Actinidia: cultivation features

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Actinidia is a perennial woody vine. She has no antennae or suckers.

It rises along the supports due to the ability of the stem to circular movements. To grow actinidia in the country, you need to know how to form and properly cut this plant, otherwise your work will not be successful.

How to grow

To grow actinidia in a summer cottage as required by proper agricultural technology, wrap the stem around the support only counterclockwise. If, out of ignorance, oversight or contrary to the plant, twist the stem around the support in a clockwise direction, it will develop. This is how she keeps her right. Creepers easily climb the supports to a fairly large height. Create conditions, it will go up 10-15 meters. They say it can climb up to 25 meters. On the main vine, shoots of different lengths grow. Some grow up to 3-4 m. They contain mainly vegetative (growth) buds. Others, they are also called mixed, grow weaker. In the lower and middle parts of them, flower buds are formed. Therefore, both growth on them and fruiting. There are also short runs. They have very few vegetative and many flower buds. But actinidia does not have specialized fruit formations, like those of an apple tree, pear, currant, etc. If actinidia is allowed to grow freely, then with such growth energy the branches will very soon intertwine, get tangled, master an unacceptably large amount of space, and there will be little sense. In such thickets, what can be the harvest. So, if you only collect a handful or two for a sample.

Since the destiny of vines in natural conditions is to curl along tree supports, which means that they are almost constantly under the canopy of the forest, they have adapted to insufficient lighting. They can grow and bear fruit when illuminated at 25-30% of full light in an open area. But they can – does not mean they should. Notice this. Fruiting begins in the 4-5th year. At first, the yields are weak, maybe only 100 g. Do not worry. Plants will gain strength, and their productivity will increase. Up to 10 kg or more will be collected from each plant. And for a good 5 decades, under favorable conditions, actinidia will delight you with its fruits.

Don’t plant actinidia plants too thickly and you’ll have to cut less. Be aware of the intensity of growth. Between adjacent plants there should be at least 2 m, and better – all 3 m. Planted? In the second year, install the supports. Use durable material. Don’t forget about the lifespan of actinidia plants. The height of the supports is up to 3 m, and if you want, you can set aside 4 m or more for vines. Although it is not so convenient. When planting in a row, install trellises 2.5-3 m high along the row. Stretch 3-4 wires. The lower one is at a level of about 1 m, place the other 2-3 evenly along the height of the trellis. Attach vertical trellis rails, soft wire or strong cords every 20-25 cm to the horizontal wires.

The main features of growing actinidia are the correct formation and pruning of the bush, both operations are described in detail below.


Many interesting formations have been developed for actinidia to date. I can’t tell about all of them, but there is no information about many. They, as they say, where they were born, they fit in there, but they didn’t go further. Not because they are unsuccessful, but because the authors-developers did not tell about their experience. Ashamed, right? But many formations are well known.

The most common is the so-called vertical culture. Cut the planted plant into 2-3 buds.

Of the shoots that appear, leave one of the strongest and tie it upright to the trellis. Cut out the rest at the base. Numerous branches will appear on the abandoned stem next year. Place them evenly along the trellis, fanning horizontally and obliquely. They will produce a crop. Extra, weak and thickening, cut at the base.

The formation of a horizontal two-shouldered cordon can be considered successful. Trim the planted plant at the level of the first trellis wire.

Of the shoots that appear, leave two, direct them in different directions from the trunk along the bottom wire, tie them up. You don’t need to knit. These horizontal arms will sprout next spring. Tie them to the vertical cords. Further, as they grow, they themselves will curl around these supports. Fruiting will focus on them. Extra shoots, so that there is no thickening, cut immediately.

The formation, which includes a cyclical change of sleeves, is somewhat different from the horizontal two-shouldered cordon. Cut the planted plant at a height of 1 m from the soil level. Of the shoots that appear, leave two. Tie one to the trellis wires at an angle of 35-40 °. This is a sleeve. It will have vertical branches for fruiting. Cut the other into 2 kidneys. From these two buds two branches will grow. One of them will be the second sleeve, carrying vertical branches for fruiting. Direct this sleeve at an angle of 35-40 °, but in the opposite direction from the first. Cut the other branch into two buds to get two new branches again. Next year, the first sleeve – it is the oldest – replace with a new one; the benefit of replacing the branch is prepared. This is how you will do it every year. Remember the pillar system on the apple tree? Very similar.

Here you can see the formation scheme of the actinidia bush:

And one more formation – bush. In the second year after planting, select 3-4 of the strongest branches from among the grown branches. Cut out the rest at the base. Cut the remaining branches short. Leave about 30 cm from each. Branches will grow on them next year. Shorten long vegetative branches by ½-1/3 of their length and tie them to supports. Those that will bear fruit, also tie up. Weak and thickening cut. Replenish the bush with 3-4 more branches so that in the final formed there are at least 6 of them, but you should not have more than 10. It will be dense.


The question of whether actinidia can be trimmed is not worth it – not only possible, but necessary!

The most abundant fruiting and good fruit quality are provided by branches of the second order of branching, i.e. those that grow on vines-sleeves. But one should not be particularly carried away by an increase in the number of fruitful branches. Thickening leads to reduced yields and deterioration in fruit quality. Therefore, leave the optimal number of branches according to the number of vertical slats-cords on the trellis. Delete the extra ones. First of all, weak branches are to be removed. Shorten the long ones. Make cuts at a distance of 0.5-0.7 m from the base. Then that part of the branch, where the predominantly vegetative branches, will be removed, and the one where the fruit ones will remain.

Change the creepers-shoulders systematically so that their age is no more than 3 years. To do this, select a strong branch at the base of the shoulder, cut off the shoulder in front of it, and bend it and tie it up in place of the removed shoulder. Damaged by something or somehow liana-shoulders change regardless of their age. Sanitary cleaning of the crown during pruning should always come first. Dried, weak, damaged, broken, thickening remove without hesitation.

A few words should be said in particular about the time of pruning actinidia plants. Prune them only in the fall, after harvest. After active sap flow ends. And if for some reason you had to postpone pruning until spring, then do not rush. We will have to start it only at the beginning of June. If you decide to prune earlier, you will cause the so-called weeping in the plants – an abundant outflow of juice. As a result, the plants will be very weakened to the point that they can completely dry out. When pruning in summer, do not throw away pieces of branches, use them for propagation. Make cuts about 2 cm above the knot.

This video talks about pruning actinidia and how to properly form a bush:

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