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Author Topic: Growing Kiwis in South Florida  (Read 2855 times)

ReneeFLL

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Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« on: August 08, 2012, 01:52:41 PM »
Does anyone grow kiwis in Broward or south of here? I looked and from what I found they were in zones 9 and north of that. I bought a kiwi plant from Walmart for $4.00 that had a male and female plant. Does anyone know if I even have a chance with this plant?

jez251

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 01:56:46 PM »
I've tried to grow them a few times and they always dry up. keep us posted on how you do with yours...

Jaime

ReneeFLL

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 12:15:32 PM »
Jamie the kiwi is still in the pot that I bought it in. Out of the other pots it dries out the quickest. When I plant it I will have to make sure it does not dry out so fast. I will let you know how it goes.

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 05:17:15 PM »
Kiwis need chill hours. Some cultivars need less chill hours than others. I think Vincent was the lowest rated in hours needed. I tried growing Vincent in cooler Southern California with no success, so would really doubt you could fruit them in Southern Florida. Strangely enough some of the artic kiwis, related species that range from further north, have less chilling requirements than regular kiwi. So you might want to look into those.
Oscar

nullzero

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 05:36:41 PM »
I am growing kiwis in containers for about 3 years. They tend to dry up in the middle of the summer. They hate high heat and low humidity. I am growing Ken's Red, Issai, Fortyniner (74/49), Cordifolia, and Elmwood all in containers. So far Ken's Red (in a SWC) has reliably flowered the last two years. Chill hours were around 200 both years. The rest of the Kiwi's have been slow growing and stunted due to container environment and warm root zone. I plan to repot the rest of the kiwis in fabric containers at the end of this year.

Ken's Red (new growth flush of leaves, after old leaves dropped off from heat)
8/18/12
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 05:41:21 PM by nullzero »
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ReneeFLL

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 08:30:24 PM »
Nullzero where are you located at?

luc

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 08:34:17 PM »
I started kiwi ( the green ) ages ago from seed , grew extremely well and invasive , till I found out they are dioecious , since I only planted one it was removed .

I still would like to try the ' golden ' I understand they need less chill ??? 
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nullzero

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 09:57:57 PM »
Nullzero where are you located at?

Zone 10a, Sunset zone 21. Southern California (south OC)
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FloridaGreenMan

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 10:39:47 PM »
Kiwi will not grow well or fruit in SFLA. Been tried many times. Does not work here. Needs many chilling hours! 
FloridaGreenMan

ReneeFLL

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 11:03:49 PM »
Thanks Noel. I guess I won't bother with it then.

BMc

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 11:51:41 PM »
My grandfather used to grow them here in Brisbane when I was younger, but he lives in a frost trap between the 'mountains' (hills really) and can grow temperates, sub-tropicals and tougher tropicals on different parts of his block. Those were greens, but they are long gone and most of his orchard is a horse yard now, but I'm working on that!
The golds are grown commercially not far south of here (70km) on a hill that gets a few more hours chill than we would here. They also grow well in northern NSW and selections have been made for warmer areas, as per Daley's video: http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/fruit%20pages/kiwifruit.htm

fruitlovers

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 02:36:11 AM »
I started kiwi ( the green ) ages ago from seed , grew extremely well and invasive , till I found out they are dioecious , since I only planted one it was removed .

I still would like to try the ' golden ' I understand they need less chill ???

Yes the golden kiwi needs less chill than the green types because the golden is native to coastal areas. Or so i was told by Roger Meyer. The gold one is a different species, Actinidia chinensis. The green one is Actinidia deliciosa. The golden one is considered a better fruit by most and sells for a higher price.
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nullzero

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2012, 12:48:22 PM »
ReneeFLL,

I say you should give it a try, you have a good chance of getting fruit on certain selections of Kiwi. Ken's Red and Cordifolia are both low chill varieties that may perform. Some of the hardy kiwis ( Actinidia arguta) seem to require less chill from what I have read and seen. Ken's Red, "Low-chill variety. Can be grown successfully in Gulf states." stated at http://ediblelandscaping.com.

Perhaps a few weeks of temps near the 40s would be enough to kick the plant into flowering in the spring. The cost of a vine or two is not much, only a little time and space would be wasted if it did not work out. I got Ken's Red to flower reliably the last 2 years in a 18 gal tote container... I just had no male pollinators!
Grow mainly edible and herbal plants. Favorites are the fruits, vegetables, and tea plants.

FloridaGreenMan

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2012, 07:02:07 PM »
ReneeFLL,

I say you should give it a try, you have a good chance of getting fruit on certain selections of Kiwi. Ken's Red and Cordifolia are both low chill varieties that may perform. Some of the hardy kiwis ( Actinidia arguta) seem to require less chill from what I have read and seen. Ken's Red, "Low-chill variety. Can be grown successfully in Gulf states." stated at http://ediblelandscaping.com.

Perhaps a few weeks of temps near the 40s would be enough to kick the plant into flowering in the spring. The cost of a vine or two is not much, only a little time and space would be wasted if it did not work out. I got Ken's Red to flower reliably the last 2 years in a 18 gal tote container... I just had no male pollinators!


It's not just lack of chill, these plants cannot stand our high humidity and just decline in our climate. One of my friends bought every type of Kiwi sold in CA and they all died within a few months! Once they started the decline, our nasty bugs ate them up! SFLA is a nightmare for most temperate plants.

 
FloridaGreenMan

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2013, 09:58:57 AM »
So does that go for hardy kiwi as well?  They can't handle the FL humidity?  Anyone have any luck?
~Jeff

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TriangleJohn

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2013, 02:07:12 PM »
All I can add is that up here in zone 7 North Carolina, you can grow all types of kiwi but you can't go near them without pruners in hand. They can grow 15 feet in one season - easy. And if you don't keep them under control they will sniff out the highest tree and race to the top of it. Good luck getting any fruit then. My fuzzy's struggle during really cold winters but I don't mind. They only seem to die back to the main stem and within months of warm weather you'd never know they froze back. It just gives me a break from pruning for a month or so.

fruitlovers

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 05:41:05 AM »
ReneeFLL,

I say you should give it a try, you have a good chance of getting fruit on certain selections of Kiwi. Ken's Red and Cordifolia are both low chill varieties that may perform. Some of the hardy kiwis ( Actinidia arguta) seem to require less chill from what I have read and seen. Ken's Red, "Low-chill variety. Can be grown successfully in Gulf states." stated at http://ediblelandscaping.com.

Perhaps a few weeks of temps near the 40s would be enough to kick the plant into flowering in the spring. The cost of a vine or two is not much, only a little time and space would be wasted if it did not work out. I got Ken's Red to flower reliably the last 2 years in a 18 gal tote container... I just had no male pollinators!


It's not just lack of chill, these plants cannot stand our high humidity and just decline in our climate. One of my friends bought every type of Kiwi sold in CA and they all died within a few months! Once they started the decline, our nasty bugs ate them up! SFLA is a nightmare for most temperate plants.

 


I tried growing kiwi in Southern California and failed miserably. And that was with a cultivar that needed the least chill: Vincent.  I was told by some people in the know that the most likely kiwi to grow in lowland tropics would be the golden kiwi, not regular kiwis, as golden comes from coastal Southern China where it is warm and humid. I haven't tried it yet here, but that is what i suggest experimenting with.
Oscar

nullzero

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 02:51:49 PM »
I lost 2 kiwi plants recently due to termite damage to the roots. It seems termites love to eat the woody roots of Kiwi plants  :'(.
Grow mainly edible and herbal plants. Favorites are the fruits, vegetables, and tea plants.

emegar

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 03:40:56 PM »
I have five or six golden kiwi seedlings in the greenhouse that I started about a month ago from seeds I extracted from storebought fruit.  I imagine they're not a highly improved crop, and that the seedlings are likely to be fairly true to type, but who knows?  I'm hoping to get at least one or two females from the batch that I can eventually graft onto my A. deliciosa vines, but I know they have to get pretty big before they flower, so I won't know what I've got for a few years (minimum).
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LivingParadise

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2014, 06:14:07 PM »
I wanted to bring this up thread again. I know that the responses so far were overwhelmingly negative. However, I stupidly was unaware that kiwi was not a tropical fruit when I first bought it. I have 2 females and a male at this point. I don't know what cultivars they are, but I know they are the fuzzy variety.

The thing is, despite all that has been said about them having no chance in SFL (much less VERY S.FL.! where it rarely gets below 50F), all 3 are thriving and now need bigger pots (they are still small, in the 1-gallon range). Two of the 3 plants were nearly dead when I got them, and one of them actually lost all its leaves in transport, and yet, it grew back anyway. That one is growing outside in the shade, while the other two are growing inside in several hours of full sun in a very hot somewhat humid room, and yet they seem to love it!

So I guess I thought I would ask this question again. Has anyone currently on the boards tried recently, or have plants currently growing anywhere in FL? I am crazy enough to be fine trying to simulate chill hours, but the way I would do it would depend on their chances of survival outside. If they can grow outside and be happy even if they don't fruit, I will try planting them and then simulate with ice cubes for several weeks, or whatever length they are likely to need, during Jan. and Feb. when it is coldest here. If they have no chance of even living through the year (although I wonder if summer would be so bad since the indoor ones seem to be so happy in 95F and humid, and the outdoor one already gets watered daily), I could transplant them into larger containers indoors and then use ice cubes or stick them in the fridge or freezer daily - but I don't know if they would get big enough to fruit then because of the pots, even though the cold part would be covered.

I realize people will think this idea is a real shot in the dark, but I already have them, and they are currently healthy, and apparently quite a few colder climate people have managed to grow tropical fruit outdoors and keep them going in summers with some extra care, so I figure if these are happy now in the hot and wet, maybe I've got a shot at fruiting them too if I really go out of my way.

Anyone got these things living in Florida soil, or fruiting indoors?

nullzero

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2014, 06:22:34 PM »
I am not sure how the kiwi would deal with root knot nematodes. Its worth a shot though. You may be able to defoliate the plants during the winter to simulate dormancy to spur new growth and flowers.
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LivingParadise

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2014, 06:37:47 PM »
I did read that those could be bad - is it the kind of thing you can avoid with mulching?

Interesting idea to defoliate! I wonder if that has ever worked for somebody. As much as I have thought about simulating chill hours for a number of plants (most of which I grow indoors), I have never read about somebody doing it successfully. I have only recently started seeing evidence that other people have even thought of it, but I don't know if it's ever worked.

I take a lot of my inspiration from the documentary "A Man Named Pearl," in which he says basically horticulturalists have all these rules, and everyone always told him he couldn't grow any of the stuff he has grown, and yet he thinks there is a way to grow nearly anything successfully if you're willing to try something a little different. Every plant is happy if you just give it what it wants. 

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Re: Growing Kiwis in South Florida
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2014, 09:53:20 PM »
I grow fuzzy kiwi in north Florida (zone 8), Vincent and Tomuri varieties. I also have the smooth artic kiwi.  We usually get over 600 chill hours and this winter was real cold, we had low temps of 12 degrees on two mornings. Everything did fine and budded out by mid march.  Hoping for fruit this summer, they've been in the ground about four years now.

 

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