Kiwi – Growing

Q: I have had a kiwi vine for five years. Last summer, it had its first bloom. Is there anything I can do to make it bloom and bear fruit?

A: Growing a kiwi is surely a task for a patient garden gambler. The vines are not reliably cold-hardy in Atlanta so you have to protect them in severe winter weather. On the other hand, it grows so rapidly you’d think you had a rival to kudzu on your hands. It is this rapid growth
that makes a kiwi delay setting blooms and fruit. For the first several years it makes tremendous shoot and root growth, at the expense of its flowers. I think the best strategy is to fertilize a vine for the first three years, then stop for a year and see what happens. Thereafter, use a cup of 5-10-15 per vine each spring until the year it finally blooms. When the vine has bloomed and the fruit is forming you can use a cup of 10-10-10 to increase the amount of energy-gathering foliage.

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