Kiwi in October
Kiwis are harvested in October, but you can also plant them now.
Kiwi is one of the healthiest plants, so why not grow it in your greenhouse? Every 0.04 ounce of the fruit contains almost 0.0004 ounces of pure vitamin C, along with a high amount of magnesium.
If you haven’t had luck with kiwi in your greenhouse, then try a hardy kiwi, that’s a safe one.
Photo: Grøn Kommunikation
Kiwi is a deciduous twining bush, so it should be grown with some kind of espalier or trellis. In nature, the plant gets approximately 29.6 feet tall. Like beans the stem and twigs twine round support. The kiwi plant always twines to the left. The flowering starts when the plant is 2-3 years old. In spring the first twigs with leaves will shoot from the stem. Small bright buds will show on these twigs. Those are the flower buds and they take 60-70 days to develop. In 30-40 days, the buds will look like they are in dormant. This period is called the balloon stage. In this stage, the functions of the flowers are developed.
You need both a male and female blossom to get fruits, but that might take up too much space. Luckily, you can get a plant that is monoecious. It is called Boskoop.
How to prune a kiwi plant
The plant should be pruned like a vine. You should let it grow for the first two years. There are typically 2-3 main twigs and you can bend them to grow in the direction you want. In year 3 you should prune in August and February. You can still do it but be careful pruning too early and too late as the plant will then bleed.
In August you should cut back new shoots, so the plant won’t grow wild. If it was a vine you should cut a side shoot from the stem, with two or three leaves left.
If there is fruit on the plant (it might take years) then cut the shoots with fruits, so there are five or six leaves left above the fruit.
In February you can remove those shoots that have only a few buds, also those that have had fruits. Concludingly, pruning is about keeping the twigs under control, so side shoots won’t dominate.
Sour soil is the best
The soil should preferably have a pH value between 4.5 and 5. The warmer the plant is placed, the greater is the change of humid soil, so protect your plant during the winter to make the chances of humid greater. The fruit will ripen in October.
Om Lars Lund
Danish horticulturist and journalist
Lars Lund has for many years engaged in the garden and greenhouse. Lars has published many books about greenhouses, and he has participated in many Danish horticultural TV shows. He is a walking garden encyclopaedia, and he has answers for most basic cultivation questions – also the more ambitious ones.