Grown for its attractive foliage and edible fruit, Actinidia arguta 'Issai' (Hardy Kiwi Vine) is a compact, deciduous climber that produces grape-sized, smooth-skinned, green fruits in late summer to early fall. While they are smaller than grocery store varieties, they are slightly sweeter and enjoy an excellent flavor. This kiwi cultivar is self-pollinating and does not need a companion to produce fruit. Pleasantly scented flowers are borne during early summer. They are not particularly showy since they are often hidden by the foliage or broad-ovate deep green leaves. Fast-growing, this Kiwi Vine requires much less pruning than the species due to its limited growth habit. Tolerant of heat, humidity and disease resistant, it is a rewarding plant with handsome foliage all summer long, delicious fruits and no serious pest issues.
- Grows up to 12-20 ft. tall (3-6 m) and 3-5 ft. wide (1-2 m).
- A full sun to part shade lover, it is best grown in medium moisture, preferably acid, well-drained soils. May suffer from nutrient deficiencies on alkaline soils.
- Generally pest and disease free. Watch for honey fungus and phytophthora.
- Flowers and fruits form on last year’s growth, so annual winter pruning of each stem back to 3-4 buds beyond the last fruited stems. Summer pruning to keep the plant in check.
- May be propagated by softwood cuttings, grafting or layering