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How to Care for a Kiwi Plant

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How to Care for a Kiwi Plant

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Overview

Kiwi plants are vines, climbing readily and growing up to 24 feet long. They have rounded, green leaves, small yellowish-white flowers and oblong fruit that is covered with tiny brown hairs. While kiwi plants require a substantial support such as a trellis on which to grow, they are relatively care-free and easy to nurture.

Step 1

Plant your kiwis in a location that has full sun and is protected from wind. The soil should drain well, be relatively rich in organic material, and have a pH between 5 and 6.5. Plant male and female vines to ensure pollination.

Step 2

Construct a trellis or other permanent structure to support the weight of the vines.

Step 3

Plant each vine near a post in the structure that will support it, then train the vine to grow up the post. Encourage the vine to grow across the structure as well, forming a primary vine with lateral canes.

Step 4

Water regularly during the summer. Do not allow the vine to become stressed during dry periods. Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the plant to help keep the soil damp.

Step 5

Spread high-nitrogen fertilizer such as citrus or avocado fertilizer around the plant in the spring. Do not feed kiwi plants late in the season.

Step 6

Prune in winter to maximize fruit production in the growing season. Trim back lateral canes on the main vine once they have fruited for two seasons; this will encourage secondary cane growth from the laterals in the following season.

Step 7

Harvest fruit in the late fall or early winter when the seeds in the fruit are black. Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator.

References

  • Kiwi Fruit
Keywords: kiwi plant, caring for kiwi vines, trellis

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.