If you enjoy green kiwi fruit commonly found in supermarkets and are considering growing your kiwi fruit, you are in luck. You can plant Kiwi fruit, also known as Actinidia deliciosa, in many home gardens with the right care and conditions.
Native to Asia (not New Zealand, as many believe), the kiwi fruit is a woody vine that can be used to cover a tree or similar garden structure where it will be aesthetically pleasing and fruitful.
Kiwifruit is best planted in early spring or late fall, as it quickly grows in size, often 6 to 12 feet in one year. However, only the female of the mature vines will produce fruit, and many will not produce it until they are at least three years old.
The best fruit production often occurs when the vine is eight or more years old and may continue producing for forty years or more.
kiwi care Growing kiwi fruit can be a little involved, but the payoff - lots of delicious sweet fruit - is worth more than that. The fruit was originally classified as a berry, each kiwi being about 3 inches long and egg-shaped, with a fuzzy brown exterior.
Kiwi vines are ideal for growing on wooden structures such as gazebos, trellises, pergolas, arbors, or fences. Benefits of growing kiwi fruit Kiwi is a long-lived and vigorously growing plant.
They can provide shade during the summer and let out the sunlight in the winter. Kiwi fruit is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.
Filled with an array of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Kiwifruit is great eaten on its own, in a smoothie, or a fruit salad. Water well throughout the growing season, especially when the flowers begin to bear fruit.
Kiwis do not like wet feet. Try to avoid over-watering and make sure the soil drains well. Mulch annually to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and add nutrients. Kiwi fruit should be fertilized regularly, at least twice a year in spring and fall.
Complete compost or well-cracked animal manure is ideal. When pruning every year, keep a central stem and a few strong horizontal branches.
Remember that fruiting spurs will shut off an entire year of growth. Remove any ends that flop too far from your tire. Prune the tips to 2 or 3 buds after last season's crop. If it's too crowded, you can remove some sides altogether.
If the vines grow too quickly in the summer, reduce the growth. If any part of the patient breaks, remove it. Prune male plants after flowering.
Tip: It is impossible to distinguish male and female plants when they are not flowering, so it is recommended to prune the male plant once flowering is over.
Protect kiwifruit from possums and birds by putting nets on your vines during the fruiting season. When planning where to plant a kiwi fruit vine, make sure there is enough space and support for at least two vines, as you will need both male and female plants for the successful pollination of these dichotomous species.
The flowers may be cream or yellow and have a mild fragrance. Proper watering and pruning are especially important for kiwi vines because the fruit forms on year-old wood.
the light Plant the kiwi fruit vine in a location where it can receive full sun or partial shade year-round.
The more sunlight the plant receives, the better fruit production will be, and you should aim for at least eight hours of light per day.
Soil Kiwi vines prefer acidic soil with a pH level between 5.0 and 6.8. When it comes to soil composition, vines are not picky but do best in a fertile, moist, well-drained mixture.
When planting your vines, space each one about 10 feet apart to give them plenty of room to grow and thrive.
water Kiwi fruit vines will need constant water and are not at all drought tolerant. For this reason, you should never let their soil dry out.
However, they also don't like wet feet, which makes well-drained soil especially important. If you notice any brown or drooping leaves on the vine, this is usually a sign that your plant may be using too much water.
temperature and humidity In keeping with their subtropical nature, kiwi fruit prefers moderate temperatures, although it does need refrigeration (about 45 degrees Fahrenheit for at least a month) to set fruit.
Additionally, the vines can withstand hot summer temperatures of up to 114 degrees Fahrenheit, although they will need additional water to compensate.
When it comes to moisture requirements, kiwi fruit has no special requirements and will do well at moisture levels within USDA hardiness zones.
Fertilizer Kiwi vines do best when planted in soil that is high in organic matter and nitrogen. If your soil lacks nitrogen when testing, you may want to amend your mix with nutrient-rich compost. Regular feeding is especially important because the vine grows and establishes.
Plan to use an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer mix when you plant your plant, in early spring, and during the summer after the flowers have died.
Sorting the kiwi fruit Proper pruning of kiwi fruit vines not only encourages the growth of more fruit but also ensures that the vines do not become unruly.
It's important to start with a sturdy framework (across a trellis or other structure) - from there, cut around the main stem a lot until it's tall enough to form an overhead canopy. The best time to prune a kiwi fruit vine is during the winter when the plant is dormant.
Common pests and diseases Kiwi fruit vines are susceptible to a variety of common pests such as spider mites and thrips, both of which can be easily controlled with horticultural oils.
Another common problem for kiwi vines is insects that feed on the fruits of the plant, especially dancing caterpillars and Japanese beetles.
Your best bet is to pick fruit often and encourage birds, who are natural predators of these insects, to visit your garden.