General description: The Kokuwa hardy kiwi has strong annual growth of about 2-3 m, and reaches a height of around 8-10 m. It’s a hermaphroditic variety, which means that it doesn’t require the presence of a male pollinator. It can successfully grow in any home garden. Its fruit are a rich source of vitamins and are suitable for direct consumption along with the skin, as well as for making preserves and jams.
Flowers: This vine’s flowers are small, white, about 2 cm wide and composed of darkish anthers on creamy-white filaments and white pistils with long, outwardly curled stigmas. This hardy kiwi vine has an inflorescence of up to three flowers.
Blooming: Kokuwa blooms in June.
Leaves: This vine has thick, wide, ovate green leaves around 7-12 cm long that turn yellow in autumn.
Fruit: This hardy kiwi has sweeter and more aromatic fruit than kiwifruit. They are oval and around 2 cm long. The skin is thin, smooth, and green. Their flesh is also green, and sweetly sour with a distinct lemon aftertaste.
Ripening: This hardy kiwi’s fruit ripen at the turn of September and October. The vine usually starts to bear fruit some 2-3 years after planting. It does not require a pollinator for fruiting, however the presence of a male hardy kiwi plant, for example the Weiki male pollinator, increases chances of pollination and high fruit yield. /p>
Cultivation requirements: This hardy kiwi grows best in full sun or semi-shaded locations. It likes moist, fertile, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH.
Pruning: This vine should be pruned for the first time around 4 years after planting, in order to rejuvenate it by removing old stems. This has a positive effect on the flowering of the plant. Pruning in spring should be limited to removing dead or damaged stems. Old and withered stems (about 3 years in age) should be removed after fruiting. This hardy kiwi vine can be trimmed if it has grown too large, but over-pruning can impair fruiting.
Overwintering: The Kokuwa cultivar does great in temperate climates. It’s resistant to frost and withstands temperature drops of down to -30°C, however protecting young seedlings for the winter by piling a mound of soil with peat about 30 cm in height over the plants, or by using agrotextiles, is highly recommended.