Actinidia: planting and care in the open field
Actinidia is an exotic plant that is famous for its tasty, healthy fruits and is a close relative of the kiwi, known to all. Thanks to the breeding of varieties that are unpretentious and adaptable to various climatic conditions, actinidia can be grown without much effort in a garden plot next to all fruit trees and shrubs familiar to all.
What is actinidia
Actinidia looks like a lint-free kiwi
Actinidia is a deciduous perennial plant (lignified liana) with a superficial fibrous rhizome and branched lateral shoots, reaching up to one and a half to two meters in length. Its stems are rather flexible and covered with a smooth brownish bark. The leaves of the plant are oval or ovoid, the color of which differs depending on the species and can be green, red-green, with a yellowish border or a bright pink tip.
Actinidia is a dioecious plant. There are individuals with only male flowers or only female flowers. Flowers are small, odorless, can be single or collected in inflorescences. Actinidia begins to bloom at the age of five to seven years in June-July. Pollination occurs with the help of wind, bumblebees and bees, due to which, in September, fruits begin to ripen on female plants - oblong, tasty and very healthy berries ranging in size from 1 to 8 cm, depending on the type of plant.
Breeders have bred many varieties of actinidia, and it may not only be green. In the photo, the Kens Red variety
The cultivation of actinidia in Russia began at the beginning of the 20th century in St. Petersburg in the Imperial Botanical Garden. A huge contribution to the development of culture was made by I.V. Michurin, who in the 30s was actively involved in the development of new varieties (especially winter-hardy ones), distinguished not only by valuable taste, but also by high yields.
Actinidia fruits have many beneficial properties:
- are a source of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin C);
- strengthen the immune system, making it more resistant to various infections;
- stabilize the work of the cardiovascular system (reduce pressure, improve vascular tone and blood composition);
- normalize the work of the gastrointestinal tract (eliminate severity and heartburn);
- promote the removal of toxins and radionuclides from tissues;
- favorably affect the work of the lungs and bronchi;
- improve skin condition (increase elasticity, tone, saturate with vitamins).
Views from photo
In total, there are more than 70 species of actinidia, including varieties with both pronounced fruit and decorative properties. But the main species that are most commonly found in gardens are three.
Kolomikta is popularly called the Amur gooseberry
This species is the most frost-resistant and can withstand winter colds up to -42 degrees without shelter. In length, it reaches 5 -10 m. The leaves are ovate serrate, covered along the veins with red hair and attached to reddish petioles. During flowering, the tip of the leaf becomes whitish-pink, acquiring a bright crimson hue over time. In autumn, the foliage turns into incredibly beautiful yellow-pink and red-purple tones. Elongated green fruits 2–2.5 cm in size ripen by the beginning of September and have a thin skin, fragrant aroma and sweet and sour taste.
About 15-20 kg of berries are removed from an adult plant
This is a larger plant, the length of the vines of which reaches 36 m. The rounded oval leaves have a satin texture with small denticles along the edge. With good care, it quickly forms beautiful dark green walls. This species is distinguished by abundant fruiting and good preservation of the ovary, even under unfavorable conditions. The fruits ripen by September, reach a diameter of 3 cm, have a delicate taste and, depending on the variety, can be both green and purple hues.
This species has weakly branching shoots up to 5 m long. Oval pointed leaves partially change their color during growth. Young leaves are considered edible and taste like watercress. The orange-colored fruit contains beta-carotene and has a distinctive fig-like taste.
Actinidia polygamum is not highly frost-resistant
Is it successfully cultivated in the regions
The listed varieties are prone to certain requirements, so not all of them will grow equally well, for example, in the north or in the southern regions.
Moscow and Moscow region
Subject to planting conditions and sufficient care, actinidia in this region takes root well and brings stable yields. Best of all, various varieties of the Kolomikta species feel here, which can do without shelter, since they are adapted to winter average daily temperatures up to -20 aboutFROM.
Actinidia colomicta is also widespread here, which is resistant to low temperatures. The most popular varieties are Lakomka, Sugar, Fantasy, Sweet tooth, Fairy.
In the middle lane
For this region, varieties are suitable that tolerate a changeable climate with a characteristic not very warm summer and frosty, with frequent thaws, in winter. Actinidia kolomikta is successfully cultivated here, which does not require complex care, and argut, which should be covered in winter to prevent freezing.
Private farms in Crimea have whole plantations of actinidia
The southern climate is especially favorable for the cultivation of all types of actinidia. Here they have gorgeous foliage and rich harvests. In addition to fruit purposes, actinidia is also grown here as an ornamental plant.
In this region, actinidia is least susceptible to frost due to the late appearance of foliage and the formation of new shoots instead of branches that are frozen. For good yields, the plant must be planted in shaded areas, providing painstaking care. A suitable species for Siberia is kolomikta, in particular, its varieties: Sakhalin, Universitetskaya, Priusadebnaya, etc.
In the Urals
Hot summers and snowy winters of the Urals make it possible to grow actinidia kolomikta here. Winter-hardy varieties of this species show themselves well during the growing season (from early May to late October) and bring a good harvest, especially: Waffle, Maritsa, Uslada, Robinson, etc.
In the Far East
In this region, two types of actinidia are cultivated - colomicta and argut. Moreover, gardeners prefer Kolomikta more for its unpretentious care and endurance, especially noting the incredibly sweet varieties (Sweet Tooth, Sugar, Honey).
Role in landscaping
Actinidia is an excellent ornamental plant. At the time of flowering, it decorates the garden with flowers with a delicate aroma, and by autumn it adds bright colors with its motley leaves of incredible shades. In landscape design, it can be used for:
- Decoration and gardening of vertical surfaces. Since vine shoots wrap around any object beautifully, they can be used to refine various fences, gazebos, terraces, hedges and even trees. This will not only decorate the site, but also protect it from the effects of wind, dust, sun and prying eyes.
You can use liana to decorate gazebos and arches
- Disguises for unsightly areas (sheds, ugly walls, shields, etc.). Due to the rapid growth (up to three meters per year), this process will take a little time, and the result will please for a very long time (up to 30 years).
You can create a frame, and already there actinidia will cover it with vines
Using a vertical support will help set the desired direction for the growth of the vine, and planting near the walls will make it feel most comfortable, will provide maximum growth and branching.
What conditions must be provided before boarding
When selecting seedlings, ask about their gender: males will not bear fruit
Before you start planting actinidia, you need to take care of some important points:
- Selection of seedlings. You should buy only those whose root system is covered, which means it is protected from damage. She is very vulnerable, and therefore, even a short exposure to bare roots in the wind or heat can cause significant harm. In addition, the seedlings should be no more than three years old.
- Correct selection of males and females. For full-fledged fruiting for 5-10 ladies, it is necessary to plant one gentleman, and the same kind with them;
- Choosing a place. Since actinidia is a climbing plant, already before planting, it is necessary to select a support that will ensure its growth in the vertical plane. To do this, you can use trellises placed along the perimeter of the site, or plant actinidia along the wall (house, gazebo, fence), which will protect it from freezing in the fierce winter. You should not plant a vine under a drain or in places where water stagnates, as well as in direct sunlight. The ideal location for her is openwork partial shade.
- The soil. Actinidia is unpretentious and grows normally on the ground, where nitrogen and phosphorus are contained in small quantities. At the same time, weakly acidic and neutral soil is considered optimal for it, and alkaline, clayey, with close groundwater is unacceptable. In such conditions, the plant will stop developing and may even die.
- Plant protection. During the first three years, all types of actinidia are quite vulnerable and often suffer from cat's claws. To protect the plant, if cats have access to it, you can fence it on all sides with a net.
Provide the plant with a strong support
The optimal time for planting actinidia is spring or autumn (a couple of weeks before the first frost). The planting process consists of several stages:
- Prepare landing pits measuring 60 by 60 cm at a distance of one and a half to two and a half meters from each other;
- At the bottom of the pit, a ten-centimeter layer of drainage is laid (expanded clay, broken red brick, crushed stone or pebbles);
- Rich soil, humus (10 kg), superphosphate (150 g), wood ash (2 cups) are added to each pit, and on top is a layer of earth without fertilizers;
- A small mound is made from the top layer of the earth and a seedling is installed on it without destroying the earthen coma around the rhizome;
- Carefully fall asleep and lightly tamp the hole so that the root collar is at ground level. In this case, a hole around the seedling does not need to be made in order to prevent stagnation of rainwater;
- Water each plant with two or three buckets of water;
- Mulch, pouring about 5–7 cm of large pine bark, rotted sawdust, compost or peat;
- The first time (5-10 days) after planting, the plants are shaded from the direct sun with paper or cloth.
How to provide care
Actinidia, regardless of the region of growth, requires certain conditions that are easy to create with proper care.
The plant must be both watered and loosened
Proper watering plays an important role in the care of actinidia. If the soil is not sufficiently moistened, the plant can shed its foliage, slow down in growth and not prepare for the winter period. Excessive hydration also negatively affects it.
The optimal watering regime for vines is two to four buckets per plant at least once a week, after which the ground around should be weeded, loosened and a new layer of mulch added. During a particularly hot summer, you can increase the amount of water to six to eight buckets.
Plants that have reached four to five years of age begin to prune in order to prevent the growth of dense thickets that cease to bloom and bear fruit. The shoots that muffle the crown are cut off, and the tips are pinched to increase branching.
Actinidia is pruned in the fall after the leaves have fallen. In the spring, it is extremely undesirable to do this, because at this time the cut branches begin to release juice abundantly, which leads to the drying out of the plant. If damage has appeared during the winter, they are cut off at the end of spring - at the beginning of summer, when, after the intensive growth of young shoots, the line between living and dried out areas is clearly visible.
At the age of seven to ten years, the plant needs rejuvenation: replacing one old branch with a young vegetative shoot.
Like any liana, actinidia needs strong support.
In the second year after planting for actinidia, it is imperative to install a trellis - a kind of support for the plant, which must be at least 2.5 m in height. To form a plant, only a couple of main shoots are left on the bush, and the rest are cut off. A year later, one of the old shoots is removed again, replacing it with another, further carrying out the procedure every three to four years.
For the season, it is advisable to carry out three dressings of actinidia:
- spring (late April-early May), with the addition of nitrogen-potassium fertilizers to stimulate the growth of new shoots;
- summer (June-July), with the addition of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, which have a positive effect on flowering and fruit ovary;
- autumn (September - October, after harvest), for which you should purchase a special fertilizer for autumn use, which provides the plant with good wintering and energy for the next growing season.
Pest and disease control
Actinidia is quite resistant to diseases and pests. To protect the plant for a long time from adverse effects, it is only necessary to provide it with proper full care.
To protect the plant from the appearance of spots on the leaves caused by various fungal infections, it is important to regularly cut off damaged or dried branches and fruits.
To prevent the appearance of leaf beetles on plants, which eat the buds and damage the leaves, actinidia should be treated every spring with Bordeaux liquid, a solution of soda ash (0.5%).
Reproduction of actinidia
Males have almost no stamens in flowers
To reproduce actinidia successfully, several important conditions need to be known.
How to distinguish female from male
The ability to distinguish between a male and a female plant appears only during the flowering period of actinidia, which begins in June. This can be done by carefully examining the flowers:
- in male plant the inflorescence consists of three flowers, in the center of which there is no embryo of the fetus, but there are many stamens. During flowering, fallen flowers are noticeable under the bush;
- in a female plant the flowers are on the stalk one at a time, and in the center of each it is easy to see the ovary of the fruit with a ray-shaped stigma. There are few stamens on the flowers and they are short.
How to distinguish female actinidia flowers from male ones: video
Propagation by cuttings and seeds
Vegetative propagation using cuttings allows you to determine the sex of the resulting seedling, without waiting for flowering, and also preserve all the characteristics of a certain variety.
There are two main ways of such reproduction:
- Green grafting, which is carried out in early summer by cutting one-year-old shoots up to 50–100 cm long. Pruning should be done in the morning, placing the shoots in a jar of water. Later, each branch is cut into cuttings (10-15 cm each) with three leaves. The lower cut is made under the leaf (the leaf itself is removed), and the upper cut is 4 cm higher than the leaf. It is necessary to root such cuttings in a greenhouse, where moist sandy-humus soil is prepared. Holding at an angle of 60 °, the cuttings are buried to the middle bud at a distance of about 5-10 cm from each other and moistened by watering and spraying. In the autumn period, the cuttings are sprinkled with fallen leaves, and planted in open ground before the juice begins to move.
- Rooting of lignified cuttings, carried out in late autumn. Shoots are cut and tied in bundles, stored upright in a box with sand at a temperature not exceeding 1–5 ° С. In early spring, cuttings are planted in a greenhouse. They look after them in the same way as for the green ones.
For seed reproduction, seeds can be purchased at the store or collected on their own by kneading the pulp of a ripe fruit through cheesecloth, washing and drying the seeds in a cool, dark place.
Before sowing, the seeds are prepared:
- soaked in warm water for 4 days with daily replacement;
- transferred to a stocking and kept for three weeks in wet sand at a temperature of 18–20 ° C, removing and washing weekly;
- in early January, the container with sand is placed in the refrigerator for two months, continuing weekly rinsing;
- at the beginning of March, the seeds are sown in containers with mixed turf soil and sand to a depth of 0.5 cm, kept at room temperature and diffused bright light, waiting for the emergence of seedlings after a few days. It is imperative to spray the crops and water, and after sprouts with three leaves appear in the summer, transplant them into a greenhouse, where they will stay for several years before the first flowering. And only after it is possible to determine the sex of the plants, they are planted in open ground in a permanent place.
Reviews of outdoor cultivation
Despite its exoticism, actinidia is a rather unpretentious plant, the cultivation of which is within the power of even beginner gardeners. Compliance with the main points of care will allow you not only to enjoy the beauty of this branchy vine with bright leaves, but also to collect fragrant, sweet and healthy fruits.
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Kandyk siberian - a single handsome man
Among the first flowers that appear after the snow melts is the Siberian kandyk. It is also known as Siberian erythronium (Erythronium sibiricum).
The plant has a bright and original appearance, which contributes to its distribution among gardeners.
Translated from the Turkic language, the name of the culture means "dog's tooth". This is due to the shape of the flower petals that resemble a dog's fang.
Description of the plant, species and varieties
This bulbous plant comes from South West Africa, belongs to the Iridaceae family, and is characterized by brilliant, colorful flowers. 3-5 flowers appear on each stem (sometimes 9), which come in many colors, differ in species and varieties (red, white, purple, yellow).
The plant has a height of 40-60 cm, forms growing vertically narrow leaves in the shape of a sword. Flowering begins in late spring, sometimes early summer; some varieties bloom in August.
The most common sparaxis are hybrids of the Sparaxis tricolor (tricolor) species, with many colorful varieties.
- Sparaxis tricolor, together with peduncles, is usually 40 centimeters high. 4-7 beautiful flowers are formed on peduncles. Tricolor petals with a dark ring closer to the center. The color is different depending on the variety. The bush is also decorative, with its xiphoid leaves forming the backdrop for the vibrant flowers.
- Sparaxis graceful (Sparaxis elegans). Representatives of the species are notable for their small height - about 15-25 centimeters. The petals are usually white or orange in color. On sale you can find a multi-colored mixture of varieties of this type - "Sparaxis mix".
- Sparaxis bulbifera (Sparaxis bulbifera) is also popular - the species is characterized by golden flowers. There are varieties with cream and white petals. Plant height reaches 60 centimeters.
- Sparaxis grandiflora (Sparaxis grandiflora) - the species is characterized by purple, white, sometimes yellow petals. Seldom sold, but also popular and decorative. Differs in high growth and intense pleasant aroma of flowers. The species is also called - Sparaxis fragrant.
Sparaxis "Superba" - plant height reaches 30 cm. 4-7 flowers 5 cm in diameter are formed on each peduncle. The flowers are tricolor with a yellow center and a dark stripe in the middle. The edges of the petals are lilac, white, yellow, orange.
"Sunny Day" - the variety has beautiful yellow petals.
Alba maxima is synonymous with Montblanc - snow-white flowers with a yellow center.
The "Fire King" is crimson with a yellow center.
"Lord of Fire" - flowers with a yellow center, red petals.
Planted outdoors in spring. Two-year-old seedlings are best suited. With such planting material, fruits may appear next year.
- Dig a hole. Depth 70 centimeters. Diameter - 50 centimeters.
- A distance is kept between the plants. The ideal distance is 1.5 meters.
- Saplings of different sexes are planted. It is preferable to plant one male for three women.
- Drainage is poured into the pit.
- The seedling is kept in liquid for 1.5 hours. Placed in the hole. Cover with soil with fertilizers. Ramp down.
- Mulch around.
- A trellis is installed nearby for support.
Cats are fans of the plant sap. To do this, they dig up the root system and injure the stems. Therefore, it is necessary to build a fence in the form of a metal mesh.
During the growing season, actinidia needs to be watered in a timely manner, removed weeds, cut, fed, and it is also necessary to monitor the health of the vine, and, if necessary, treat it for diseases or destroy pests. At the same time, any type of actinidia must be looked after in the same way. It is recommended to moisturize such a plant in the morning and in the evening by spraying, this procedure is especially important in hot weather. With prolonged drought, the vine begins to shed its foliage, in order to prevent this, the soil should be moistened once a week, while 60 to 80 liters of water are poured under 1 bush. If all the leaves of the liana nevertheless fall off, then the young leaf plates that have appeared in their place will not be able to get stronger until frost and will freeze. The surface of the soil near the bushes should be loosened quite often, but at the same time to a not very great depth. Weeding is also done while loosening the soil.
If you feed the plant with mineral fertilizers, this will lead to an increase in frost resistance and an increase in the yield of the vine, and the growth of young shoots will also be activated. At the very beginning of the spring period, for every 1 square meter of soil, 20 grams of potash and phosphorus and 35 grams of nitrogen fertilizers must be applied. The second time the plant should be fed during the formation of the ovaries, for this, for each 1 square meter, 10–12 grams of potash and phosphorus and 15–20 grams of nitrogen fertilizers should be added. When all the fruits are harvested (around mid-September), the vine needs to be fed again. To do this, for every 1 square meter, 20 grams of phosphorus and potassium fertilizer should be applied. Fertilizers are purchased in granules, which should be distributed over the site and buried 10-12 centimeters into the soil. After this is done, water the actinidia liberally.
If you take care of the plant correctly, then this leads to stimulation of the growth of the stems, and also the buds begin to awaken. Very often, this results in a strong thickening of the crown. If the crown is too thick, this will negatively affect the frost resistance and productivity of the plant. Therefore, it is very important to carry out formative pruning in a timely manner, but only plants that have reached 3-4 years old can be subjected to it. You need to cut the plant during the summer period, while those branches that remain should be distributed along the trellis, directing them in the direction you need. In order for the wood to mature better by winter, it is necessary to pinch the tips of the shoots, which will slow down their growth. If the trellis is horizontal, then a double-arm cordon is made of the stems, for this it is necessary, being at the same level and in the same plane, to direct 2 stems in opposite directions and fix them in this position, the remaining shoots of this level must be removed. Next year, on these horizontal branches, stems of the second order will grow, ovaries will form on them. These shoots should be tied to a vertical guide, as they grow, they themselves will begin to curl around it. To replace old skeletal branches, you will need rejuvenating pruning, which is needed for plants that are 8-10 years old. After such pruning, only a stump should remain from actinidia, the height of which should be from 0.3 to 0.4 m.It is impossible to cut the liana at the beginning of the spring and at the beginning of the autumn period, the fact is that at this time actinidia has a very strong sap flow, and upon receiving damage, she can expire with juice, which will lead to her death.