Kiwi tree care: location, plants and wintering

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Kiwi tree care: location, plants and wintering: tree

The kiwi tree grows shrubby and can therefore be cultivated well as a climbing plant. Originally, the fruit tree comes from tropical climates, but there are now very robust and frost-resistant varieties that can be successfully planted in the local gardens. However, the site conditions must be right, as well as the care, otherwise the desired crop is very poor.

Location & Planting Substrate

The kiwi comes from tropical areas and is therefore used to warm temperatures. Although significantly more resistant varieties have been bred in the meantime, the plant has nevertheless retained some of its sensitive properties. Therefore, the location is only a protected place, because the exotic kiwi plants do not tolerate cold temperatures and strong winds very well. In addition, the kiwi tree makes certain demands on the plant substrate, which must be fulfilled. Otherwise, the plant does not feel well and does not produce a lush harvest. Before planting, a test can be used to determine the pH of the soil so that suitable countermeasures can be taken if necessary.
  • Optimal locations are wind-protected and warm locations
  • Perfect is a south or southwest facing house wall
  • Ideal is nutrient-rich and humus-rich plant substrate
  • pH should be in the slightly acidic range, between 4.5 and 5.5
  • Calcareous soil is poorly tolerated
  • Add rhododendron earth before planting
Tip: If the soil at the planned location is very poor in nutrients and the pH is higher than 6, then this must be treated before planting. For the introduction of nutrients, acidic compost soil is suitable, thereby simultaneously lowering the pH value.


Kiwi tree - Actinidia deliciosa

The kiwi plant is extremely susceptible to frost, so it should not be planted until after late spring, when the last frosty nights with the ice saints subsided. When buying new kiwi plants, the health of the specimens should be taken care of so that they can develop well at the new location right from the start. Before planting the plants, they should be watered well before they reach the soil. In order for the root ball to be sufficiently ready to absorb water and nutrients, it should be pierced several times with a sharp and clean knife.
  • Ideal time to plant lies in early summer
  • Prepare soil, test with pH test
  • Dig up enough large plant hole
  • Loosen soil well to a depth of about 30 cm
  • Carefully remove root bales from the planter
  • Carefully place the plant in the hole
  • Root should be flush with the stem at the surface of the earth
  • Put the removed soil back into the planting pit
  • Water abundantly and keep it evenly moist
  • If necessary, add some more earth after some time


Kiwi trees are climbing plants and can therefore be cultivated in many places in the garden. If the shrub gets a suitable climbing aid, then this also climbs up a fence or runs along walls. Decisive are the warm conditions of this location and a stable climbing frame. Due to its climbing properties, the plant forms a dense canopy on a suitable framework from which the kiwi fruits hang. Since many fruits can develop, the trellis must be able to sustain this weight for a long time.
  • Kiwi plants grow vigorously
  • Place up and to the sides
  • Pull up like a vine on the jungle gym
  • When climbing frame pay attention to stable properties
  • Place piles with a length of 2-2.5 m
  • One pole is needed per plant
  • Keep a distance of at least 4 m between the piles
  • Distances should not exceed 6 m
  • Pull thick wires from first to last pile
  • The first wire at a height of approx. 80 cm
  • The next wire about 50 cm higher
  • The next but one about 1 m above

Pouring & fertilizing

Kiwi trees produce large leaves and many juicy fruits, so the plants need plenty of water for good development. Especially during dry weather conditions, the kiwi must be watered regularly, otherwise it stops fruit growth or the fruits develop only a meager taste flavor. When fertilizing the plant is much less demanding, however, during fertilization additional fertilizer inputs are required.
  • Pay attention to rich watering
  • Water regularly
  • Casting units depend on the weather conditions
  • Especially in the summer months pay attention to sufficient moisture
  • Use lime-free water for casting
  • Well suited is collected rainwater
  • Fertilize only from the first year of fruit development
  • For fertilizing, mineral and organic fertilizer can be used
  • Fertilize weekly during the growth phase
  • Avoid over-fertilization, does not tolerate the plant


From a botanical point of view, kiwi fruits are berries that hang down from the climber. It usually takes four to five years before the first fruits can be harvested. When the kiwi tree grows in cooler locations, the fruits often do not fully ripen on the plant at the beginning of autumn. The fruit can ripen in the house on the sunny windowsill and then forms its full flavor.
  • Kiwi makes sweet and sour fruits
  • Fruit is rich in vitamin C.
  • Harvest time end of August to September
  • In warmer locations harvest until November possible
  • Mature kiwis do not last too long
  • Store highly ripened fruits in a cool and dry place


Kiwi tree - Actinidia deliciosa

The kiwi tree belongs to the family of ray-stemmed plants, which are mainly from tropical and subtropical countries. Due to the climbing-friendly properties, the kiwi plant cultivates similar to the wine and is a beautiful decoration for the garden area.
  • Strong-growing and shrubby tree
  • Can reach heights of growth of up to 15 m
  • Winding growth form on all sides
  • Flower buds are already created in the previous year
  • Carries the fruits on annual shoots
  • Therefore remove harvested fruit shoots before the season

To cut

The right time plays an important role when pruning the kiwi. If this is cropped in the spring, then it may come to a bleeding of the tree, which lasts the whole summer. This circumstance leads to a weakening of the immune system and can end with an infestation of pests.
  • Ideally crop in autumn, right after flowering
  • Cut back to about 50 cm
  • Pay attention to clean and sharp cutting tools
  • Also tolerates heavy pruning
  • After that, however, the blooms will be out in the next spring


Even young kiwi trees and the frost-sensitive varieties need additional winter protection. Ideally, these specimens can overwinter in the bucket frost-free during the first years of life, until a sufficient hardiness has been built up. If hardy breeds have been planted on a warm house wall with plenty of sun, then they usually need no additional winter protection. Kiwis are not evergreen, the trees gradually shed all leaves in the fall. This process can often take longer, until the end of November or even sometimes until mid-December.
  • Plan winter protection for young and exposed plants
  • Even normal specimens are looking forward to additional protection
  • Lay out warming mulch layer
  • To layer the trunk dried leaves
  • Spread the leaves to a height of about 40-50 cm
  • Protect roots and stem from frostbite
  • Rotting leaves give off the resulting heat
  • During the winter season refrain from watering and fertilizing
  • In spring, remove the leaves and start to water again


Kiwi tree - Actinidia deliciosa

The kiwi tree is a dioecious plant, on a plant are either female or male flowers. To produce fruits, both sexes are absolutely necessary, so the male plants must grow next to the female plants. However, only the female plants bear the delicious fruits. In the trade there are now new breeds that carry both sexes and self-pollinating. However, their taste is often unconvincing. The kiwi is propagated from the seeds obtained from the plant. If you want to boost the propagation process, you can use a miniature greenhouse.
  • Remove seeds from the pulp
  • Sow the yield in a pot with soil and press lightly
  • Do not cover seeds with soil
  • Then gently pour
  • Clamp the plastic wrap over the pot to prevent dried out soil
  • After about two weeks the seeds germinate, the first leaves show up
  • Now remove the foil
  • Plant individually at a size of 3-5 cm
  • Always cultivate female and male kiwis
  • Self-pollinated varieties often disappoint in taste

Diseases & pests

The kiwi plants are not only relatively easy to care for, but also hardly susceptible to pests and diseases. However, mistakes in care have a negative effect on the immune system and fruit formation.
  • Nursing mistakes often lead to leaf shedding and lean harvests
  • Conditionally susceptible to the red spider mite
  • Wash pests with soapy water

Video Board: Growing Hardy Kiwi in a Cold Climate.

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