Issai Hardy Kiwi features dainty fragrant white buttercup flowers with yellow anthers along the branches from mid to late spring. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The large oval leaves turn yellow in fall. It features an abundance of magnificent green berries in early autumn. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, it has no significant negative characteristics. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Planting in poor, infertile soil may temper somewhat rapid growth habit.
‘Issai’ needs much less pruning than the species overall, due to its restrained growth habit, typically growing to only 12-20′. Two main prunings; an annual winter pruning of each side stem once the threat of extreme cold has passed, back to 8-10 buds, and an annual summer pruning of excessively long shoots.
‘Issai’ is a hermaphroditic cultivar (perfect flowers), that needs no separate male pollinator for fruit production. It is a restrained version of the species. Smooth-skinned, green fruits (up to 1 1/2″ long) are similar in taste, but sweeter than the much larger kiwi fruits sold in grocery stores, namely – Actinidia deliciosa. Fruits may be eaten, skin and all, like a grape.
No serious disease or insect problems.
Depending on variety, Hardy Actnidia do best with 150-200 chill hrs.