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Video: Actinidia - General Information And Features Of Cultivation
How to choose, plant and care for actinidia
Recently, many amateur gardeners, including ours in Belarus, have a growing interest in new berry crops, such as actinidia, Chinese magnolia vine, dogwood, quince, unabi (Chinese date). I, too, did not stay away from this hobby. There are several rare plants in my garden, including actinidia.
Actinidia is a genus of plants, the botanical name of which comes from the Greek word "actis" - ray, for the radiant arrangement of the ovary columns in the flowers of plants. Relic plant of East Asia; the genus actinidia has about 30 species and is a dioecious or monoecious lianas with large alternate leaves, mainly with white flowers with edible or decorative fruits.
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Actinidia is a perennial deciduous ligneous dioecious vine, twisting around the support counterclockwise.
The sex of a liana is determined during the primary flowering, while in male plants flowers with numerous stamens without a pistil, and female flowers have a large pistil with surrounding stamens with sterile pollen. The gender of the creeper does not change during her life.
The main advantage of actinidia is its high content of vitamin C - ascorbic acid. The composition of the fruits of various types of actinidia includes carbohydrates, organic acids, vitamins, pectins and tannins, macro- and microelements, which in their concentration and interaction ensure the normal passage of metabolic processes in the human body. Its fruits are valued for their sweet taste and delicate pulp consistency. We are all familiar with one type of actinidia: exotic fruits - kiwi - are sold in bazaars and vegetable stores. The correct name for the plant on which these fruits grow is actinidia chinensis or chinensis, but it is a rainforest plant. We can grow it in heated greenhouses or in winter gardens.
In the temperate latitudes of East Asia, the Amur region, the following types of actinidia grow:
- actinidia kolomikta;
- actinidia Giraldi;
- actinidia polygamum (variety Perchik);
- actinidia arguta, or acute;
- actinidia purpurea.
This plant requires soils that are well air- and water-permeable, but at the same time sufficiently moisture-consuming. Soils are suitable, which, in terms of their texture, can be attributed to light or medium loams with a fertile top layer and provided with good natural drainage. The reaction of the soil should be normal or slightly acidic.
The peculiarities of growing actinidia are determined by the biological characteristics of vines and the conditions of their growth in natural conditions. During the first years of life, they grow in the shade of trees, which is a favorable factor for growth. In the shade, young plants grow intensively and begin to twine around the supports. An adult plant tolerates a slight shade of up to 25% compared to an open area, without signs of oppression.
On cultivated plantations, it is necessary to create shade for young actinidia plants. This is due to the fact that the root system of plants is superficial, there is no taproot, therefore, when the upper layer of the earth dries out, young plants may die. Based on the structure of actinidia plants, it is best to mulch its root system well. It is advisable to grow mature plants in open areas in high light conditions.
In this case, the plants finish their growth earlier, the shoots ripen before the onset of frost, which increases their frost resistance, the fruits ripen 7-10 days earlier, the leaves produce the maximum amount of glucose, and the buds ripen in their axils in a timely manner and completely. If the leaf does not have enough light, then the kidney is also underdeveloped. Indeed, in nature, actinidia, like grapes, grows in the lower tier, and only when it climbs up, it bears fruit towards the light. As a result of many years of research, it has been established that an actinidia plant that has entered fruiting has greater frost resistance than a non-fruiting one.
Actinidia has no diseases and obvious pests, although some fans complain that cats eat young actinidia, but in the spring cats eat any young grass, therefore, to protect actinidia, it is necessary to plant spicy plants so that actinidia is not damaged. Although it is not always possible to avoid damage: in the winter of 2005-2006 in my garden, young shoots of actinidia were devoured by hares.
According to long-term observations, I can say that the beginning of the growing season of actinidia is characterized by swelling of the buds at an average temperature of + 4 … + 5 ° С from April 20 to May 5. The buds themselves in actinidia, before the beginning of development, are immersed in the tissue of the shoots above the places of attachment of the leaves - in the leaf cushions. Flower buds are laid in the leaf axils. The flowering and fruiting of actinidia like grapes occurs on young shoots of the current year.
By early June, young shoots reach 10-20 cm, and budding begins. Flowering begins in early June at a temperature of + 15 … + 18 ° C and lasts 6-15 days. Actinidia is often exposed to late spring frosts, which kill flowers and foliage at a temperature of -4 ° C, and at a temperature of -8 ° C, young shoots are completely killed. The foliage is restored due to the presence of a large number of dormant buds, the growth of the plant continues, but there will be no mass fruiting.
From flowering to fruit ripening, 80-100 days pass, depending on the variety and, therefore, the duration of the growing season is 160-180 days. Actinidia, which has entered fruiting, has three types of shoots that perform different functions and differ from each other in the duration and strength of growth - vegetative, generative-vegetative and generative.
Vegetative growth shoots perform the function of supporting organs, serve as a skeleton of a vine, are formed from dormant buds located on two to four-year-old wood, and during the growing season can reach a length of 4-6 meters and a thickness of 15-25 mm, depending on the species. A lot of shoots come out of the root system. Growth shoots are characterized by a long inter-node distance and intensive growth in length, which occurs throughout the vegetative period.
Generative-vegetative shoots are mixed, formed from buds on the growths of the previous year and reach a length of 60-80 cm. They twist and perform both supporting and fruiting functions.
Generative shoots are fruit, formed on annual wood, are not capable of twisting around supports, their length is 10-12 cm, internodes are shortened. A characteristic feature of actinidia is that their buds do not bloom simultaneously, and from one third to half of the buds remain dormant and retain the ability to germinate for many years. The buds themselves are partially or completely covered by the tissue of the leaf pads, and they usually develop with a large death of the eyes or excessive pruning of the bushes.
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Actinidia is a dioecious plant. On some plants, only male flowers are formed, while on others, female flowers. Female flowers are arranged singly, and male flowers are collected in 2-3 pieces in an inflorescence-shield. Pollen is transferred from a male flower to a female by means of insects: bees, bumblebees, butterflies, or the wind. The perianths of male flowers fall off entirely after flowering, while in women they fall off one at a time, as the fetus ages and grows.
Male plants begin their development, like flowering, 1-3 days earlier than female ones. At the same time, there have been cases of fruit set when grown on the site only females - actinidia, i.e. with self-pollination.
This is due to the fact that the pollen produced in some female flowers contains up to 5% of viable pollen grains, which is enough for pollination and the formation of full-fledged fruits. But this occurs when actinidia is propagated by seeds and accounts for about 1% of the number of females. These plants are of great value for creating self-fertile actinidia varieties.
Considering the dioeciousness of actinidia, to obtain a stable yield, it is necessary to have male and female plants in a ratio of 1: 8 or 1:10. With a small number of female plants, a male plant can be grafted into the crown of one of them. Under normal conditions of development, each pollinated flower turns into a fruit, which, due to the absence of physiological fruit fall in Actinidia plants, is preserved until it is fully ripe.
Due to the rapid growth of the terrestrial part of the plant, the vines themselves grow better on soils rich in organic fertilizers with an acidity (pH) of 5.0-6.5, i.e. on slightly acidic soils.
When planting, it is better to immediately place the plant in a permanent place, since the transplantation of 4-5 year old plants is associated with a large loss of roots. Plants after such a transplant get sick for a long time and grow poorly. Normally, the volume of the roots during transplantation should be at least half the volume of the crown, therefore it is necessary to reduce the crown, i.e. it is necessary to adhere to the principle of balance between tops and roots.
experienced gardener, Lida
Photo by the author