I have several hardy kiwi plants - I thought (and think) I have two males and four females. However, for several years now (the vines are 8 or 9 years old), they produce copious amounts of bloom, even seem to begin growing the fruit, then drop almost all the fruit a few days after petals fall. Last year I had maybe 6 or 7 fruits mature. How can I make sure I have both male and female? How do you tell them apart? Are there any other common/likely reasons I would be losing the fruit year after year?
Male From Female Hardy Kiwi
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Most reputable nurseries label their plants as male/female so you should be able to find them. If not, look closely at the flowers. In females, the center of the flower will usually have a thick white, marble-shaped mound, which develops into the kiwi fruit after pollination. Male do not have these mounds. Unfortunately, until they flower, you cannot tell the sex. Some varieties have slight differences between male leaves and female leaves, but not many.