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How to Grow Kiwi

How to Grow Kiwi? A Hardy Fruit

Most of us have become familiar with kiwi fruit through the selection of brown fuzzy fruits available at the grocery store. The kiwi is also highly wanted for its nutritional values and it is a staple food to eat if you are having a diet. Perhaps you love them so much that you want to know how to grow kiwi. Although you may not be able to grow the exact type of kiwi that you can buy, you still have options available to you.

You can successfully easily grow a kiwi fruit in your backyard as long as you have space to plant it to. While the name kiwi might seem it is associated with New Zealand, this plant is actually not a native in New Zealand but actually is a native from China. While it may not be a native to New Zealand, it is still widely grown there for exports.

Kiwi is not only a delicious low cholesterol and fat-free snack for yourself, but they are extremely healthy as well. This fruit will provide you a lot of health benefits such as lower blood pressure, proper digestion, and reducing blood sugar levels. Kiwi can be eaten on its own, but if you want they can be added to fruit salad, smoothie, and jams for a more refreshing take on your favorite desserts. In addition to salads and drinks, you can incorporate kiwis in muffins, cakes, and sorbet. 

What Type of Kiwi?

When selecting a variety of kiwi to grow, you have a few options. You need to consider the kiwi growing zone and which one you live in. This is the single most important factor. Here are some popular varieties.

The common kiwi is the one you find in the produce section of your grocery store. The green fruit within is protected by a thick, brown, fuzzy skin. To achieve the ideal growth productivity, they need to be planted during months of cool weather with temperatures ranging from 30 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to 7ºC) You can grow this type of kiwi in USDA hardiness zones 7-9.

An alternative to the common kiwi, the golden kiwi is also fairly well known. It is more delicate, not as fuzzy, and the pulp is more yellow than green.This kiwi variety grows in regions that are even colder than the common kiwi where temperatures range from 10 to 30  degrees Fahrenheit (-12 to -1ºC). Choose this one only if you live in kiwi growing zone 8 or 9.

You may have also heard of the kiwi berry. There are two species that are described using this name. They are the hardy kiwi and the super-hardy kiwi. Although they have a similar flavor, the fruit has a smooth skin and is much smaller than the other varieties mentioned. However, they can be grown up to hardiness zone 5.

There are varieties of hardy kiwi that can be grown in the coldest parts of Russia. They have been selectively bred to be hardy up to -35 degrees Ferenheit. Look for varieties named ‘Ananasnaja’, ‘Natasha’, and ‘Tatyana’.

What To Consider

After selecting the best type of kiwi for your growing zone, you have another decision to make. You might wonder, how long does it take for a kiwi plant to produce fruit? Kiwis can take more than a few years to start making fruit. This is important so you understand how much patience you require.

Next consider the space you will be planting the kiwi in. It needs to be in full sun. You also need quite a bit of space. Kiwi grows in a vine and they can reach a height of over twenty meters! They require strong supports vertically and horizontally. The plants should be ten to eighteen feet apart. 

Another piece of information that you need to know is that kiwi plants are dioecious. This means that one vine will either be male or female. For every six female vines you have, there must be at least one male vine. This is the reason that you should look for a greenhouse with kiwi plant for sale. Then you can be sure you are buying pre-sexed started plants and get the correct ratio from the start. You could try to find a local person with a kiwi plant for sale, but that means that both you and they must be able to tell the difference between the male and female flowers. However, kiwis can take up to five years to flower so young plants cannot be distinguished between male and female.

How To Grow Kiwi

Once you have the kiwi plants in your possession, it is time to transplant them into your garden. The process for this is not unlike transplanting other plants. What you need to plan for is that each plant starts at its own vertical supporting structure. The vertical structure needs to be able to support the kiwi plant vines since they can get pretty heavy.

Find a suitable spot to plant your kiwi on. As previously mentioned, your kiwi plant’s vines will reach up to several meters so you will need a lot of pace to accommodate it. Not only that spot should have a lot of space, they should also need to be exposed to full sunlight or light shade.

The soil should be moist but have good drainage. It is best if it is slightly acidic that has a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5 so this may need to be accounted for before you transplant. If your soil is too alkaline for your kiwi plant, then add some clay or sulfur into the soil to increase its acidity level.

Scoop out a hole for each plant that is slightly larger than the pot. Then be careful as you remove everything from the pot including the dirt. Place the roots into the hole. Gently fill the edges with dirt. It is important that you are mindful of the roots and do not disturb them too much so you can avoid shock.


As your plants grow, you will discover how long does it take for a kiwi plant to produce fruit. It is quite a long time and they need a lot of care and attention until that happens.

As your kiwi plant is growing, tie your kiwi plant to the posts of the vertical structure you have put in place. Doing this will train your kiwi plant to wrap its vines around the posts, this ensures that your kiwi plant’s vines have a pillar to lean its weight to. 

If the plants are still growing in the spring and there will be a frost, you must cover them with a frost blanket. If you are expecting a frost in the fall, make sure to harvest the fruit before this happens even if they are unripe. Then they can ripen on your counter.

They also require regular pruning. During the first year, use the pruning process to ensure that the plant grows straight on the supports. During the summer you will also need to maintain the plant. Trim them about five leaves past the last flower. You should also prune away shoots on the trunk. In the dormant season, prune the leaves to keep the plant healthy. For the female kiwi plant, the optimal time to prune it is during winter because this is when the plant is dormant. While male kiwi plants can be pruned sooner right after flowering.

Be sure that your kiwi plants do not get too much water. This is why they must be in a location with good drainage. Keep them moist but not drenched.

After several years, your kiwi plant will start to bear fruits. At the start the fruits may seem small, but as the years go on your kiwi plant will slowly mature much more enabling it to produce much larger fruits. For the hardy and super hardy kiwi, the fruits will appear after one year following its initial planting. Kiwi fruits usually ripens during September and October. If winter frost happens in your climate, you will need to harvest the fruit before it is ripe and place it in refrigeration and let it finish ripening there.

Finally, wait to fertilize your kiwi plants. Do not give them fertilizer in the first year. Wait for the spring after you have planted them. The best fertilizer for them is 10-10-10. Give them two ounces per plant the first year, four ounces the second year, six ounces the third year, and eight ounces the fourth year. Then maintain it at eight ounces annually.


The best part of learning how to grow kiwi is that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in good time. Although it takes patience and work, it is quite satisfactory to harvest your first pieces of fruit!

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