Kiwi Care

Whether cut in slices, stars, or scooped with a spoon, kiwis taste delightful. Grow your own woody kiwi vine that can climb a trellis or fence. You just need a male and a female plant to produce fruit (or a self-pollinating variety). Having trouble choosing a variety? Read on to learn more about the different types and how to care for them.

Growing Kiwis

Most kiwis are dioecious, which means you will need a male and a female for your kiwi to bear fruit. One male plant is adequate to pollinate up to 8 female plants if it's centrally located. If planted in rows, a male can pollinate 3-4 females. Female plants produce fruit. Male plants do not produce fruit.

The Issai kiwi (Actinidia arguta) is an exception; it does not need a pollinator.

Kiwis are vigorous growers and need plenty of room. They can be trellised like grapes.

  • Average mature height: 5-35 feet
  • Fertilizer: 10-10-10 once a week during the spring
  • Light: Full sun
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Soil: Plenty of water with well-draining soil. Keeping vines mulched with a 2-3 foot circle around the base will help.
  • Zone: Each variety differs. See the chart below.

Selecting a Kiwi Variety

Female Varieties

Male Pollinators


Good to Know


Any male arguta

5-8 (400 chill hours)

  • Smooth skin
  • Small, grape-sized fruit
  • Hint of pineapple

Ken's Red

Any male arguta

5-8 (400 chill hours)

  • Small fruit about the size of a large grape
  • Red fruit



7-9 (200 chill hours)

  • Large fruit
  • Similar to supermarket variety



8-9 (200 hours)

  • Medium fruit
  • Ripens early

Issai (self-pollinating)

No pollinator needed

3-8 (400 hours)

  • Can fruit in the 2nd year
  • Can be container- grown

    Shop for kiwis at Wellspring Gardens.