The best way to enjoy refreshing kiwis fresh is to grow them on your own! Here is all the info on How To Grow Kiwi In a Pot!
Whenever we hear the word kiwis, an image of exotic fruit, mostly bought from the store, comes to our mind. As they are native to southern Asia, will it be possible to grow them in colder regions? Yes, you can! Hardy Kiwis, also known as baby kiwis, can easily grow in much colder areas. Here is all you need to know about How To Grow Kiwi In a Pot and enjoy this homegrown fruit!
Check out our article on growing Oranges in pots here
What are Hardy Kiwis?
Hardy kiwis are smaller than it’s cousin Kiwi, that is generally available in store. Also, hardy kiwis are dioecious, which means if you want the plant to bear fruits, you should plant at least one male plant for every 8-10 female plants. It can climb up to 10-15 feet, but you can prune if you fancy a smaller size. The fruits can be consumed directly after plucking from the vine, as their skin is smooth and eatable. Although the taste is somewhat similar to the store-bought Kiwis, albeit a little sweeter.
Choosing the Right Variety
- If you are a beginner at planting Kiwi, Ananasnaya is a good variety you can choose. This vigorous growing productive vine bears grape-sized, aromatic fruits.
- For the early production of kiwifruit, go for Geneva. Another highly productive variety is Dumbarton Oaks.
- To grow aromatic fruits of larger size, you can plant Michigan State variety. It can tolerate cold up to zone 5.
- The kiwifruit of Ken’s Red is not only delicious, but it also looks attractive with red-color skin.
- Don’t want to go through the trouble of buying both male and female variety? Issai does not require a male pollinator, as it is a self-fertile variety.
How To Propagate Kiwi?
It takes around 3-5 years for a kiwi plant to produce fruits. So you have to be patient. You can propagate this plant from seeds or cutting both. It is up to you. Get seeds from the nearest nursery or any online store. It is preferable to plant from cuttings as better cultivars can be planted that way. No matter which way you choose for planting, both male and female plants should be planted if you want your vines to bear fruits.
Pro Tip: Get a potted plant from a nursery as it will save the time the plant takes to grow from seeds or cuttings.
Choosing a Container
You can begin planting in an 18-20 inches container with drainage holes. After a few years when you feel that the vine has outgrown the container, you can shift it to a container of a larger size.
Kiwis require sturdy support as the vines can grow around 25-30 feet in length and become quite heavy. You can train them to climb over a patio overboard or install a strong trellis structure for proper support.
Requirements for Growing Kiwis in Pots
Kiwi does great in well-draining, loamy to light heavy soil. If it’s rich in organic matter, it’ll further aid in the plant’s growth. The pH level can be between slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. Clay-rich soil is detrimental and must be avoided. Also, do not use too sandy soils.
This vine needs full sun for healthy and vigorous growth. So place it at a spot where it receives maximum sunlight.
For colder climates, it’ll do well in the temperature range of 40º-60º F (4.44º-15.56º C). For warmer regions, kiwi will be best from 56º-77º F (13.33º-25º C). The plant may be adversely affected or even killed in the temperature below 29º F (-1.67º C)
Keeping the soil moist is crucial for the proper growth of the plant. Do not overwater as kiwis do not like to sit in water and it can also cause root rot. Water daily, but avoid watering thoroughly until your plants are established.
Kiwis will grow actively once established and requires fertilization. But the roots are sensitive and can burn off if you overuse fertilizers. Using a balanced fertilizer like 16-16-16 as per the instructions on the label, thrice a year, will be more than enough. Alternatively, you can also use soybean meal.
It is necessary that you prune kiwi vines at least once a year. The best time for pruning a female plant is in the winter, as this is when this plant is dormant. Immediately after flowering, you can prune male plants. A high-quality pair of sharp pruners should be used for performing this task. Prune away any dead or decaying branches. Also, any lateral growing vine which is not supported by the trellis should also be pruned.
As this plant does well in moist soil, you can add a layer of mulch so that soil does not become dry. You can use a mix of compost or shredded leaves for mulching. Do not apply mulch around the base of the vine. Keep it three inches away from the base.
Pests and Diseases
The one remarkable thing about kiwi is that it rarely attracts any pests or diseases. You might find few four-legged insects lurking which you can quickly get rid of by spraying the vine with an organic neem oil solution. If you own pets especially cats, protect the vine by installing a fence around it, as an overzealous cat can be the death of a new plant.
Harvesting and Storage
If you start your kiwis from seeds, it is likely that your plants will begin producing fruits in around three years. There are a few varieties that bear fruits much earlier such as the Arctic, that can bear fruits after just one season.
Once the vine starts bearing fruit, it can produce around 40-50 pounds of fruit annually. You will be amazed to know that Kiwis can produce fruits for up to 45-50 years! Fruits are ready for harvest when they start to soften. Taste the fruit to check if it is ripe. You can store the fruits for around five weeks in a refrigerator.