How to Grow a Kiwi Vine

Overview

Kiwi is a sweet fruit that come in many varieties and the vine also makes for a nice ornamental plant. The vines can grow as much as 20 feet and must be supported by a trellis or fence. Kiwi vines are male or female and there must be at least one male to every eight female plants to produce fruit. The plants fruit in two to five years and the vines can live 50 years or longer.

Step 1

Choose a sunny location with some wind protection for the kiwi vines. Set up a trellising system at the location or plan on planting near a fence. The vines can produce up to 25 lbs. of fruit in a season and are heavy themselves, so make sure the trellis or fence is strong. Plan planting for early spring.

Step 2

Dig holes 8 to 15 feet apart, depending on the variety. The holes should be twice the diameter of the container and 3 inches deeper. Clean dug out soil of all weeds, grass and stones.

Step 3

Amend the dug out soil with equal parts of leaf mold and composted manure. Mix well and fill 4 inches of the planting holes with the amended soil.

Step 4

Carefully remove the vine from the container and place into the planting hole. Adjust the soil so the vine is sitting at the same level it was in the container to the surrounding ground. Fill in around the roots with the amended soil and hand tamp down.

Step 5

Attach the vine to the trellising system with a fabric or stretching nylon tie. This will help to get the vine started and can be removed as the vine grows and attaches itself.

Step 6

Water the kiwi plant well to establish the root system. Kiwi vines have shallow roots and must be watered often to keep them moist. Never let the soil dry out completely during the growing season, but the roots should not sit in soggy soil either.

Step 7

Apply a fertilizer high in nitrogen when there is growth on the vine. Use a citrus tree fertilizer in late fall and again in midsummer. Follow manufacturer's directions on amount to apply and always water the fertilizer into the soil.

Step 8

Mulch around the vines with a pine needle mulch. Keep the mulch at least 2 inches away from the vine itself as it will hold too much moisture and cause the vine to rot. The mulch will put extra nitrogen in the soil and keep moisture on the roots. It will also help to keep the weeds down.

Step 9

Prune the vine for shaping in the winter. Take off 1/4 of the older wood each year starting the third winter. This will encourage new shoots and a thicker vine. Cut off any dead shoots any time.

Things You'll Need

  • Kiwi vine plant
  • Shovel
  • Trellising system
  • Leaf mold
  • Composted manure
  • Trellis ties
  • Fertilizer high in nitrogen
  • Citrus tree fertilizer
  • Pine needle mulch
  • Pruning shears

References

  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Hardy Kiwifruit
  • Plant Biology: Guide to Growing Kiwi Fruit (Vine), Chinese Gooseberries Actinidia
  • Raintree Nursery: Kiwi
Keywords: growing kiwi vines, planting kiwi fruit, fruit vine care

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.