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 Fuzzy kiwi wilting 
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:03 am
Posts: 5
Location: NE Portland, OR
Post Fuzzy kiwi wilting
My fuzzy kiwi female has been wilting almost all month. The male, eight feet away and under the same care regime (not really any care, since it has been plenty wet) same soil, etc, is growing really well. There do not appear to be any pests or injuries to the plant. I suspect the culprit could be too much moisture, but besides pulling back the mulch (which doesn't touch the vine), or digging it up and re-seating it in a mound, I'm short on ideas. It came from Portland nursery, was about three feet high, relatively non-root bound, planted in native soil, perhaps in late April and was growing well until the wilt set in. Anyone have first aid training for kiwis? Looking pretty grim.


Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:30 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Fuzzy kiwi wilting
…I was hoping someone else would have taken a stab at this… I’ve had successful fuzzy kiwi for years and fortunately both male and female took off well. My Uncle, on the other hand, one of the most talented gardeners I know had all kinds of difficulty establishing his fuzzy kiwi…

I think we agreed over-watering was his problem. Mine are on a slope, his were on level ground, and he love’s to use his fantastic well.. I’ve had trouble with sapsucker wood-pecker’s ringing the trunks but yours are too young for that… The vines like mulch and fertilizer, but I’d stick with too much water.

Like many cultivated plants that require a male pollinator, the males are usually the hardiest, cuz they haven’t been cross-bread over and over seeking a superior fruit, to the determent of hardiness. So the male is still wild and the female’s been bread for fruit bearing as opposed to vigor. I constantly have to whack back my male fuzzy much more than the female, and you don’t need or want any more unproductive male vine than it takes to pollinate. …though its fragrant blossoms are delicious!

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Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:10 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Fuzzy kiwi wilting
I am unfamiliar with Kiwi wilting. Sounds like a disease.

Kiwi are the most sensitive to depth of planting of any plant I've heard of. Last year my fuzzy was just sitting there doing nothing. This year, I cleared off some of the mulch and it's started really growing.

Kiwis do have some difficulties in getting established. Once they get going they are amazingly trouble free and productive, yummy and nutritious.

Mine caught some weird disease about 10 years ago before I had been organic. They were black and stunted, not growing. I sprayed them with compost tea. They immediately became healthy and started growing well. They've had no troubles since.

John S
PDX OR


Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:53 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:03 am
Posts: 5
Location: NE Portland, OR
Post Re: Fuzzy kiwi wilting
I could agree with the overwatering, but darn it, that male kiwi is close enough to the same spot that I can't believe it would be the problem, unless the female was really that much more finicky as a result of her pedigree. Depth? Maybe, but I was very careful to observe the soil line when planting it, and since I do use lots of mulch, I go so far as so place chicken wire cages around my backyard tree trunks so that there is no chance of mulch, chickens, dogs, or anything else coming within 8" of the trunks (my chickens do enjoy scratching in mulch and will bury things, given the chance).

I did try pulling back all of the mulch to dry the soil faster after my last post, but the leaves dropped anyway, the wood remained green beneath the bark. There was a shoot from below the graft line, but who needs that? I pulled it off. No more buds or leaves, although I am sure it's the wrong time of year for it to releaf. Last week I called Portland Nursery and asked for advice. They told me to dig it up and bring it in, receipt or no, and they would make it all better. They gave me a new plant, and were friendly and courteous about it, and I commend them on their excellent service. The person I talked to about it hazarded the guess that sometimes they do just have trouble establishing... And when I dug it up, the roots were really no bigger than when I planted it, so perhaps that particular plant was just a dud.

We shall see if my replacement plant does better. Guess I now have a tender plant with lots of leaves that will actually need watering during the hot, dry months ahead.


Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:27 am
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