Actinidia: planting and care in the open ground

Actinidia is an exotic plant that is famous for its delicious, healthy fruits and is a close relative of the well-known kiwi. Thanks to the cultivation of varieties that are unpretentious and adaptable to various climatic conditions, actinidia can be grown effortlessly on a garden plot next to the usual fruit trees and shrubs.

What is actinidia

Actinidia in appearance resembles a kiwi without villi

Actinidia is a deciduous perennial plant (lignified liana) with a superficial fibrous rhizome and branched lateral processes of shoots, reaching up to one and a half to two meters in length. The stems are quite flexible and covered with a smooth bark of a brownish tint. The leaves of the plant are oval or ovoid, the color of which varies depending on the species and can be green, red-green, with a yellowish border or a bright pink tip.

Actinidia is a dioecious plant. There are "individuals" only with male flowers or only with female. The flowers are small, odorless, can be single or collected in inflorescences. Actinidia begins to bloom at the age of five to seven years in June-July. Pollination occurs with the help of wind, bumblebees and bees, due to which already in September the fruits begin to ripen on female plants - oblong, tasty and very healthy berries ranging in size from 1 to 8 cm, depending on the type of plant.

Breeders have bred many varieties of actinidia, and it can be not only green. In the photo, the grade Kens Red

The cultivation of actinidia in Russia began at the beginning of the 20th century in St. Petersburg in the Imperial Botanical Garden. A huge contribution to the development of culture was made by I.V. Michurin, who in the 30s was actively engaged in the cultivation of new varieties (especially winter hardy), which differ not only in valuable taste, but also in high productivity.

Actinidia fruits have many useful properties:

  • are a source of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin C);
  • strengthen immunity, making it more resistant to various infections;
  • stabilize the cardiovascular system (reduce pressure, improve vascular tone and blood composition);
  • normalize the work of the gastrointestinal tract (eliminate severity and heartburn);
  • contribute to the removal of toxins and radionuclides from tissues;
  • favorably affect the work of the lungs and bronchi;
  • improve skin condition (increase elasticity, tone, saturate with vitamins).

Views from the photo

In total, there are more than 70 types of actinidia, including varieties with pronounced fruit and decorative properties. But the main species that are most often found in gardens are three.

Actinidia colomictus

The people call Colomict amur gooseberry

This species is the most frost-resistant and can withstand winter cold without shelter up to - 42 degrees. It reaches a length of up to 5 -10 m. Leaflets are ovate, serrate, covered along the veins with a red pile and “attached” to the reddish petioles. During flowering, the tip of the leaf becomes whitish-pink, acquiring a bright crimson hue over time. In autumn, foliage is painted in incredibly beautiful yellow-pink and red-violet tones. Elongated green fruits 2–2.5 cm in size ripen by the beginning of September and have a thin skin, fragrant aroma and sweet and sour taste.

Actinidia argument

About 15–20 kg of berries are removed from an adult plant

This is a larger plant, the length of the vines reaches 36 m. Rounded oval leaves have a "satin" texture with small cloves along the edge. With good care, it quickly forms beautiful “walls” of a dark green hue. This species is characterized by abundant fruiting and good preservation of the ovary, even under adverse conditions. The fruits ripen by September, reach a diameter of 3 cm, have a delicate taste and, depending on the variety, can be either green or purple shades.

Actinidia polygamum

This species has weakly branching shoots reaching a length of up to 5 m. The oval pointed leaves partially change their color during growth. Young leaves are considered edible and resemble watercress to taste. Orange fruits contain beta-carotene and have a special, fig-like flavor.

Actinidia polygamum does not differ in high frost resistance

Is it successfully cultivated in the regions

The listed varieties are prone to certain requirements, so not every one of them will grow equally well, for example, in the north or in the southern regions.

Moscow and Moscow region

Subject to the conditions of planting and sufficient care, actinidia in this region perfectly survives and brings stable yields. Various varieties of colomict species, which can do without shelter, feel best here because they are adapted to winter average daily temperatures of -20 ° C.

Leningrad region

Colomict actinidia, which is resistant to low temperatures, is also widespread here. The most popular varieties are Gourmand, Sugar, Fantasy, Sweet tooth, Fairy.

In the middle lane

Varieties suitable for this region tolerate a changeable climate with a characteristic not very warm summer and frosty, with frequent thaws in winter. Successfully cultivated here is the actinidia of colomict, which does not require complicated care, and the argument that should be covered in winter to prevent freezing.

On South

In private farms of Crimea there are whole plantations of actinidia

The southern climate is especially favorable for the cultivation of all types of actinidia. Here they possess gorgeous foliage and bring rich harvests. In addition to fruit purposes, actinidia is also grown here as an ornamental plant.

In Siberia

In this region, actinidia is least susceptible to frost due to the late appearance of foliage and the formation of new shoots instead of branches that were frozen. For good yield, the plant must be planted in shaded areas, providing painstaking care. A suitable species for Siberia is colomict, in particular, its varieties: Sakhalin, Universitetskaya, Homestead, etc.

In the Urals

The hot summers and snowy winters of the Urals make it possible to grow actinidia colomict here. Winter-hardy varieties of this species exhibit excellent vegetation season (from the beginning of May to the end of October) and bring a good harvest, especially: Wafelnaya, Maritsa, Uslada, Robinson, etc.

In the Far East

In this region, two species of actinidia are cultivated - colomict and argument. Moreover, gardeners prefer colomict more for its unpretentiousness in care and endurance, especially noting the incredibly sweet varieties (Sweet Tooth, Sugar, Honey).

Role in Landscaping

Actinidia is a wonderful ornamental plant. At the time of flowering, it decorates the garden with flowers with a delicate aroma, and by autumn adds bright colors with its variegated leaves of incredible shades. In landscape design, it can be used for:

  • Decorating and landscaping vertical surfaces. Since shoots of creepers beautifully encircle any objects, they can be used to ennoble various fences, arbors, terraces, hedges and even trees. This will not only decorate the site, but also protect it from the effects of wind, dust, the sun and prying eyes.

    It is possible to use a liana for decor of arbors and arches

  • Masking unsightly areas (sheds, ugly walls, shields, etc.). Due to the rapid growth (up to three meters per year), this process will take a little time, and the result will please a very long time (up to 30 years).

    You can create a frame, and there actinidia will fit it with vines

Using a vertical support will help to set the desired direction for the growth of the vine, and planting near the walls will allow her to feel most comfortable, will provide maximum growth and branching.

What conditions must be provided before landing

When selecting seedlings, take an interest in their “gender”: male individuals will not bear fruit

Before embarking on the actinidia planting, you need to take care of some important points:

  1. A selection of seedlings. You should buy only those whose root system is covered, which means that it is protected from damage. She is very vulnerable, and therefore even a short stay of bare roots in the wind or heat can cause significant harm. In addition, the age of the seedlings should be no more than three years.
  2. The correct selection of male and female "individuals." For full-fledged fruiting for 5-10 “ladies”, it is necessary to plant one “gentleman”, moreover, of the same type;
  3. The choice of place. Since actinidia is a climbing plant, already before planting, it is necessary to select a support that will ensure it grows in a vertical plane. To do this, you can use trellises located around the perimeter of the site, or plant actinidia along the wall (home, gazebo, hedge), which will protect it from freezing in a fierce winter. Do not plant a vine under the drain and in places where water stagnates, as well as in direct sunlight. An ideal arrangement for her is openwork partial shade.
  4. The soil. Actinidia is unpretentious and grows normally on earth, where nitrogen and phosphorus are contained in small quantities. At the same time, weakly acidic and neutral soil is considered optimal for it, and alkaline, clayey, with similar groundwater, is unacceptable. Under such conditions, the plant will stop developing and may even die.
  5. Plant protection. During the first three years, all types of actinidia are quite vulnerable and often suffer from cat claws. To protect the plant, if cats have access to it, you can protect it from all sides with a grid.

Landing

Provide strong support to the plant

The best time for planting actinidia is spring or autumn (a couple of weeks before the first frost). The landing process consists of several stages:

  1. Prepare landing pits measuring 60 by 60 cm at a distance of one and a half to two and a half meters from each other;
  2. At the bottom of the pit, a ten-centimeter layer of drainage is laid (expanded clay, broken red brick, crushed stone or pebbles);
  3. Rich soil, humus (10 kg), superphosphate (150 g), wood ash (2 cups) are added to each pit, and a layer of land without fertilizers is placed on top;
  4. Make a small mound from the top layer of the earth and set a seedling on it without destroying the earthen coma around the rhizome;
  5. Gently fall asleep and gently ram the pit so that the root neck is at ground level. At the same time, you do not need to make a hole around the seedling in order to prevent stagnation of rainwater;
  6. Each plant is watered with two or three buckets of water;
  7. Mulch, sprinkling about 5-7 cm of large pine bark, rotted sawdust, compost or peat;
  8. The first time (5-10 days) after planting, the plants are shaded from direct sunlight with paper or fabric.

How to provide care

Actinidia, regardless of the region of growth, requires certain conditions that are easy to create, ensuring proper care.

Watering

The plant must be both watered and loosened

Proper watering plays an important role in caring for actinidia. If the soil is not sufficiently moistened, the plant may discard foliage, slow down in growth and not prepare for the winter period. Also negatively affects her and excessive moisture.

The optimal watering regime for the vine is two or four buckets per plant at least once a week, after which the earth should be weeded, loosened and a new layer of mulch added. During a particularly hot summer, you can increase the amount of water to six to eight buckets.

Pruning

Plants begin to prune, reaching four to five years, in order to prevent the growth of dense thickets that cease to bloom and bear fruit. The shoots drowning the crown are cut off, and the tips are nipped to increase branching.

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Actinidia is cut in the fall after the leaves have fallen. In the spring it is extremely undesirable to do this, because at this time, the cut branches begin to liberate the juice abundantly, which leads to the draining of the plant. If damage has occurred during the winter, they are cut off at the end of spring - at the beginning of summer, when, after the intensive growth of young shoots, the line between live and dried areas is clearly visible.

At the age of seven to ten years, the plant needs rejuvenation: replacing one old branch with a young vegetative shoot.

Trellis

Like any creeper, actinidia needs strong support

In the second year after planting for actinidia, it is imperative to install a trellis - a kind of support for the plant, which should be at least 2.5 m high. To form a plant, only a couple of main shoots are left on the bush, and the rest are cut off. After a year, one of the old shoots is again removed, replacing with another, subsequently carrying out the procedure every three to four years.

Top dressing

For the season, it is advisable to carry out three top dressing of actinidia:

  • spring (late April-early May), with the addition of nitrogen-potassium fertilizers to stimulate the growth of new shoots;
  • summer (June-July), with the addition of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, which positively affect the flowering and fruit ovary;
  • autumn (September - October, after harvesting), for which a special fertilizer "For autumn use" should be purchased, which provides the plant with a good wintering and energy for the future growth season.

Pest and Disease Control

Actinidia is quite resistant to diseases and pests. In order to protect the plant from adverse effects for a long time, it is only necessary to provide it with proper proper care.

In order to protect the plant from the appearance of spots on the leaves caused by various fungal infections, it is important to regularly cut damaged or dried branches and fruits.

To prevent the appearance of leaf beetles on plants that eat buds and damage leaves, actinidia should be treated every spring with Bordeaux liquid, a solution of soda ash (0.5%).

Actinidia reproduction

Males have almost no stamens in flowers

To successfully propagate actinidia, it is necessary to know several important conditions.

How to distinguish female from male

The ability to distinguish between male and female plants appears only during the flowering actinidia, which begins in June. You can do this by carefully examining the flowers:

  • In a male plant, the inflorescence consists of three flowers, in the center of which there is no fetal embryo, but there are many stamens. During flowering, fallen flowers are visible under the bush;
  • in a female plant, the flowers are on the peduncle one at a time, and in the center of each it is easy to notice the ovary of the fetus with a beam-like stigma. There are few stamens on the flowers and they are short.

How to distinguish female actinidia flowers from male: video

Propagation by cuttings and seeds

Vegetative propagation using cuttings allows you to determine the sex of the resulting seedling without waiting for flowering, as well as preserve all the characteristics of a particular variety.

There are two main ways of such reproduction:

  • Green cuttings, which is carried out in early summer by cutting annual shoots up to 50-100 cm long. Pruning should be done in the morning, putting the shoots in a jar of water. Later, each twig is cut into cuttings (10-15 cm each) with three leaves. The lower cut is done under the leaf (the leaf itself is removed), and the upper cut is 4 cm higher than the leaf. Such cuttings need to be rooted in a greenhouse where moist sand-humus soil is prepared. Holding at an angle of 60 °, cuttings are buried to the middle kidney at a distance of about 5-10 cm from each other and moisturized by watering and spraying. In the autumn period, cuttings are sprinkled with fallen leaves, and planted in open ground before the movement of the juice begins.
  • The rooting of lignified cuttings, carried out in late autumn. The shoots are cut and bundled, stored in a vertical position in a box with sand at a temperature of no higher than 1-5 ° C. In early spring, cuttings are planted in a greenhouse. They are looked after as well as the greens.

For seed propagation, seeds can be purchased at the store or collected independently, mashing the ripe fruit pulp through cheesecloth, washing and drying the seeds in a cool, dark place.

Before sowing seeds are prepared:

  1. soak in warm water for 4 days with daily replacement;
  2. transferred to a stocking and kept for three weeks in wet sand at a temperature of 18–20 ° C, removing and washing weekly;
  3. in early January, a container of sand is refrigerated for two months, continuing weekly washing;
  4. in early March, seeds are sown in containers with mixed turf soil and sand to a depth of 0.5 cm, kept at room temperature and scattered bright light, waiting for seedlings to appear after a few days. Be sure to spray the crops and water, and after the sprouts with three leaves appear in the summer, transplant them into a greenhouse, where they will be several years before the first flowering. And only after it will be possible to determine the sex of the plants, they are planted in open ground in a permanent place.

Outdoor cultivation reviews

Actinidia, contrary to all recommendations about partial shade, it is better to plant in the sun. True, young bushes in hot weather for the first year 2, you need to artificially shade. A bush of a female plant is formed in 3-4 sleeves on a trellis, growth is restrained by annual pruning, preventing it from rising above 2.5-3 meters. The male plant can be planted near the arbor, and not necessarily next to the female, he does not need a formation. For 10 female plants, one male is enough. Another important point, all branches should be tied to a support at an angle of at least 45 degrees! If you tie the branches vertically, it will stretch up, and the fruits will also form only on top!

Sveta2609

Cats eat only actinidia colomict. Basically, it must be protected at a young age, before fruiting. There are special tricks for this, not complicated. In the future, the bark will become coarser, only superficially located roots will dig cats, which is not dangerous. Low-lying young shoots can eat. But when there is a lot of it, then the cats are lost, and mostly swing on the ground.

Stefan

First of all I recommend Gourmand. Very productive, large-fruited variety, and proven. Last year I collected 4 kilos and this is apparently not the limit for a vine formed on a spacious trellis. Leaves have white and pink spots. Universitetskaya variety is interesting in leaf color (it bears fruit even in Novosibirsk). Its leaves are from light green to bright yellow with a bright burgundy border; its yield is really not stable. It is unlikely that you will have to remove any colomict from the trellis, but still be safe and take except Adam and something else, perhaps it will show itself better.

Sorokin

Actinidia we planted on the north side (a meter from each other, I mean a couple of "marital") and 50 cm from the support wall. And she herself, or rather the female one, climbed not only on the north side of the house-block, but also on the east side, around the corner. No care, no top dressing, sorry. The soil is what it is. Sod land. Just know that it is worth protecting the one-year-old from cats with the help of nets. Pruning only in late autumn. We do it when you need to moderate growth. Climbing thick wire on the wall. Generally need a powerful support.

Katie

Despite its exotic nature, actinidia is a rather unpretentious plant, the cultivation of which is possible even for novice gardeners. Compliance with the main points of care will allow not only to enjoy the beauty of this branchy vine with bright leaves, but also to collect fragrant, sweet and healthy fruits.

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