Kiwi's won't fruit - Knowledgebase Question

Auburn, Ca
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Question by markdb59
June 16, 2006
I have a Monrovia male and female Kiwi plant that are about 6 years old. They are in a sunny location climbing up a veranda intertwined with one another. They get good water. Two years ago they flowered and we had only 4 kiwis. We assumed since it was the first year of flowers that was ok. Last year they really flowered and nothing. But it was cold and raining during the flowering period so we chalked it up to the weather. This year we had nice weather and the vine was loaded with flowers and we saw the bees on the flowers.

Then we noticed they were dropping and no fruit. Upon closer inspection of the individual vines we found that the male is dominate and represents about 80%+ of the vines we have. No flowers were on the female.

I went back to where I bought them and they told me I needed at least two more females to

Answer from NGA
June 16, 2006
When I first began to read your question it occured to me that your male had taken over and your female was struggling under the competition. As I continued to read, I was amazed at the poor advice you received from the nursery. A single male kiwi can pollinate up to six or seven females. That doesn't mean you need six or seven females, just that you need one male for that many females. I generally suggest that the male be planted somewhere in the neighborhood, but not necessarily adjacent to the females. Insects carry pollen from the male to the female so as long as the plants are reasonably close (up to 100 feet a way, line of sight), the wasps and bees and flies will be able to do an efficient job of pollinating the female flowers.

I really think your male kiwi is competing big-time for sun, water and food. Pruning it back, or even digging it up and moving it, will allow the female room and resources to grow and flower. Female iwi vines should be pruned when they're dormant; pruning after the buds swell will result in loss of sap and weakened vines. Flowers and fruit are produced on new shoots which develop from one-year-old wood. Pruning will help renew the plant and always provide one-year-old wood from which new flowering shoots will develop each spring. You can cut back about one-third of the wood each spring. Male plants can be pruned back hard after they have finished flowering. They will respond with lots of healthy new growth.

Hope this information is helpful!

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