Actinidia sp. (Actinidia) is an attractive and fast-growing perennial plant native to eastern Asia. It typically will reach a mature size of 5-10 feet tall, either as a large shrub or as a vine or creeper. This plant is well-suited for full sun and semi-shade areas, and requires regular water for good growth. Actinidia sp. produces white and off-white flowers, which are especially attractive in spring and summer.
Ethnomedical uses of Actinidia include edible Kiwi fruits; the fruits are high in vitamin C and other healthy elements. Depending on the species, a mature plant can produce a range of up to a few hundred fruits per season. The fruits can be tart or sweet, and are usually eaten fresh or canned as juices or jams.
Actinidia is a hardy plant, able to withstand cold temperatures at least to 30s F for a short time. It is optimally grown in USDA Zone 8-10 and is an excellent choice for gardeners in cold climates who would like to try growing the plant in a pot. To do this successfully, it is important to make sure the container is of an appropriate size and is stored in an area free from harsh winter winds. Potting soil should be kept moist and watered as needed, and if temperatures are expected to drop far below freezing, the pot should be covered.
Overall, Actinidia is a beautiful and versatile plant that is easy to care for and produce a bounty of edible fruits which are high in vitamins and other essential nutrients. While it is hardy to moderately cold temperatures, careful precautions should be taken if grown in a pot to ensure the Actinidia is able to survive the winter and produce healthful fruit for many seasons to come.