Vines and Other Climbing Plants
Actinidia are woody climbers that come from Asia and are best known for their fruit, commonly called the Kiwi fruit that has become so popular in recent years. (See KIWI) However, there are also several ornamental varieties like Kolomikta which is the one most commonly offered for sale. Kolomikta is grown for its spectacular foliage although, other, less well known varieties, are grown for their more showy and scented flowers.
Actinidia Kolomikta is not a natural climber and will form a mound if left to grow on its own, but it can easily be trained up trellising, or some other suitable supporting framework. Being deciduous, it will provide decorative Summer cover for drab walls and fences with its colourful young leaves that have a reddish hue changing to green, with white and pink patches as the leaves mature.
In the late Spring Kolomikta produces small white flowers that are slightly fragrant and they are followed by small non descript fruits. Separate plants are usually needed for pollination as the male and female flowers of most Actinidias are usually on different plants.
Actinidias in general like a cool, moist climate and don't respond well to hot dry conditions. Propagation is best done from cuttings.