Hardy kiwi

Hardy kiwi growing on a trellis.

The hardy kiwi vine will twist and spiral up any support, but is best placed in a site where it can enjoy partial shade to avoid sun scorch.  The twining vine has showy foliage of pink, red, silvery-white, and green and small, white, fragrant flowers in mid-May.  They are followed by small, aromatic, sweet, fuzzy fruits.  

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

Botanical name:

Actinidia kolomikta

All Common Names:

Hardy kiwi, Kolomikta kiwi, Kolomikta actinidia

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Vine


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Massing,
  • Screen,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Alkaline soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil

Season of Interest:

  • Mid spring,
  • Late spring,
  • Early summer,
  • Mid summer,
  • Late summer,
  • Early fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Vining

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:

Size and method of climbing

A 15 to 20 foot twining vine. 

Twining vines climb by twisting their stems or leaf stalks around a support.  This type of vine grows well on trellises, arbors, wires or chain-link fences.

Plant Care

Consider planting male plants only for better leaf coloration.
Both male and female plants will be needed to produce fruits on female plants.
Full sun locations can lead to leaf scorch.

Well-drained soil is best.

Disease, pests and problems

No serious problems.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Asia.

Leaf description

Leaves are simple and alternately arranged.
Heart shaped leaves are variegated with pink and white;  5 inches long.

Flower description

Small, creamy white, slightly fragrant flowers.  Male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious).

Fruit description

Fruit requires 1 male plant to pollinate up to 3 to 4 female plants to produce edible, greenish berries.

Cultivars and their differences

Arctic Beauty hardy kiwi (Actinidia kolomikta 'Arctic Beauty'): Leaves have more variagation than found in the species.

Location of Actinidia kolomikta (Hardy kiwi) at the Arboretum