The kiwifruit - often shortened to just 'kiwi' in many parts of the world -  is the edible berry of a woody vine in the Actinidia family. Native to southern China, cultivation of the kiwifruit only recently spread from the orient in the early 20th century.

This occurred when seeds were introduced to New Zealand by Mary Isabel Fraser, the principal of Wanganui Girls' College, who had been visiting mission schools in Yichang, China. The name "kiwifruit" comes from the kiwi — a brown flightless bird and New Zealand's national symbol.

As exotic as it looks, if you live within USDA hardiness zone seven through nine, you can grow a kiwi plant from the seeds of a kiwi fruit in your garden. Just be aware that you must plant multiple plants as male and female vines are required for successful pollination

If you have the space, each kiwi plant should be spaced 10 feet apart, in order for the plants to produce kiwi fruits in three to four years. However, should space be of a premium, you can probably get away with 5 feet, but you will need to spend more time making sure each plant is fed and watered adequately  and pruned to make the most of the available light.

Growing Kiwi fruit from seed

To begin with, remove the seeds from your chosen piece of kiwi fruit and lay them on a paper towel to dry. Make sure the seeds they are placed in an area where they will remain undisturbed for two days.

Fill a seal-able plastic bag with vermiculite or perlite substrate. Add the dried kiwi seeds to the substrate, seal the bag and place it in the bottom of a refrigerator for a minimum of four months.

Once this cold period is over they are ready for potting. First, fill a 6-inch pot with sterilized potting compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Potting'. Then remove the kiwi seeds from the refrigerator and plant them in the potting soil at a depth of 1/8 of an inch and 1 inch apart.

Moisten the compost with a spray bottle of water and cover the pot with a piece of glass, clear plastic or cling film, secured with a rubber band. Place the pot in a warm area while the kiwi seeds germinate.

Remove the plastic wrap once the kiwi seeds begin to germinate, and continue spraying the kiwi seeds with water to keep the soil moist.

Place the pot in an area that receives direct sunlight for at least six hours per day.

Transplant the kiwi seedlings outdoors during the spring, in well-drained soil that preferably has an acidic pH between 5.5 to 7.0.

If you are not sure of your soil's pH you can test the soil with a shop bough pH soil tester in order to determine the acidity before planting. If necessary, amend the soil with lime raise the pH and moss-peat to lower it.

Once in the ground, water the kiwi plants each week as necessary for the first year.

Also, fertilize the young kiwi vine with a 10-10-10 fertilizer according to the label instructions. As the kiwi vine matures it will need supporting with wires or trellis.

You will also find that applying a layer of mulch around the kiwi plants will reduce weed growth and improve drainage.

Do not overwater the kiwi plants or you can cause root damage.

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