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How to Grow Kiwi Fruit

A guide to growing Kiwis (Chinese Gooseberries) in gardens

and containers

Kiwi Fruit

Family/Latin Name

Actinidiaceae - Actinidia

Type of Plant

Hardy Deciduous Climbing Vine

Suitable for

Gardens, Large Containers

Recommended Tree Forms Climbing
Jump to:-     Pruning   |  Pests & Diseases 


Growing Kiwifruit - Details

See also:-  Fruit Growing Glossary  |  Tree Forms  |  Container Growing  | Buying Plants


Site and Soil

Prefer full sun or partial shade. Best planted in sheltered positions trained against a south facing wall.
Tolerant of most soil types provided they are well drained and rich in organic matter
Suitable for large containers

Plant Dimensions

Trained - Height: +3.6m/12ft - Spread: Up to 3.6m/12ft

Yield per mature vine


Time between planting  and harvesting

3 year olds - Produce in 1 year

Planting Time

Best - February - March

Number of trees needed for pollination Self fertile variety (cultivar) - 1 (recommended)
1 male plant needed for up to  6 female plants
How to plant - against a wall, trellis  or pergola in open ground

Prepare the ground before planting, forking in a general fertiliser such as Growmore. Fix supports, trellis or wires to the wall before you plant the tree.

Dig a large hole wide enough to take the roots when spread out and deep enough to take the whole root system about 30cm/1ft away from the wall and slightly sloping away from the wall. Fork over the soil in the bottom of the hole .You should be able to see signs on the tree of the original soil depth on the tree stem.

Stand the tree in the hole, spreading out the roots of bare-rooted specimens, tilting it slightly towards the wall, then fill in the hole with soil, slightly rocking the tree between each spadeful so the earth falls between the roots, firming gently as you go, until the hole is filled to the top. Water in well.

  How to plant - in containers Container size minimum  60cm/2ft wide x 60cm/2ft deep Good drainage is essential so make sure there are plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Place a 2.5cm/1" layer of stones or crocks in the bottom and cover with enough soil or compost so that when you place the tree in the container, the original planting depth (which you should be able to see on the stem of the tree)  is 5cm/2" below the top of the container. Fill the container with soil or a loam based compost to the original planting depth. Firm well and water in.
  Aftercare Open Ground against a wall, trellis or pergola - Apply a mulch of well rotted manure or compost once a year in  spring and a supplement of a balanced inorganic fertiliser in February will be necessary. Once the flowers start blossoming give a high potash liquid feed every 10 days until the fruit begin to ripen. Keep trees well watered as the ground near walls often dries out quickly
Containers against a wall, trellis or pergola -  Yearly pruning will be necessary (see below). Apply a mulch of well rotted manure or compost during the first  year in  spring and a supplement of a potash rich inorganic fertiliser in February. Once the flowers start blossoming give a high potash liquid feed every 10 days until the fruit begin to ripen. In subsequent years, it is best to carefully remove some of the soil from the container and replace it with fresh compost. Do this carefully so as not to damage the roots. Keep the containers well watered.
General - Protecting  from birds with netting and from frost with garden fleece in the early spring is a good idea.
  Harvesting Fruit are best left to completely ripen on the tree. Harvesting usually takes place from mid September. Pick individual fruit as they ripen. The fruit are ripe when they come away from the stalks without having to pull too hard.

How to Prune Kiwi fruit


Kiwifruit Pests & Diseases

Relatively disease and pest free.


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