Actinidia kolomikta or Kolomikta Vine is a climbing shrub and certainly the most striking Actinidia for its heart-shaped green leaves with pink and white coloured spots on the tip. The coloration of the leaves appears after 2 to 3 years.
Flowers appear on branches of previous years and are creamy white or pink and lemon scented. They attract butterflies and birds.
It is a very fast grower which starts to produce fruit after 2 or 3 years. The plant is dioecious, so there must be at least one male plant to allow the female plants to produce fruit.
The fruits are edible but small: the size of a grape. They are yellow-green and not covered with hairs as in other kiwis. Best production is obtained when it is planted against a south wall.
The name Actinidia means “little ray” because of the lines in the fruit from the center to walk outside.
Caution should be exercised with cats: the plant is attractive to cats who can damage the plant but it can also induce vomiting in your cat.
Arctic Beauty Kiwi
China, Japan, Korea and eastern Russia
The fruit can be eaten raw or processed into juice, wine, jam or filling for pies.
In traditional medicine it is used as a laxative or as anti-worms in the intestinal system.
USDA Zone 3, -40 °C
Fertile and well drained
3 to 5 m
- very easy but do it only for fun: it takes from 3 to 8 years for the plant to start flowering and producing fruit. If you prefer to harvest fruit rapidly, buy a plant at a nursery. Male plants are usually grafted on a female plant for pollination since Actinidia chinensis is dioecious.
- Actinidia chinensis seed needs a cold period to germinate in the spring. This can be done artificially by putting the seeds for a couple of weeks in the fridge. But fruit bought in the store has undergone cooling during transport, so it’s not essential to stratify the seeds before sowing.
- if you harvest seeds from fresh fruit, make sure you get all the pulp from the seeds before sowing: pulp prohibits germination. You can do this buy rubbing the seeds in a very fine sieve or rub them between two sheets of kitchen paper. Rinse in a glass of water: the remaining pulp will float and the seeds sink, you will be able to drain it.
- sow in a light mix
- 20-25 °C
- germination time: 3 weeks to 2 months
- repot: When seedlings are big enough to handle
- the plant is a climber but cannot attach itself to its support, it needs leading and you will have to fasten new branches to the climbing device
- harvesting will be easier if you provide horizontal support
- can also be grown over a pergola but harvesting will be a bit complicated
- the best place is against a south facing wall
- likes moist soil, be sure to water regularly during summer
- plant in the garden when all danger of frost has ceased (May)
- before planting put a good layer of compost in the plant hole
- then give regular cow manure or fertilizer during the growing season
- prune in February to give shape
- prune the branches in July, the branches which bear little or no fruit so that the remaining fruit gets all the nutrition