Kiwifruit Grower's Notes

Grower's Notes

Types of Kiwifruit

The two most popular varieties of kiwifruit are Actinidia Deliciosa ( green kiwifruit ) and Actinidia Chinensis ( gold kiwifruit ). Aside from the flesh color, golden kiwi are softer, sweeter, less hairy, and are known to fetch better prices than their green counterparts, such as the popular Hayward variety.

Male and Female Kiwifruit

Gendered crops

Kiwifruit plants are gendered.

  • Females are the fruiting plants.
  • Males are non-fruiting but needed for pollination because Varieties flower at different times and require a compatible Male.

See SNZI's variety details for a list of all of our Female and Male kiwifruit varietals.

Growing Profile

Optimal Growing Conditions

Kiwifruit is a commercial crop in several countries, such as China, Italy, New Zealand, Chile, Greece, and France. Its popularity is growing in new markets such as Central California (USA), and South Africa.

What are the essentials concerning kiwifruit growing worldwide?

  • Climate. Deliciosa varieties grow best in climates which feature 700 hours chilling below 44°F (7°C); with gradual cooling in the fall without a severe freeze, 240 frost free days growing season and not too much wind. Chinesis varieties grow best with only 150 hours or less of chilling below 44°F (7°C).
  • Water needs. Available irrigation not just rain because more water is needed than used by grapes or peaches at ET coefficient of 1.1 and an ability to irrigate more than once per week for 6 summer months.
  • Soil. With good drainage and low in salinity (EC < 0.5 micromhos) 
  • Trellis. Good T-bar or pergola trellis to support vines and fruit weighing 150 kilos per vine.
  • Temperature (Highs). Kiwifruit grow well in hot summer areas with maximum temperatures up to 104°F (40°C). Climates with temperature highs of 95°F (35°C) are best. For kiwifruit to thrive in higher temperatures, adequate (8,000-10,000 gallons per acre) water must be provided daily for the plants. 
  • Temperature (Lows). Kiwifruit handle winter frosts because they are dormant, or adjust to lows of 21°F (-6°C).
  • Light. Full Sun (preferable)
  • Shade: Tolerates moderate shade
  • Moisture: Medium
  • pH: 5.5 to 7.2

Special Considerations for Growing: 

  • Tolerant of most garden conditions, but really needs well drained soils (mounds?)
  • Does not tolerate late spring frosts well - kiwis leaf out early and young shoots are not frost resistant

About Kiwifruit

Although there are approximately 50 types of kiwi fruit, the commercially-viable varieties are typically categorized as green and gold. . 

Learn more about kiwifruit classifications & nutrition.