The Hardy Kiwi is a little-known relative of the Kiwifruit. As this, the Hardy Kiwi belongs to the Chinese Gooseberry family (Actinidiaceae) and originates in Asia. Natural habitat are forest glades. The Hardy Kiwi gets also good fruits, which partly are merchandised as „Mini-Kiwis“ since recently, because they have only a size of 2 – 3 centimetres.
As with the Kiwifruit it is a perennial, deciduous, woody creeper. The plant is dioecious, i.e. male and female plants are existent. Single sprouts can reach a length of several metres, good spontaneous branching. Leaves are rather elongated and smaller as is the case with the Kiwifruit.
The plant needs a growth support. Humus soil. An ideal location is in western or eastern exposure. A location south facing is because of high evaporation of water rather awkward. Cutting is not urgent necessary, but is well tolerated. Numerous sorts are existing. In trade the sort ‚Issai‘ is offered as self-fertile, but also here is a male pollinator sort advisable, because so both fruit set and fruit size can be doubled. The Hardy Kiwi possesses an excellent frost hardiness up to -30°C, a frost protection is even for small plants unnecessary.
In summer 2009 I planted a small ‚Issai‘, which survived winter without any protection very well.
In spring the plant got already its first two fruits, which unfortunately were dropped because of dryness in early summer. Besides I planted in summer a male plant..
Both plants survived winter without any protection. This year, April was unusual warm, so that the plants strongly sprouted already in early May. In a nigth with late frost in early May the whole budding froze to death, later a new budding took place. Since then both plants are suffering from persistent dryness.
You can purchase seeds on this website of Amazon.