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Actinidia arguta 'Issai'
per 10 seeds
Mini-kiwi, variety Issai
This is a Japanese cross-breed between the common mini-kiwi from Russia/China (Actinidia arguta) and the silver vine kiwi (Actinidia polygama). The result is the most appropriate and fun kiwi for in your garden!
The Issai mini-kiwi is self-pollinating, which is why one plant can be sufficient. The fruit has a smooth skin and ripens on the plant, which makes them directly eatable from the plant, even with the peel still on it. The yield is enormous and the growth is quite compact for a kiwi. So this variety is also suitable for smaller gardens. The kiwis can be harvested in September and are packed with vitamin C.
Commercial businesses don’t succeed in bringing this kiwi on the market, because its harvest is too labour-intensive. The fruits have a short shelf life and people do not associate the fruits of the plant with regular kiwis. This makes it even more fun to cultivate this little-known kiwi!
The species is fully cold-hardy, but some shelter from the wind with some sunlight may prove better for the fruiting.
Keep the seeds stored in the refrigerator for the first 4-8 weeks, then sow them in sowing mix at 20 degrees Celsius. If there is no germination after a few weeks, you can re-refrigerate the seeds. After 4-8 weeks, take the seeds out again and keep them in a warm space or environment.
With the transition from cold (winter) to heat (spring), the period of dormancy has to be broken. It’s possible that multiple cold periods are required to do so. It can be quite hard to get this variety to germinate.
November - June
Photo: Trevena Cross