- location claims
- soil condition
- Climbing frame recommended
- diseases and pests
- frequently asked Questions
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The Bavarian Kiwi 'Weiki(R)' (Actinidia arguta) is a high-yielding, small-fruited and very sweet kiwi variety with gooseberry-sized fruits. Because of the size of their fruit, they are also known as kiwi berries, mini or baby kiwis.
In a nutshell
- the Weihenstephan Kiwi is a dioecious variety
- therefore requires a female and a male plant for fruiting
- Yield depends on the variety and site conditions
- Can be grown in the home garden without much effort
- first fruits after three to four years at the earliest
The Bavarian kiwi or kiwi berry (Actinidia arguta) is probably the best known of all berry kiwi species. It is very robust and productive if you pay attention to optimal conditions.
- Kiwiberry is a heat-requiring plant
- needs a warm and sunny location
- can also stand well in partial shade
- Optimally close to a warming house wall
- South-facing location not recommended
- The foot of the kiwi plant must be shaded
- for example a layer of mulch
- This is due to the roots running shallow below the surface
- fruits should also be shaded by leaves
- usually mature faster and are of higher quality
If the kiwis are permanently exposed to the blazing sun at their location, they tend to sunburn and cork. In general, the fruits can also cope with cooler temperatures, but should still be in a sheltered place. The Bavarian kiwi does not tolerate strong winds well. However, this problem can be solved with an appropriate climbing aid.
Notice: It becomes difficult in particularly cold winter locations, which are also increasingly affected by late frosts. Here it is probably too cold for the mini kiwi.
As far as the condition of the soil is concerned, it may need to be adjusted or upgraded before the Bayern kiwi can be grown. At best, it is deep, medium-heavy, humic, slightly moist and nutritious with an acidic pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Smooth-skinned species, to which the Bavarian kiwi belongs, react much more tolerantly to calcareous soils than species with hairy fruits. Waterlogged and compacted soils are completely unsuitable for kiwi cultivation.
The best time for planting is in spring, although it can also be planted in autumn or October. As soon as it is frost-free outside and no more late frosts are to be expected, you can plant.
- first loosen the soil in the planting area thoroughly
- to a depth of at least 40 cm
- in the meantime, water the root ball of the plants well
- dig sufficiently large plant pits
- about twice as wide and deep as the pad
- Planting distances of at least 200 cm
- Loosen the sole well in the pit
- Mix the excavated earth with humic substances as a starting aid
- such as compost, rhododendron soil, horn shavings or decomposed forest soil
- Put plants in the middle
- fill up with excavated earth, tread down the earth, water
Notice: In order not to injure the shallow roots of the 'Weiki' kiwi fruit, you should avoid mechanical tillage, for example hoes, in the area of the roots. Incidentally, the Bavarian kiwi can also be cultivated in a bucket.
Climbing frame recommended
Since this kiwi is a fast-growing variety that develops 300-400 cm long shoots over the years, it needs a suitable climbing aid. Despite the vigor and the length of the shoots, this plant is not a heavyweight, but a stable framework is required. Espaliers, stretched wires or a pergola are suitable as climbing aids, on which the plant can climb. Ready-made climbing aids are also available commercially. Regardless of the type of trellis, it should be attached when planting.
Watering is arguably the most important part of grooming. The kiwi berry forms a relatively large amount of leaf mass. Accordingly, evaporation is high. In addition, it comes from humid and tropical regions of the world, so care must be taken to ensure an adequate water supply. The soil should never dry out completely.
- Roots of the Kiwi 'Weiki' run shallow below the soil surface
- cannot absorb water from deeper soil layers
- Thorough watering in the first few days after planting is particularly important
- as well as in particularly dry and hot summers
- water two to three times a week when it is dry
- about 10-15 liters of water per plant with each watering
- additional watering is generally recommended during the main growing season
The lianas of the 'Weiki' kiwi are sensitive to soil warming, which can lead to the death of the upper roots. Signs of this are curled leaf edges. To counteract this, it is advisable to apply a layer of mulch, for example grass clippings, leaves or pine needles. As a real forest plant, the mini kiwi also loves a permanent mulch layer of humus and organic materials.
Tip: Specimens in the bucket must be watered more frequently, as the substrate dries out much faster here due to the small volume.
You should fertilize for the first time from the third year of growth. When choosing the fertilizer, you should definitely make sure that it is chloride-free, because these plants are very sensitive to chloride. As a rule, a single application of compost or animal manure in the spring is sufficient. You calculate about one to three liters of compost per plant. If you want to use mineral fertilizers, you should give them about every two to three months and only after the third year. Potted plants can be fertilized about every four weeks from March to September with a commercially available liquid berry fertilizer.
Notice: Nitrogen should be administered very sparingly. Too much of it results in the formation of overly strong, long and poorly mature shoots and also increases the risk of frost damage.
The mini kiwi 'Weiki' is a vigorous liana plant that grows tall. In order for it to deliver the highest possible yield, appropriate pruning measures are necessary, with this kiwi in particular requiring little pruning work. The best time for this is both in summer and in autumn. Spring is unsuitable because at this time the plant would bleed profusely.
On the trellis
- Cut as little as possible in the first three to five years
- Attach shoots to the trellis at regular and even intervals
- Remove weak and dead shoots every spring
- Thin out if the plant gets too dense
- Fruit pruning as with other species is not necessary
- first fruits from the third year
On a pergola
- Much easier to cut on a pergola
- Derive shoots in different directions
- Thin out the plant a little after harvest
- shorten the oldest shoots to young side shoots
- Remove shoots that are too long and disturbing in summer
- Yields are generally lower here
The winter hardiness of this kiwi is very good, it is well adapted to winter in Germany. It tolerates temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees and due to the late flowering, it is hardly endangered by late frost and the fruits can ripen well. Things look a little different with the young shoots, which appear as early as March. There is already a risk of damage from late frosts. In any case, the Bavarian kiwi should be protected in winter, also from too much sun and the soil should be kept well moist. Because even in winter, the subsoil should not dry out.
For a propagation from seeds you need not only seeds for male and female plants, but also a suitable propagation container such as e.g. B. a smaller pot or mini greenhouse, commercial standard soil and cling film or other translucent cover.
- Fill the pot with soil
- Distribute seeds on the substrate
- do not cover with soil
- Moisten substrate and attach cover
- Cover prevents drying out
- Germination occurs after about two weeks
- separate as soon as seedlings are three to five centimeters tall
- plant male to female plants
- only into the garden when they are about 100 cm tall
Tip: If you want to use seeds from your own fruits, they must first be freed from the surrounding layer of mucus.
Another form of cultivation is using sticks or cuttings, which can be cut from existing plants at a given time.
- Cut cuttings in spring or fall
- can also be lignified when cut in autumn
- should be about 10-15 cm long
- each of a female and a male plant
- Put the cuttings in small pots with potting soil
- Moisten the soil and keep it evenly moist
- Put translucent foil over the pots
- then place in a shady, wind-protected place
- if the young seedlings appear, remove the foil
- Plant out when they are of the right size
- further care corresponds to that of older specimens
diseases and pests
The Bavarian Kiwi 'Weiki' is characterized by a very good resistance to diseases and pests. In this country it has no natural enemies. Only the cherry vinegar fly from the fruit fly family likes to tamper with the ripe fruit. Harvesting early can successfully counteract this problem.
frequently asked QuestionsHow can male and female plants be distinguished?
The best way to tell them apart is by looking at the flowers. While the male plants have only yellow stamens, the females have a conspicuous white style surrounded by stamens.Can you put female and male plants together in a planting pit?
As shallow roots, each of these plants needs its own space. The planting distances between male and female plants should be at least 200 cm. Males have a greater growth capacity than females and would soon overgrow and die off if there was a lack of space.When can you harvest the Bayern Kiwi?
The Bavarian or mini kiwi 'Weiki' can be harvested from mid-September to early October. Ripe fruits can be recognized by their red-green color and by the fact that they are soft. The best way to harvest is not to pick each kiwi individually, but always the whole bunch. Kiwis, which are still relatively firm when harvested, can continue to ripen for two to three weeks at room temperature.