The Q&A Archives: decorative grape vines w/o fruit?

Question: Are there any type of vines which resemble grapes but don't produce fruit? I like the attractive look and shade but don't want the mess from the unharvested fruit. If I get a grape vine like Thompson seedles or Ruby seedless and don't pick the berries will they make a mess on the ground under the vines? The vines will be on a 10' lattice patio cover.

Answer: I'm afraid grapevines will flower and produce fruit in your growing region so unless you want to prune off the flower clusters as they appear, you may want to grow something as a replacement. It is not unusual for a healthy kiwi vine to cover an area 10 to 15 feet wide, 18 to 24 feet long and 9 to 12 feet high. In cultivation it is supported on a trellising system. The large, deep green, leathery leaves are oval to nearly circular and 7 to 10 inches in diameter. Young leaves and shoots are coated with red hairs, while mature leaves are dark green and hairless on the upper surface, downy-white with prominent, light colored veins beneath.

If you purchase a male kiwi plant, it won't produce fruit (and the flowers are tiny so you'll barely notice them), but the foliage will be lush and green (unless you prefer the pink, white and green leaves of ?Issai?, the hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta).

Best wishes with your landscape!

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