This May, we are championing a fruiting plant that might not be the first thing to spring to mind for growing in the UK. But in fact, our Tree of the Month grows fabulously in the UK's climate, tastes fantastic and packs a real nutritional punch to boot. It's the Kiwi Vine!
We think the Kiwi vine's pretty Spring flowers make is a perfect Spring gift Idea, ideal to give as a gift now, so the recipient can watch it grow through Summer. Its perfect for anyone who likes to spend time out in the garden, or wants to have a go at growing something a bit unusual; you don't even need to be green fingered!
Although most people assume that the Kiwi fruit is native to New Zealand, in fact, the Kiwi fruit originates from China, where it was known as the Chinese Gooseberry or Strawberry Peach fruit. Cultivation spread to New Zealand from China in the early 20th century, and it was there that the fruit was renamed, due to its resemblance to the Kiwi bird, which is distinctive for its brown fuzzy body. Kiwi fruit was first grown for the commercial market in New Zealand, who are still one of the worlds biggest producers of Kiwi fruit to this day.
As well as being a fruit producing plant, the Jenny Kiwi plant is a beautiful climbing vine in its own right, and so is often grown for ornamental purposes. It has red tipped, heart shaped leaves and creamy white spring flowers.
Packed with nutrients, vitamin c and minerals, the Kiwi fruit is also used for health reasons. Regular consumption of this amazing fruit has been shown to improve constipation, lower blood pressure and even improve lung function in people with Asthma.
How to Eat
The fruit of the Jenny Kiwi vine will grow smaller than the Kiwi's you see in supermarkets, but is considered to have some of the best flavoured fruits of any variety available. After they have been picked in August or September, the fruit may need to be ripened for a few days at room temperature before eating. Scoop the flesh out of the hairy skin and enjoy in fruit salads, smoothies, with meringue and cream or even make into kiwi jam!
Care Advice and Tips
Kiwi vines are vigorous plants which will need plenty of space, but are easy to grow if you plant them in a sunny and sheltered position. Being vines, they will need some support from a trellis or fence, and will crop heavier if espalier trained.
Our Kiwi Plants for sale are the Jenny variety, which are self fertile and makes growing fruit that much easier. Remember to water the vine well and often through summer - making juicy Kiwi fruits is thirsty work!
Why not have a go at growing a beautiful Kiwi vine yourself, or if your feeling generous, send a Kiwi vine as a gift to someone special.