How to Plant a Kiwi Tree


When planting kiwi, it is best to think in terms of planting multiples since kiwi trees come in both male and female varieties and both are needed for pollination and fruit production. Even the "self-fertile" varieties bear more fruit if there are males growing nearby. Plant kiwi trees as soon as soil can be worked in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Installed T-bar trellis system
  • Spade
  • Two-year old kiwi trees
  • White latex paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Select a sunny location in well-drained soil. Construct or hire someone to construct strong trellises for the kiwi trees. T-bar trellises may be made of 6-foot posts with 5-foot crossbeams. Space the posts about 15 feet apart. The trellis will look something like clotheslines with the three wires strung between the crossbeams.

  • Purchase two-year old root or container kiwi trees as close to planting time as possible. Dig one hole midway between each two trellis posts. Make sure the holes are large enough to accommodate the roots of a kiwi tree without bending them. You may trim the roots a little if needed to fit the tree in the hole.

  • Plant the male(s) first. Place the trees in the ground so they are just deep enough to cover the roots with soil. Do not mount the soil around the tree. If you are planting six or fewer trees, you’ll need just one male tree. If you are planting many trees, get one male for approximately every six to eight female trees. Distribute the males evenly among the planting area with some males in each row.

  • Water kiwi trees thoroughly after planting and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season. No fertilizer is needed the year of planting, according to the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.

  • Paint the trunks of the trees with one part water and one part interior white latex paint. This will help prevent sunburn.

Tips & Warnings

  • Kiwi trees require pruning and training so the trellis properly supports them.
  • In the second growing season, apply two ounces of 10-10-10 fertilizer per kiwi tree in the spring. Increase fertilizer application by two ounces each spring until each tree receives eight ounces per tree.
  • Trees will begin to bear fruit when they are between five and nine years old.

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