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Grow kiwi from seed: How and when to do it, and what care needs exotic? All questions we answer!

Learning how to grow kiwi from seed, you will be very proud. It will not be quick, but if you are patient, you will be rewarded with a heavenly tasting fruit, rich in vitamins and antioxidants.

Health benefits of the fruit

Choose a well-ripened kiwi fruit, preferably organically grown

Kiwis contain more vitamin C than oranges, thus strengthening your immune system. They are also said to have a positive effect on digestion and heart health, while containing very little natural sugar. This makes them a great addition to your kitchen garden.

How to grow kiwi from seed?

You can read about how to grow kiwi from seed here

Growing kiwi from seed is not considered the best propagation method because the new plants are not true to type – in other words, they are not exactly like the plant you took the seed from . Therefore, taking cuttings from softwood in the spring is a much more reliable method of propagating an existing variety.

However, growing kiwi from seed is the way breeders create new varieties, and therefore an interesting experiment. The plants are attractive, and you may even create your own prize-worthy variety.

You can sow your seeds at any time, but it’s best to plant them in the fall for spring planting. Here’s how:

Although it takes only a few weeks to germinate kiwi seeds

  • Choose a well-ripened kiwi fruit, preferably organic. Scoop out the flesh and separate the seeds. You may be able to easily remove and rinse the seeds, but a reliable method is to place the pulp in a blender with water and puree for a few seconds. The seeds can then be easily extracted and rinsed in a colander.
  • Either sprinkle the seeds on a tray of damp sand and cover with a plastic lid, or sprinkle them on a damp paper towel and place in a clear ziplock bag in a warm place. The seeds should germinate within about two weeks.
  • Transfer the germinated seeds to small pots of well-drained growing soil. If you use the paper towel method, you can tear off small pieces and plant them so as not to disturb the seedlings.
  • Place the seedlings on a warm, sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse. After 3-4 months, harden them off and plant them either outside in larger pots or in a garden bed. If it is winter, it is best to wait until spring to do this. The distance between the plants should be at least about 3 m.

How many plants do I need?

Grow kiwi from seed - how and when to do it, and how to care for the exotic.

Since kiwifruit depend on male to female pollination, you will need at least one male and one female plant, with one male sufficient for every 6-8 female plants. However, the sex of the plants cannot be determined until they bear flowers, which will not be the case in the first few years.

Female kiwi plants have flowers with long, sticky stigmas protruding from the center and white ovaries at the base of the flower. Male plants, on the other hand, are filled with pollen-covered anthers.

Once the plants begin to flower, make sure that each female plant is planted within about 50 feet of a male, and leave the rest to nature.

Which variety to grow?

You will need at least one male and one female plant

Hayward is a popular variety because of its quality and taste. But you can also try Tormuri, Abbot, Brodie and Atlas – the male varieties can be pollinated with all other varieties. You can also choose between a common and a golden kiwi variety, which have different flavors. Golden kiwifruit are more frost hardy.

Self-pollinating varieties are beginning to appear on the market, but the fruit is not as vigorous as regular varieties. If you only have room for one kiwi vine, you should choose Jenny.

If you want something different, try mini kiwis – or cocktail kiwis. Mini kiwis are much sweeter than the furry brown fruit you buy at the store. They produce small sweet fruits the size of large grapes that can be eaten skin and hair in early fall. Cocktail kiwis are very frost hardy and do well in a generous pot that adds an exotic touch to the patio.

How long does it take to grow kiwi from seed?

While it only takes a few weeks to germinate kiwi seeds, it takes at least 3 years and can take as long as 6-7 years for the plants to bear fruit.

How to germinate kiwi seeds?

If you keep the seeds moist, they should germinate within a few weeks

To germinate kiwi seeds, you can either sow them in sand, well-drained potting soil or on damp kitchen paper. If you keep them moist, they should germinate within a couple of weeks.

Suitable location for the exotic

Mulch the plants annually - but keep the mulch away from the base of the plant

Kiwi plants do best in a sunny, sheltered spot, but they are also reasonably shade tolerant – although they won’t bear as much fruit. Try growing kiwis on north-facing walls or in places with less sunlight. Kiwis like a slightly acidic, fertile soil, so add organic matter before planting.

How to care for the plant?

  • Mulch the plants annually – but keep the mulch away from the base of the plant – and apply an all-purpose fertilizer in the spring.
  • In winter, prune back up to one-third of the oldest branches to a bud near the main stem, which will form new shoots. Kiwifruit are vigorous plants that you should also prune and trim in summer to keep them in check and focus on fruiting.
  • Water well in warm weather and make sure the soil does not dry out during the growing season. However, the roots do not like to get waterlogged, so a well-drained soil is essential.

In what climate do kiwis grow?

Kiwis are a versatile fruit, but they are not grown commercially in many places. The kiwi originated in China and was then brought to New Zealand, the land of kiwis. Kiwifruit can be grown at home in many places around the world and are frost tolerant, although they have problems in very cold climates.

Growing kiwis in pots

Kiwis do very well in pots and grow bags

Kiwis do very well in pots and grow bags, making them an excellent addition to a container vegetable garden. While the pot size may be quite modest initially, you will need to repot the plants as they grow. Eventually, you should aim for a pot size of at least 160 liters.

Cultivate kiwi vine

Since kiwis grow as vines, they need to be raised as they grow

Since kiwis grow as vines, they need to be educated as they grow. Therefore, you should have good ideas for them for a trellis in the vegetable garden. They grow very well as a trellis or overhead on a pergola. Kiwi vines are hardy, tough and easy to grow. They need plenty of space on a strong rootstock and take three to five years to bear fruit . Keep in mind that most kiwis require both a male and female plant to bear fruit, so you will eventually need more than one plant unless you just want to enjoy them for their beautiful flowers and vines.