Actinidia

Actinidia

Life form Shrub vine
Family Actinidiaceae
Origin and distribution China, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas. Large-fruited varieties (the berries of which are known as kiwis) are bred in New Zealand.
Ease of cultivation Actinidia can grow with ease outdoors, but it is difficult enough to grow indoors.
The size In nature up to 25-30 m, 2-3 m at home
Growth rate Very high, up to 2 m per season, a powerful vine with large leaves.
Lifespan Perennial, up to 40-50 years in open ground.
Temperature In summer, for actinidia, temperatures from +68 to + 86 ° F are preferable. In winter, it can be kept on a balcony or in a cool basement at a temperature of + 44,6-50 ° F. Most varieties are cold-resistant and can withstand temperatures down to 14 ° F. Species – actinidia of the argument and the colomict (Actinidia kolomikta, arguta) in the garden carry even -4 and -31 ° F.
Humidity It prefers high humidity and regular spraying. It is at high risk of being infected with ticks in dry air. Therefore, growing a flower on a windowsill is quite difficult.
Lighting Bright diffused lighting is suitable, but you need to put it into shade from direct rays in the southern window, because in hot conditions the plant dries up very quickly and overheats. Therefore, it is optimal to place it on the east or west window. Although actinidia is shade-tolerant, it blooms and fructifies only in good light
The soil A fertile light substrate containing, for example, leaf land, sod, compost and sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1: 1. A weakly acidic substrate with a pH in the range of 5-6 will suit. Before use, the soil is sterilized in an oven or microwave oven.
Watering Humidification should be very intense, in summer up to two times per day. When there is insufficient watering, the leaves begin to dry out at the edges, after which the leaf is no longer restored and is often affected by a spider mite. Winter with a cool water content should be reduced.
How to fertilize Feed approximately once every 2 weeks, while using alternately organic and mineral fertilizers. For the plant, chlorine-containing top dressings are very harmful.
Reproduction They spread vegetatively with caulis cuttings, which easily take root. Cuttings are cut at an angle of about 45 °, before rooting, the lower casting is removed, and the upper ones are cut in half. A cut should have at least 2 interstices. Plant the cuttings in a mixture of peat and sand and place under a plastic bag.   You can germinate the seeds, including those obtained from fruits purchased at a store. To do this, slightly dry the flesh of the mature (sweet) fruit, carefully separate the seeds, to improve the germination, then they can be soaked for 4 days (the water should be changed every day), then, after mixing with moist sand, hold in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks with periodical airing. Later, the seeds are sown in a steamed substrate, which must be covered with a film. The plants grown from the seeds are more stable, but it is important not to fill the seedlings and place the young immature plants in a bright light or under full shade conditions.   After germination, when the seedling reaches a height of about 50 cm, it will need a support that can be made in the form of a circular ladder. Shoots twist counter-clockwise. Actinidia is a dioecious plant, which means there are male and female specimens, which can not be distinguished before flowering. In order for the plant to begin to bear fruit, it is necessary to have vines of both sexes and to artificially pollinate female flowers, transferring pollen from males with a brush. In the room conditions, it is practically impossible to obtain fruits, since for the fruiting the plant must reach very large sizes for an apartment.
Bloom Blooming beings after 3-4 years of life, but sometimes can bloom and much later. Female and male flowers differ externally.
Transplant and care Actinidia requires a very large pot: up to 3 years, a volume of about 3 liters, then – no less than 10-12 liters. It is desirable to transplant the young plants without destroying the earthen lump.   Blooming occurs on the 4th-5th order of branching on the first five kidneys after the branch, so the plant is regularly cut over the 4-5 kidney. If you do not carry out pruning,  the Actinidia will grow as a vine or shrub drooping. It can also be grown as a compact shrub, and even as a tree stem.  Most varieties drop leaves for the winter.
Difficulties The main pest affecting actinidia indoors the spider mite. This can be prevented by regular spraying and humidification of the air.
Beneficial features The fruits of kiwi (named after rare, flightless birds from New Zealand) are widely used for food and have a huge supply of vitamins, sugars, fiber, pectins, microelements and zinc. The bark of actinidia has fortifying properties, and can also be used as an expectorant and sedative. The preparation of “Polygamol” was developed on the basis of actinidia.
Toxicity Actinidia is not poisonous.


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