Yellow Tree

Buy the best kiwifruit vines to establish your orchard faster

February 11, 2020

The best start to establish a successful kiwifruit orchard is to buy high quality pre-grafted plants. Starting with a plant that is pre-grafted, powerful, healthy and free from pests and diseases gives your orchard the best start possible.

At Southern Cross Horticulture we go above and beyond to ensure that our kiwifruit vines are bigger, stronger and faster cropping plants than those found in other nurseries. Our focus in on ensuring we create the best start for our customers and company owned orchards. Different than most nurseries our involvement intensifies beyond the nursery gate as our teams plant and establish and tend these orchards through to production. This provides valuable feedback which allows us to continually work to lift the bar on creating the best kiwifruit plants possible. Starting with Southern Cross Horticulture plants gives you the benefit of our learning.

Whether you are looking for rootstock or grafted kiwifruit vines the superior quality of our plants is a smart investment that will help you to get to crop faster.

Grafted Kiwifruit Plants and Vines

All kiwifruit vines in New Zealand orchards are grafted before they produce a crop. Grafting can be done either in the nursery or in the field.

Traditionally bare-rooted rootstock was planted into orchards and grafted once it was thick enough. This was thought to be the only way for many years and works for growers who are prepared to wait a long time!

Planting and grafting rootstock in the field has several key drawbacks which mean it is becoming less popular as time goes on. The two most critical of these is one; grafting in the field usually means an extra season before producing a crop, and two; field grafting introduces variability into the orchard which take a long time to correct.

Field grafting on newly planted seedlings is usually carried out in winter or spring with the resulting plant taking the rest of the 1st growing season to form a healthy union and thicken. At the end of this season the plant is cut back and regrown into leaders the following season. Typically 10 – 15% of grafts will fail and need to be redone requiring another season to establish, the variability introduced by this means extra training rounds are needed to take care of plants that are at varying stages of maturity, these are often missed leading to lost potential.

When planting a grafted plant the first season focus moves directly onto growing leaders and in some cases also canes meaning that, if well-tended, the orchard at the end of this first year is at least a season ahead of the field grafted scenario. For this reason, in our own orchards and orchards we develop for customers we always start with grafted plants.

Kiwifruit varieties that we can Graft

The kiwifruit is a dioecious plant, meaning that there are both male and female plant types that work together to produce fruit.  There are hundreds of kiwifruit varieties across the world and several key breeding programs refining these varieties to create better experiences for consumers.

In New Zealand there are two dominate cultivars – Sungold and Hayward and a number of new varieties being trialed for release or in process of scaling commercially.

In addition to scion variety options there are two rootstock options which should be thought through when assessing the suitability of a particular growing site. Bruno rootstock dominates with a newer clonal rootstock Bounty71 becoming popular with Sungold in heavier or less well drained soils. Science suggests grafting Hayward or Red onto Bounty71 is not recommended. Our team can help you better understand which rootstock scion combination should be considered for a particular location and site.

At Southern Cross Horticulture all of these cultivars are readily available in our nurseries and other varieties can be made available on request.

Kiwifruit Plant specifications on delivery

When you buy grafted kiwifruit vines from Southern Cross Horticulture, you are buying plants that have been designed for success. Every plant leaving our nursery gate is delivered in an 8-litre pot and equipped with a healthy root system.

We ensure that all of our plants are a minimum of 1 metre high when they arrive in your orchard with a graft height of between 50-70 centimeters. Our horticultural team ensure graft unions between the scion (the upper plant, or cultivar) and rootstock are thick and healthy so that the cambium can deliver essential nutrients effectively.  

Your kiwifruit vines will be ready for immediate planting in your orchard and will give you the fastest possible route towards profitability.

Vines purchased from Southern Cross Horticulture are delivered on time, highly consistent and of an outstanding quality.

Grown to the latest KVH standards

What makes our plants special? For our team , KVH accreditation and growing standards are only the starting point.  

Our specialist nursery team have developed unique processes and systems to create larger plants of more consistent quality.

In our highly controlled nursery environment we monitor plants around-the-clock and deliver premium combinations of moisture, warmth and nutrients to ensure that we can deliver plants that are bigger, stronger, healthier and faster cropping than the industry norm.

Spend time growing kiwifruit vines that have been designed for success – buy from Southern Cross Horticulture.

Buy kiwifruit vines from Southern Cross Horticulture

To find out more about our plants and plant availability please use the following nursery enquiry form, and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you’d like to know more about establishing your own kiwifruit orchard, the first step is for us to meet. We’d welcome the opportunity to visit your land, to listen to your vision, and discuss the potential to create a world-class orchard with you.

*Southern Cross Horticulture makes no warranty or representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, photographs or other published material in this publication. Southern Cross Horticulture shall not be liable to any person for loss, injury or damages arising from a person’s reliance on the published material.