About Kiwifruit Propagation
Kiwifruit have both male and female vines, and are pollinated by insects which transfer pollen from the male to the female flowers. Commercial growers use cuttings to ensure their plants will be true to type, but seeds from any kiwifruit can also be planted. The new vines will not be identical to the parent plant, but may still produce edible fruit.
The Right Climate
Kiwifruit originated in Asia. The grocery store version, with its fuzzy skin, is a native of China. Hardy kiwifruit have smaller, smooth-skinned fruits and are native to Siberia. Both will grow best in USDA Zones 7 through 9. With adequate water, fuzzy kiwifruit will also grow in Zone 10. Hardy kiwifruit can tolerate much colder temperatures and will grow at least to Zone 4.
What You Need
Collect the following supplies:
- One or more ripe kiwis; organic seeds may produce better.
- Potting soil mixed with coarse sand to promote drainage and additional peat moss for acidity.
- Containers two to three inches deep with good drainage.
- A grow light or green house to ensure lots of light.
- A water source; initially, you’ll mist the seeds.
- Paper towels.
- A glass or mug.
- Plastic wrap or baggie.
Preparing the Seeds
Scoop the seeds from your fruit. Some people place the pulp in a blender with extra water to separate the seeds. Others rinse them thoroughly in water and strain until completely clean. Soak the seeds in lukewarm water in a warm place for one week. Change water daily. Once the seeds start to open, you’re ready to plant.
Soak a paper towel in warm water and spread it on a plate. Drain the seeds well and use tweezers to place seeds about one inch apart on the paper towel. Cover the plate loosely with plastic warp, poke a few holes in it for air circulation and place in a warm, sunny spot. Seeds should sprout in about two days – choose the ones that sprout first for planting.
Use tweezers to place sprouted seeds about two or three inches apart in pots filled with moist soil mix. Cover with a very thin dusting of potting soil. Mist seeds thoroughly and place the pots in a warm spot in full sun or under a grow light. Keep soil moist. When sprouts are several inches tall, transplant to larger pots or the outdoors.