Growing Kiwi: From Planting to Harvest

Growing Kiwi

Many people may think that growing kiwis in their yard is too tropical, despite the fruit’s sweetness. Hardy Kiwi plants, on the other hand, can grow in zones 3–8 and are rather common. For optimal growth, kiwi plants usually require softer winters or a season free of frost. Certain species of kiwi plants may also flourish in colder climates since they have adapted to them. Another name for kiwi fruit is the Chinese gooseberry.


To ensure that your kiwi plants bear fruit, plant both male and female plants or a self-pollinating variety. Because kiwi plants need a lot of space, put the vines atop an elevated mound of dirt, spacing them 10 to 18 feet apart. Occasionally, gardeners will start their kiwi plants in containers in order to better tend to them and move the plant readily when the weather gets harsher.

For growth

Kiwi needs well-draining soil and full sun. Because kiwi plants are vining, they need room to spread out and grow—up to 20 feet per plant, on occasion. To keep the vines contained, make sure to train them along a trellis or fence. New growth that is only a year old is where kiwi fruit grows, therefore annual trimming will increase fruit output. Mulch should also be used around the plants to help them retain moisture and keep weeds out. Water the plants every day once they are established.

Harvesting Kiwi

In August, the kiwi achieves its maximum size; however, it is not suitable for picking until its seeds turn black, which often happens in October or November. When kiwis are firm but beginning to soften slightly when gently squeezed, they are ready to be harvested. After being cut from the vine, kiwis keep maturing. When picking, remove the larger fruits from the vine first, allowing the smaller ones to mature a bit further. To harvest the kiwi, snap the stem at the base of the fruit, but treat the fruit carefully since it is prone to bruising.

Soil and Fertilization

If planted in somewhat acidic soil, kiwi plants thrive there. If not, they should be fertilized in March and again right before the fruit sets, which happens in June. In March, fertilize kiwi plants if they were planted in plain soil. Apply straw or manure as a side dressing to the plant in addition to fertilizer. Two ounces of nitrogen fertilizer administered annually will suffice to support the growth of young kiwi plants; however, plants six years of age and up will need up to one pound of fertilizer annually. Apply an all-purpose fertilizer (10-10-10), but you can also add urea and ammonium nitrate to your plants as supplements.

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