*Kiwi planting zones are as follows;
Argutas-zones 5-9, Kolomikta’s-zones 3-9, and Delicious Fuzzy kiwi-zones 7-9
Growing kiwi from seed takes time, and along with time you need patience. For the purpose of this article we will talk about planting seeds instead of plants. First, we need to extract the seeds from the fruit. I know, you are thinking, you kidding, do you know how small those things are? Yes they are small and there are lots of them in one fruit; and they are incased in goo.
First thing first; purchase a ripe kiwi, it is best to buy a few for plenty of seeds. The more seeds you have the better. Kiwi seeds are male and female and there are more female seeds than male, thus the more seeds you can collect the better off you are. With many seeds you still will not know if you have a male plant or female plant until they start to bloom which will be years, so the more plants you can grow for the first two years the more likelihood you will have at least a few male plants. One male plant will pollinate up to 8 female plants.
Extracting kiwi seeds from the fruit
Before you extract your seeds you will need a few things.
- A small jar with a lid (a baby food jar works very well)
- Spoon or knife (a butter knife does well, I prefer a spoon)
- A sharp knife for cutting open your kiwi
- Peroxide for later (helps sterilize the seed, to better guarantee sprouting)
- A strainer with very very small holes (smaller than the seeds if possible)
- A small bowl
- Dry paper towels
- Fill your jar about ½ way up with water.
- Cut open your kiwi with your sharp knife.
- Take your spoon or butter knife and scrape the seeds into the jar. (you can use several jars so not to have many seeds in one jar if you are using more than one kiwi.
- Put your lids onto your jars.
- After the lids are tight, shake your seeds in the water (shaking hard will NOT, damage your seeds. The idea is to try and get as much goo off the seeds as possible.
- Drain the water out of the jar using your strainer to catch the seeds. Do this over your empty bowl to catch any seeds.
- Repeat 4-6 times or until your jar and seeds are goo free (this will take quite a few times.
- After your water is clear and mostly goo free, drain the water and pour the peroxide into the jar. You will only need the jar to be about ¼ full with peroxide.
- Soak in peroxide for around 15 to 20 minutes. This will sterilize your seeds, remove anything that might keep them from sprouting (not fool proof, but will help).
- Pour your seeds out on a dry paper towel.
Planting your seeds
To plant your seeds you will need the following:;
- Good seed starting soil (can be purchased at a local garden shop)
- Some good sterile garden soil (can be bought in a garden shop)
- Large container (to mix the two soils together)
- · Large plastic cups or small flower pots (make sure whichever one you use there is good drainage in the bottom.
- Plastic wrap
- Rubber bands
1. Mix your two soils ( 1/2 and ½, mix well)
2. Fill up your containers ¾ full with your soil mixture
3. Take your knife (butter knife, dull better than sharp so you want damage your seeds and scoop up a good amount of seeds (20 to 25 is a good number)
4. Spread your seeds onto the top of the soil (since the seeds are black and so small you really want be able to tell where they are once you have put them on the soil) just spread the best you can.
5. Fill the cups up with more soil mixture (about an inch more soil to finish filling the cups up).
6. Moisten the top of the soil (do not wet much, until the seeds start to sprout)
7. Cover cups or containers with plastic wrap seal with rubber bands.
8. Keep an eye on your seedlings; once they start to sprout take the plastic wrap off.
9. Once the plastic wrap is of water the soil well (DON’T NOT SOAK)
10. It is best to keep the containers in a sunny window and not outside, the outside will dry them out too quickly.
11. Let the seedlings grow, once they are up 2 or three inches and look hardly enough you can separate them into 3 or 4 plants into separate containers.
12. Let them grow still in a sunny window.
13. Once you have enough healthy seeds (seeds should have at least 5-7 new leaves) you can separate even more until you have one plant per container.
Once you have enough plants you can go further with transplanting. I have gotten large buckets from a grocery store bakery, the large buckets that icing comes in. When my plants were tall enough and strong enough I would transplant hopefully not to have to transplant again for a long time. I drilled holes in the bottom of the buckets for good drainage. I would fill the buckets up with purchased garden soil and line them up around a fence, so they can grow and climb like grape vines. You could also build an arbor or something else sturdy for the kiwi plant to vine on. They will grow like this for years. After around 2 years they should start to bloom. It is at this time you can tell which plant is male or female. The female flowers are also bigger than the male counter part. The males grow many stamens in the middle of the flower for which they pollinate the female; female flowers grow long stigmas in the middle with well developed ovaries to collect the pollen. It is now you can start to weed out your plants; remember one male can pollinate up to 8 females. I would suggest 2 males per 8 females. It is now you can share with your friends if you so desire.
*It is suggested that if you plants flowers the first year to pull off the flowers and not let it produce. Pulling the flowers off the first year will let your plant focus on the root system and growing stronger before bearing fruit.