(Note: This plant is no longer produced by incredible edibles®.)
Originally native to eastern Asia. The Chinese have collected the fruit from the wild for thousands of years but it is thank you to New Zealand for domesticating this plant and making it a very important crop to New Zealand’s export market. The first seeds arrived from China in 1903. By 1940 kiwifruits had rapidly become a commercial crop.
Looks lovely growing over a pergola, or along a substantial fence or trellis. These must be strong structures as the vines with fruit are very heavy.
Higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than most other fruit. Very high in antioxidants and one of the best sources of vitamin C, good levels of potassium, vitamin E and vitamin A. High in antioxidants and fibre.
How to Eat
Still firm and just under ripe. Eaten fresh on their own or added to desserts and savoury dishes as a garnish. Rarely cooked. Made into juice, wine, jam and sliced and dried. Best with meats as its high quantities of a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin is effective in tenderizing meat.
Vines usually begin cropping at 4 years, reaching full potential at 9-10 years, but can continue producing for another 40 + years. A mature vine can produce 150-200 fruit per year. A maximum from a plant can be 80Kg but most vines are more likely to produce 20Kg.
Generic Fruiting Time
Full sun or semi-shade.
Protect from wind, strong winds will break their stems, leaves and fruits.
Not salt tolerant.
Prefers a warm temperate to sub-tropical climate, is fairly frost tolerant but late frosts can damage or kill young buds.
Grows best in deep, fertile, friable loam. Wide PH range 5.5 – 7.2, need good drainage, but also need regular moisture especially through the fruiting season.
Choose a sheltered site, as wind and extreme heat will burn leaves and fruit. Space 4.5 – 6m apart. Do not cultivate the soil around vines as they are shallow rooted. Suppress weeds by mulching instead can be successfully grown in large containers, and can then be given extra protection in colder areas.
General NPK fertilizer or manure compost with a lower nitrogen level to encourage fruiting.
In winter remove year old wood and again in summer by tipping the growth to keep it within bounds. Needs to be more severe on Hayward (female). Vines are best pruned and trained so that the flowers and fruit hang outside the leaves, results in much better flowering, fruit quality and yields. Remove some leaves in late summer so sunlight can increase bud formation. Pruning in winter and summer controls vegetative growth and suppress shoot growth. Winter pruning removes older wood, whereas summer pruning removes stems that are too vigorous. Flowers are formed on the new season’s growth arising from leaf axils of last season’s growth … read more about pruning
May suffer from various problems if soil is too wet. Possible Fungal and bacteria diseases include crown gall, Botrytis and Phytophthora root rot also Armillarea mellea can kill vines. Other possible problems include scale, leafroller caterpillars, passion-vine hopper, thrips, least spot, scale insects and root-knot nematodes.
Vines need 400-700hrs below 7°C to initiate leaf and flower buds.