How to plant hardy kiwi vines

May 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Fruit Vines

Tuesday 5-8-2012

I ordered 2 female and 1 male hardy kiwi vines from Gurneys. I hate ordering from there, as I have had subpar plant material in the past, but I was having a hard time finding hardy kiwi vines. I received the vines about a month ago, and they looked rough. Granted they were dormant, but I felt they were very small for the money. So I potted them up and put them in my greenhouse until now. I didn’t want to plant them out without some loving care to get them off to a good start.


What are hardy kiwis?

Hardy kiwis are similar to the brown fuzzy kiwis you would find in your grocery store, but they have a green edible skin, they are smaller than tropical kiwis, they tend to be a bit sweeter, and they are hardy down to zone 4. On the downside, they don’t keep as well as your tropical varieties of kiwi, which is why you will never find these great tasting sweet kiwis at any market.



Hardy kiwi vines grow 10’ tall, and need a very strong support system with at least 4x4 posts. You can make a tall sturdy fence for them to grow up, or you can make a “T” trellis system similar to a clothesline. I built a “T” trellis system, although I did not make it long enough, so I used my existing fence to grow my male pollinator plant.



Space at least 8’ apart. I have seen as high as 15’ apart. I planted mine about 8 feet apart.


Tools and materials needed?

Shovel, pitchfork, mulch, posthole driver (for a support post)


Soil type preferred?

Kiwis will grow in most well drained soils.


How to plant hardy kiwis?


1. Set out plants 8 feet apart in front of a support.


2. Dig the hole 2-3x wider than the pot. The base of the kiwi should sit ¼” inch above the surface.


3. Place plant into the hole to make sure it is the desired depth.


4. Make sure roots are not root bound in the pot. If so massage roots to loosen.


5. Place plant in hole and backfill with the existing soil.


6. Compact the soil around the plant to iron out air pockets.


7. Mulch.


8. Give the plants a thorough watering to enhance establishment.

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