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Actinidia polygama
( Silver Vine )

Actinidia polygama is a deciduous climbing vine reaching up to 15 feet in maturity. It gets its name from its long, dark green 6-inch leaves with silver tips. A very popular vine, primarily grown for the kiwi fruits, but also for its foliage. Clusters of fragrant creamy white 1 1/2-inch flowers bloom in summer. Female plants produce oblong, yellowish green fruit, which can reach 2 inches across. Fruits are a better source of vitamin C than oranges and have a pleasant, tart, almost strawberry-like flavor. Requires moist, well drained soil, and partial shade to full sun. It is fast growing and makes a good cover on a fence, trellis or arbor, reaching up to 15'. Several cultivars are available and it is becoming increasingly popular as an edible, deciduous landscape feature as well as a fruit crop.


How to Grow this Plant:


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Characteristics
Cultivar:n/a  
Family:Actinidiaceae  
Size:Height: 0 ft. to 15 ft.
Width: 0 ft. to 0 ft.  
Plant Category:climbers, edibles,  
Plant Characteristics:seed start,  
Foliage Characteristics:deciduous,  
Foliage Color:green, silver to cream, variegated,  
Flower Characteristics:fragrant,  
Flower Color:whites,  
Tolerances:heat & humidity, rabbits, slope,  
Requirements
Bloomtime Range:Early Summer to Mid Summer  
USDA Hardiness Zone:4 to 9  
AHS Heat Zone:Not defined for this plant  
Light Range:Part Shade to Full Sun  
pH Range:6.5 to 7  
Soil Range:Some Sand to Some Clay  
Water Range:Normal to Moist  

Plant Care



Fertilizing
How-to : Fertilization for Young Plants

Young plants need extra phosphorus to encourage good root development. Look for a fertilizer that has phosphorus, P, in it(the second number on the bag.) Apply recommended amount for plant per label directions in the soil at time of planting or at least during the first growing season.

Light
Conditions : Full to Partial Sun

Full sunlight is needed for many plants to assume their full potential. Many of these plants will do fine with a little less sunlight, although they may not flower as heavily or their foliage as vibrant. Areas on the southern and western sides of buildings usually are the sunniest. The only exception is when houses or buildings are so close together, shadows are cast from neighboring properties. Full sun usually means 6 or more hours of direct unobstructed sunlight on a sunny day. Partial sun receives less than 6 hours of sun, but more than 3 hours. Plants able to take full sun in some climates may only be able to tolerate part sun in other climates. Know the culture of the plant before you buy and plant it!

Watering
Conditions : Moist and Well Drained

Moist and well drained means exactly what it sounds like. Soil is moist without being soggy because the texture of the soil allows excess moisture to drain away. Most plants like about 1 inch of water per week. Amending your soil with compost will help improve texture and water holding or draining capacity. A 3 inch layer of mulch will help to maintain soil moisture and studies have shown that mulched plants grow faster than non-mulched plants.

Planting
How-to : Planting Vines & Climbers

Choose the planting site for your climber carefully: its long flexible stems may need some shelter, but planting right next to a wall might keep it from the sun or water it needs. Make sure that there's room for the climber to grow when it gets tall, and remember that it will grow towards the sun unless carefully trained. Be sure you will be able to manage the plant once it becomes tall, or that if it has a mind of its own, it won't become a problem.

Select a support structure before you plant your climber. Common support structures are trellises, wires, strings, or existing structures. Some plants, like ivy, climb by aerial roots and need no support. Aerial rooted climbers are fine for concrete and masonary, but should never be allowed to climb on wood. Clematis climbs by leaf stalks and the Passion flower by coiling tendrils. Akebia and Wisteria climb by twining stems in a spiral fashion around its support.

Do not use permanent ties; the plant will quickly outgrow them. Use soft, flexible ties (twist-ties work well), or even strips of pantyhose, and check them every few months. Make sure that your support structure is strong, rust-proof, and will last the life of the plant. Anchor your support structure before you plant your climber.

Dig a hole large enough for the root ball. Plant the climber at the same level it was in the container. Plant a little deeper for clematis or for grafted plants. Fill the hole with soil, firming as you, and water well. As soon as the stems are long enough to reach their support structure, gently and loosely tie them as necessary.

If planting in a container, follow the same guidelines. Plan ahead by adding a trellis to the pot, especially if the container will not be positioned where a support for the vine is not readily available. It is possible for vines and climbers to ramble on the ground or cascade over walls too. Clematis and Roses actually work quite well this way.

Problems
Miscellaneous
Glossary : Arbors, Trellises, Pergolas

Arbors, trellises, and pergolas provide vines and climbers the support needed for their growth habit. These can be used as features or accents in a garden to add height, to provide shade, or as a transitional element from one area of the garden to another. Common materials for these structures include wood, metal, and plastic. Select according to the style of your garden and the amount of upkeep required. Painted, wooden structures will be higher maintenance, whereas a rust-proof metal structure will require less maintenance and last longer.

Glossary : Bird Attracting

The term bird attracting applies to any plant that has flowers, fruit, nuts, or structure that attracts birds. Most plants on ""bird attracting"" lists have favorable fruits or flowers that serve as food, but the trunks, limbs and foliage cover that trees and shrubs provide should not be overlooked as they add shelter for raising young and protection from foul weather.

Edibles : Edible Landscape

An edible landscape is one in which all or most of the plants can be eaten or used for cooking in some way. If you are interested in edible gardening, it is highly recommended that you pratice organic methods in the garden. At the very least, do not use chemicals in the area of the garden where there are edibles. Be creative. Many edibles look great in containers, hanging baskets, or even as foundation plants.

Glossary : Deciduous

Deciduous refers to those plants that lose their leaves or needles at the end of the growing season.

Glossary : Vine

Vine: a plant with a flexible stem that grows either along the ground or climbs by suckers, twining, or tendrils.

Glossary : Edibles

An edible is a plant that has a part or all of it that can be safely consumed in some way.

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