You seem to have found yourself deeply in love with that delicious taste of kiwi. So deeply that you even start thinking about getting the plant and growing it at home.
If so, I have compiled a list of tips on everything you need to know about how to grow kiwi indoors.
Once you decide to grow this fruit, millions of questions come up. Is it possible to grow this exotic beauty indoors? How demanding the maintenance may be?
The list goes on and on, and your initial interest slowly fades out. But WAIT!
All of you who have just discovered the passion for indoor gardening need a BOOST so that the inspiration remains vivid.
Without further ado, here is a brief recap of all the necessary information!
How To Grow Kiwi Fruit 101
First of all, you CAN grow this tasty plant wherever you want, as long as you have studied the essentials on it.
As a matter of fact, it’s much easier growing it indoors than outdoors, because YOU are the one who creates the conditions.
This vining plant won’t cause you troubles provided that you have the right knowledge on how to grow it.
Some of the factors to take into consideration are:
- Soil pH level
- Rain/watering system
- Planting and harvesting seasons
In addition to this, there are many different species, and even though they basically work the same, there are some slight differences in maintenance.
These variations are very important, and knowing them is essential for healthy and proper growth of the plant.
This is a temperate weather plant which means it doesn’t tolerate either of the extremes.
It thrives under the sunlight and climates with temperatures lower than 45 degrees F.
The soil pH should be between 5.5 to 6.5, so an acidic one. Moreover, it has to be well-drained.
As for the watering, do it wisely and make a balance. Too much water causes the plant to undergrow and die eventually.
The purpose of the smart watering plan is to maintain the pH on the desired level.
Once you get a grasp on these, maintaining the kiwifruit will be a piece of cake.
Speaking of, if you do things right, perhaps one day you will enjoy a delicious cake with your own kiwi in it. Let that be a strong motivation for you to succeed!
Find The Right Kiwi Seeds
Let us make one thing clear! That fuzzy brown thing you see in the grocery store is not a matter of my subject here today.
That’s the one which is typical for southern Asia and cannot make it through if temperatures are below 10 degrees. That is Actinidia chinensis.
Actinidia arguta is the one typical for northern China and Russia.
It can be grown even in the extremely low temperatures and it is also known as hardy kiwi. Some of the most common hardies are Natasha, Tatyana, Michigan State, Ken’s Red etc.
Unlike their fuzzy brown counterparts, you don’t need to peel these, just pop them in your mouth straight from the plant.
Their skin is smooth and the taste is sweeter.
When you compare them in size, indoor ones are slightly larger than a grape, but they ’re fruitful in production, about three or four years from the moment you plant them.
The peak is about 8 years of planting. If you maintain them the right way, they can grow fruits for 40 or more years.
So, selecting the adequate seeds is of vital importance.
As I already mentioned, different species require a different approach to obtaining the right one to grow indoors saves troubles.
This may come as shocking info for novices- but there are male and female plants!
Laugh as much as you can, but there are significant differences between them.
This species is dioecious, which means flowers of different sexes are born on separate plants.
One male requires eight or nine female vines and they are usually mixed when you buy them.
This plant is a fast growing one and you need to support it so that the vines wouldn’t break.
In addition to this, you will have gorgeous small white flowers with a fragrance similar to the one lily of the valley has. Harvesting time is around late fall.
Kiwi Fruit Circle of Life Aka How to Maintain It
Finding the right location is very significant.
You already know which are the ideal conditions to grow it, so based on that find the right place in your home. Water the plant regularly until it establishes.
Once again, the goal is to maintain the optimal level of pH in soil, which means you have to be careful not to either overwater nor underwater it.
Unless you want to end up with a bunch of vines scattered all around resembling an angry and skinny medusa or something like that, you need to prune the plant.
This is perhaps the most demanding part of growing kiwifruit.
But, if you have the right tool and know when to do that.
Speaking of tools, you need a pair of quality and sharp pruners (I love these pruners from Felco; they seem to stay sharp no matter what and how much you cut).
You prune the vines when the plant is dormant, which means in the wintertime, and two or three times during summer.
How can you be sure which vines you should prune?
Well, it’s quite simple. Those are the ones which produced the fruit the previous season, as well as the dead and crossed ones.
Never prune branches that are a year old, because they are very prolific when it comes to producing fruits.
As for summertime pruning, you should remove the long and arching as well as the non-flowering vines.
Don’t forget to keep the vines well-mulched. You can use three inches of compost or shredded leaves.
Just make sure you don’t crowd the base, but keep it away about 3 inches, so that it can breathe and develop properly.
Let the Gardening Begin!
Of course, what I described here comes as the most common procedure for those who are interested in growing kiwi from the very beginning.
The best way to go is to follow this instruction step by step.
On the other hand, no one says you cannot make a SMALL experiment using those fuzzy brownies from the grocery store we mentioned.
Don’t get puzzled, as what just came to your mind is exactly what I meant here.
You can use the seeds from the fruit and see how things work. Who knows, perhaps you end up with quite a fine plant.
Here are the steps:
- Take the seeds out from the fruit.
- Separate the sticky membrane from the seeds. You do that by placing the seeds and water in a small blender.
- Wash them very carefully using colander.
- Put the kiwi seeds on a paper towel and insert into a plastic Ziploc.
- Place the Ziploc someplace warm.
- Do a daily check-up to see if the seeds have sprouted. The towel must be moist all the time.
- Once the tiny seeds sprout, tear the towel into tiny pieces and plant several seeds in a small pot.
- The rest is as described in paragraphs before this one.
This interesting experiment is solely for the purpose to entertain you and help you learn how things work.
Do not get discouraged if it fails. But who knows, you might end up with quite a fruitful plant. After all, that’s the circle of life.
1. What do I need to pay attention to when growing kiwi in pots?
The most important thing is a drainage hole. You want the water to circle, not to make the roots rot.
When the time comes, meaning when the plant is grown, you can repot it into a bigger container.
2. Do pests attack kiwi?
Luckily for you, there are either extremely few or no pests at all.
This is the greatest worry when the time comes to move the plant outdoors, as it grows at the speed of light.
3. What to do if the frost threatens my kiwi?
Harvest it before the fruits get damaged. In case they aren’t fully ripe yet, place them on a kitchen counter so that the process completes.
4. Which vines produce fruit?
Remember the story about male and female vines? Well, the answer to this one is- female.
As you can see it’s nothing of complicated science. Or it’s just that overly enthusiastic and passionate gardener in me.
Growing any plant requires patience and devotion, and the right knowledge, of course.
That’s why I created this guide on everything you need to know about how to grow kiwi indoors.
A good plan is half the job done. This logic works perfectly in absolutely every aspect of one’s life, I see no reason why it wouldn’t here.
Please share your thoughts and experience with me and the community, because a word from a friend is more valuable than any treasure.