A kiwi plant is a vining plant much like a grape vine. Kiwis develop on the plant in much the same way that grapes develop. Trimming a kiwi plant stimulates new growth, and helps the plant direct its energy to growing more fruit, rather than on unnecessary vines. A healthy kiwi plant grows 15 to 30 feet per year, so regular trimming is essential.
Provide poles or a trellis for your kiwi plant to climb for support. If climbing supports are not provided, the kiwi vine will grow along the ground. A kiwi plant that is grown on the ground is vulnerable to fungal infections and rotting fruit.
Prune during the winter, before new growth starts. The ideal time to trim a kiwi plant is during the last week of January or the first week of February.
Trim old growth that bore fruit last year. Use gardening shears or a very sharp gardening knife to cut off these old limbs.
Leave year-old growth that did not bear fruit last year. Space these branches out with approximately 10 to 15 inches of space between each branch. Trim these branches back so that just the first eight buds remain.
Prune again during the summer, before blossoms and fruits set. At this time, remove dead or sickly branches. Cut back any branches that might be cracked, broken or tangled.