Actinidia kolomikta Growing Guide

How to Grow Kolomikta in your Garden

Actinidia kolomikta is more commonly known as Variegated Kiwi Vine or as the Kolomikta.

As a member of the Chinese gooseberry family, it is native to the temperate mixed forests of the Eastern Asiatic Region (Far Eastern Russia, Korea, Japan, and China.)

It is a woody, fast-growing vine that is well suited for use on trellises, arbors, patio overheads, fences, screens, or walls.

Actinidia kolomikta at Barrington Court photograph by je_wyer.

Popularly cultivated as an ornamental plant for its beautiful pink and white leaves, the Variegated kiwi vine also produces tiny berries resembling kiwifruit.

Some people grow Actinidia kolomikta for its fruit, which requires multiple male and female plants.

Arctic kiwis fruits

Fruits of the Arctic Kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta), photograph by Leonora (Ellie) Enking; CC.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Kolomikta, the Variegated kiwi vine

You can begin growing ariegated kiwi vine by using softwood cuttings, layering, or grafting.

The kolomikta is also a plant that readily propagated from seed.

Actinidia kolomikta plants grow comfortably in a variety of soil types, including chalk, sand, clay, and loam, as long as it is well-drained.

This plant is known as a hardy kiwi because it grows better in colder climates than its related plants.

It prefers full sun to reach the boldest color in its foliage. However, some partial shade will not harm it to a great degree.

When properly managed, it will flower in late spring or early summer.

Relatively maintenance-free, the kiwi vine does not have any issues with pests or diseases.

Because of its climbing nature, the kolomikta needs to have flowers pruned back to control and direct growth.

Flowers / growth from last year need pruning following the next season's flowering.

Hardy kiwi flowers

Flowers of the Hardy kiwi, Image by Erutuon; CC.

Flowers from this year's growth can be pruned towards winter's end.

This flowering plant grows at an average pace and is generally easy to keep tidy.

Actinidia kolomikta Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Actinidia kolomikta
  • Common Name: Kolomikta, Variegated kiwi vine, Arctic Kiwi, Michurin actinidia, Miyamatatabi.
  • Native: East Asia (Temperate mixed forests).
  • Growing Zone: USDA: 4 to 8. RHS H5: hardy to −15°C (5°F), but elsewhere reported to be hardy to −40°C (−40°F).
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Deciduous Scrambling Vine.

Plant Details

  • Plant Height : 15 to 25 feet (5 to 8 m).
  • Plant Spread : 6 to 19 feet (2 to 6 m).
  • Time of Bloom: Early summer.
  • Flower Details: Tiny. Green-white. Cup-shaped. Fragrant.
  • Leaf Foliage: Cordate (Heart-shaped). Green, Often variegated pink and white and silver-tipped. Young leaves are purplish. Can reach about 5 inches (12.5 cm) in length.
  • Fruit: Early Autumn. Small edible Kiwi fruit like berries. Smaller than Kiwi fruits (Length: 1 inch (2.5 cm); Weight: 2 to 5 g). Requires male pollinator and takes many years of growth to produce fruits.
  • Growth Form: Climbing. Woody. Twining.

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Partially shady to full sunlight Plants grown in shaded areas will have poorer leaf color.
  • Rate of Growth: Above average to fast pace. Will take five to ten years to reach full height potential.
  • Suitable Soil Types: Most soils, Average.
  • Soil Moisture: Moist, Well drained.

Caring Conditions

  • Care: Training and pruning required. Water in dry periods.
  • Level of Maintenance: Low.
  • Propagation: Softwood cuttings in spring or early summer. Seeds can be sown in spring or early autumn. Can also be propagated by layering or grafting.
  • How to Prune: As a vigorous climber it is important to prune back flowers that occur on the last years growth following flowering, while flowers from this years growth should be pruned towards the end of winter. Other than this no need to perform pruning except to keep plants tidy and confined.
  • Pests: Usually pest free.
  • Diseases: Usually pest free.

Further Information

  • Can Attract: Cats
  • Tolerant of: Very cold conditions.
  • Best Garden Use and Location: Arbor, Trellis, Ornamental plant, Screening, Covering Walls, Houseplant.
  • Family: Actinidiaceae (360 species; 3 genera).
  • Miscellaneous: Non-native to North America, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers / blooms. Growing Actinidia kolomikta in full sun will give the best leaf colour. Do not over fertilse as this can also impact the foliage. If growing for fruit then both Female and Male plants are required. Grow at a Ratio of about 4 females : 1 male.
  • Genus Detail: Actinidia
  • Further Reading and References: RHS and MBG.

Arctic kiwis fruits

Fruits of the Arctic Kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta), photograph by Leonora (Ellie) Enking; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Actinidia kolomikta. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Passion Fruit and Olives.