How to prune kiwis

Kiwis are pruned throughout the year

You may want to have a kiwi in your garden and have doubts about how to care for it. Pruning is important for the kiwi tree, since it helps to suppress the shoots and branches so that the driest parts are removed and can better stimulate their growth.

To prune kiwis, we have to bear in mind that there are different types of pruning for them and that male and female specimens are not pruned exactly the same. Do you want to know how kiwis are pruned?

How to prune kiwis?

Kiwi pruning is important

The kiwi is a plant to which two types of pruning are carried out. Let's get to know each one in detail:

Formation pruning

Training pruning is important so that our plant maintains a strong structure and can support the main branches well. This training pruning is done during the first 3 or 4 years of age of our kiwi and in the winter time. At this time, the plant is inactive and can be guided only on a single trunk and a pair of lateral arms.

In this type of pruning no differentiation between male and female specimens.

Fruiting pruning

kiwi pruning scheme

This pruning is the most important so that the tree can obtain a good balance between vegetative growth and fruit production. This pruning is carried out both in winter and in summer and is different in the case of male or female specimens.

Winter pruning for female specimens

With this pruning we are defining the level of fruit production given the number of branches and buds of each plant. Kiwifruit only bears fruit on the shoots born in that year on the branches formed the previous year. It never bears fruit where it has already produced.

Therefore, this forces us to make a good distribution of the buds that are fruitful, eliminating the lateral branches that have already produced.

Winter pruning for male specimens

This pruning serves to get the largest number of production companies possible. The oldest and weakest branches or those that shade the female plant have to be removed.

Summer pruning for female plants

This pruning is done to remove some uninteresting shoots for fruiting and vegetation is reduced. In this way it is possible to increase the ventilation and illumination of the renewal shoots. This pruning is done in mid-spring.

Summer pruning of male plants

This pruning is done at the end of flowering and is done to avoid shading female plants after pollination and ensure the necessary and sufficient renewal wood for the next season.

When are kiwis pruned?

As we have commented above, each type of pruning is done at a specific time of the year. For example, training pruning, as it consists of removing entire branches, is done at the end of winter, since that is when the sap still circulates slowly but increasingly faster, something that contributes to the rapid healing of pruning wounds.

On the other hand, summer pruning consists of removing green and therefore thinner stems, so the loss of sap is less.

When are kiwis harvested?

Kiwis are harvested in the fall

Kiwis are harvested in the fall. In Spain, it is usually between October and November, but it can be earlier or later depending on weather conditions. For example: in warmer climates they ripen earlier than in cooler ones. In any case, we will know that they are ripe if they have reached the right size, that is, more or less 5-6 centimeters long by 3-4 centimeters wide, and if we gently press a little bit, we notice that to be soft

Later, you can consume it directly after having removed the shell, or put it in the fridge where it can remain for up to a month, or in the fruit bowl, although if you choose to leave it there you will have to eat it soon as it spoils quickly.

I hope that with this information you can prune your kiwis without any problem.

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  1.   Joaquin Barreiro said

    In 2018 I had kiwis for the first time but in 2019 and now 2020 not one. These 2 years I pruned both the male and the 2 females in December-January following the indications of a neighbor who also has them. I did not touch him again and the result was ZERO KIWIS.
    I do not know if there was even flowering because in June, July and August I cannot verify it. There are also vine branches that can reach (not cover) something.
    I thank you for guiding me and explaining what I should do.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Joaquin.

      If you have pruned them these last two years and they have not borne fruit, we recommend not pruning them 🙂

      Each teacher has his booklet as they say. And each plant has its own needs. What goes well for one can be fatal for another.

      So, that, zero pruning. You can if you want to fertilize them with mulch or compost, once every 15 days from spring until they finish bearing fruit.


      1.    Joaquin Barreiro said

        Hello Monica, thank you very much for your recommendation, I will try to see if we are right.
        Best regards from Joaquín

        1.    Monica Sanchez said

          Good luck Joaquin. If you have more questions, we will be here. Greetings!

  2.   Isabel alonso said

    I have a health problem and it is impossible for me to prune kiwis in Galicia for two months. (Beginning of April). Would it greatly affect the health of the plant? Or is it better to leave it untouched?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello isbael.

      You better not be able to do it this year. In April the plant is already growing at a good rate, and if it is pruned it can be greatly weakened.