate, since this plant prefers temperate climates. In addition, if the area where it develops is exposed to gusts of wind, it will be difficult for the plant to bear fruit because insects will not be able to pollinate them.
- The soil where you are going to grow your kiwi plants should be slightly acidic and add fertilizers only during the spring time and in low portions.
- The kiwi plant requires a lot of indirect sunlight. So, you should plant it in a semi-shady place for most of the day.
- As for irrigation, it needs constant humidity. To do this, make sure to water it daily in the form of fine rain only with the intention of moistening the earth, never watering it.
- It also needs pruning so that new branches grow strong. To do this, you are going to remove the leaves that are withered or dry. Pruning is generally done in winter.
Now that you can harvest your own fruits from this tree, we recommend these posts about What are the properties of kiwi and How to eat kiwi. We hope that with this information you can get more out of these fruits.
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