Kiwi berries are cousins of fuzzy brown Kiwi fruit. They are also known as kiwi grapes or baby kiwis. Kiwi berries are not like Kiwi fruit because they have thin and smooth skin.
There is no need to be peeled before eating. The ornamental kiwi vines produce edible and healthy berries and attractive foliage. The vigorous growth of kiwi vines makes it perfect for growing on trellises, patio, fences, or even walls.
The interesting thing is that you can grow kiwi berries in a pot. Now there is no need to buy kiwi berries from the grocery store. You can get your kiwi berries right at home. Kiwiberry is sweet and smaller as compared to kiwi fruit.
Watch Complete Video On Growing Kiwiberries From Seed – 2 Methods
SELECTING KIWIBERRY PLANTS
Some varieties of kiwi berry are self-fertile but not each one. Some of them are female and some are male. The function of males is to supply the pollen and on the other hand females produce the berries.
If you want to get fruit then you have to plant both. If you want to get more fruit at the same time then you can plant 1 male with 6 to 8 female plants.
The shoots of kiwi berry plants develop in early spring. The shoots of the plants are very sensitive so they can’t tolerate the frost. Some varieties which you can grow in the pot are going to be mentioned below.
This variety has a very unique sweet-tart flavor with high sugar content. You can harvest this variety from mid-August to mid-September.
This is a Russian variety that has an aromatic flavor. The fruit of this variety has green skin. This is a vigorous vine of kiwi berries.
This is another variety of kiwi berry which has good flavor and taste.
This variety produces fruit earlier than other varieties. It doesn’t mean that its taste is not as good as other varieties, it gives you the best flavor.
This is the only self-fertile variety and there is no need for planting a male plant for it. This is not a vigorous vine of kiwi berries but produces small fruit with great taste.
This variety is available both in male or female plants. If you want fruit from it then you should choose the female variety. The size of the fruit which you get from this variety is medium.
WHEN TO PLANT KIWI BERRIES?
The best time for growing kiwi berry vines is spring when the last frost is passed. You can plant seeds of kiwi berry seeds in May. The best time for installing a trellis is when your plants are young.
Because when your plants are established then the roots of plants may be disturbed during the installation of the supporting system. From June to July, you can prune excessive non-rooting explorer shoots from the kiwi berry plants.
If you plant the seeds of kiwi berry plants on time then you will harvest the mature fruits from July to October.
HOW TO GROW KIWI PLANTS IN A POT
MATERIALS YOU NEED
You can grow kiwi berries in a pot but the things you need for this purpose are as follows
- A sharp knife
- Paper towel
- A small ziplock plastic bag
- Pot with drainage holes
- High-quality potting mix
The following are simple steps through which you can get seeds from the berries which you bought from the store. The seeds of kiwi berries are very tiny.
- The first step is getting seeds from kiwi berries. Cut each berry into four pieces with the help of a knife. It is recommended to scrape off the seeds in a bowl.
- The seeds have a lot of pulp so the next step is removing the pulp from the seeds. With the help of water, rinse the seeds well. Gently press away seeds so make them free from the gel. Repeat this process until you see the seeds have no gel-like substance surrounding the seeds.
You can use a small pot to prepare your seedlings for transplantation. When young plants of kiwi berries are tall enough then you can transfer them into the large pot.
The size of the large pot must be 18 to 20 inches. Make sure that your pots have drainage holes as is mentioned above kiwi berries like to grow in well-drained soil. When you see the vine is established enough then you can transfer it to a larger pot according to the size of the plant.
You need a high-quality potting mix for growing kiwi berries in a pot. You can purchase soil-less potting mix from any gardening store. Potting mix has at least one-third of organic material so your kiwi berries get all the basic nutrients from it.
Kiwi berries like to grow in well-drained soil. So make sure your potting mix is well-drained because kiwi fruits don’t like standing water. If you use well-drained soil then it will prevent your plants from root rot.
You can make the soil more fertile by adding organic fertilizer such as bone meal or well-aged compost manure. In this way, your soil will become a very healthy medium and also help to prevent your plants from diseases.
GERMINATION OF SEEDS
You need a paper towel for the germination of the seeds of kiwi berries.
- Take a paper towel, moisten it, and spread the seeds on it.
- Fold the paper towel which has seeds.
- Keep the paper towel in the small ziplock plastic bag but leave a little bit of air inside the bag to prevent mold.
- Keep this bag in a dark and warm place. The temperature of the place where you keep the bag must be above 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to germinate the seeds fast then the place should be warm.
- The seeds in the bag will take 2 to 3 weeks to sprout. This time will depend upon the condition which you provide them.
After two to three weeks when you will open the bag, you will see most of the seeds are sprouted. Choose sprouted seeds which have strong and long roots and avoid using seeds that have weak roots. The following are simple steps for transplanting.
> The second step is to take off as many of the layers of paper towel that you can and separate each plant individually. Take off as much of the paper towel as you can without disturbing the roots.
> Place the paper towel with the sprouted seeds in the soil of the pot. This method is very helpful because in this way the roots of the young seedling will not disturb and adjust easily in a new environment.
> Grab some soil and bury the paper towel. The best thing about growing seeds on a paper towel is that you will not worry about the transplantation. You will place seedlings with a paper towel so the roots will not bother.
> New plants need water so the next step is to water them. Sunlight is very important in the growth of any plant so you should keep them at that place where they get ample sunlight for healthy growth and juicy production of fruits.
> After 2 weeks you can see your seedlings have true leaves. When you see that your kiwi plants are tall enough then you can replant them in a larger pot.
The following factors are very important when you decide to grow kiwi berries in a pot.
Climate is very important for growing any plant. Kiwi berries prefer to grow at 25°C. You can also grow it in winters if all the basic requirements are fulfilled. The vines of kiwi berries need support although you are growing them in the pot. They need a climbing pole or trellis for proper support.
Sunlight is very important in the growth of any plant. Your fruit plants need maximum sun exposure for producing juicy fruits. Place your kiwi pot in a sunny location. You can keep the pot in a sunny south or west-facing wall if you are living in a cooler climate.
As you are using a potting mix for growing kiwi berries in a pot so there is no need for fertilizer after the first year of planting. The best time for adding amendments to the soil is when your plant starts giving you fruit.
But in the spring of the second year, you can apply 2 ounces of 10-10-10 fertilizer per plant. You can increase the amount with the passage of the year but don’t exceed the amount of 8 ounces per plant.
As it is mentioned that your kiwi berries like to grow well-drained so avoid overwatering. Whenever you feel the soil is dry, water your plants. The plants need more water in summer due to hot weather.
With the help of your finger, you can find the soil is dry then water plants so they can drink it. Remember drought-stressed plants produce smaller fruits.
Kiwi berries are vines that you are growing in your pot but when they grow taller they need some support for growth. The Kiwi vines will twist counter-clockwise around the structure.
A T-bar trellis system is a good option for providing support to your kiwi berries. You can also use decorative structures. There are many benefits of the trellis. Harvesting becomes very easy and you can pick the fruits.
Your plants will get proper air circulation and you can maintain them as you can reach all parts of the plant.
The kiwi berries ripen in late July to August and harvest may extend into late October. You can enjoy weeks of fresh fruits. You can eat them without peeling. These berries are a healthy source of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.
- The cool night temperature helps in ripening.
- When the berries are immature they are glossy, opaque, and hard.
- When the berries ripen they become dull, translucent, and soft when you squeeze them.
It is better to eat when kiwi berries are fresh but you can also keep them in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. If you want to extend the storage life of berries then follow these steps.
- The first step is to separate all the form berries from the soft ones.
- The second step is to remove all the debris and damage fruit.
- Now place the firm berries in a special type of plastic fruit storage bags. These bags are specially designed to absorb fruit ripening ethylene gas. You can buy these bags from any grocery store.