Kiwi Seeds: How to Grow Kiwi from Seeds

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Growing fruits and veggies from grocery store produce has become a fun hobby for us when we get bored before spring starts! One of my favorite experiences so far was learning how to grow kiwi from seeds of yummy kiwifruit we had in the fridge. Growing kiwi seeds proved to be easy, fun, and pretty quick to get a cute little plant!

All you need to plant kiwi seeds at first is a fresh kiwi fruit, a knife and cutting board, spray bottle with water, paper towels, plastic zip-top baggie, and a marker to label it.

It literally only takes a matter of minutes to plant kiwi seeds using this method!

Harvesting Kiwi Seeds to Grow from Store-bought Kiwifruit
Harvesting Kiwi Seeds to Grow from Store-Bought Kiwifruit

But first, here’s a few things you should know.

How long does it take kiwi plants to fruit?

Most of the time, the kiwi plant bears fruit 3 to 5 years after planting. Growing conditions, kiwi variety, and other factors come into play, so your mileage may vary. If you wish to enjoy a kiwi harvest sooner, you may wish to look for established hardy kiwi vines that you can plant right in your garden.

Is a homegrown kiwi plant winter hardy?

Most likely, the kiwi you’re thinking of with the fuzzy brown skin, is more scientifically known as the Actinidia deliciosa cultivar Hayward. This kiwi is not winter hardy, depending on where you live. If you grow kiwi from seeds from grocery store kiwifruit, you may need to bring your plants indoors over the winter as they likely will not survive freezing temperatures below 10 degrees. You can also find winter hardy kiwi for sale if you want a lower maintenance kiwi plant.

How do kiwi plants produce fruit?

You need both a male kiwi plant and a female kiwi plant to pollinate the female flowers to set fruit. Male kiwi plants produce the pollen necessary to fertilize the female plants, which have the flower with the ovary that develops into delicious kiwi fruit. Determine the sex of the kiwi plant when you can inspect the flowers to identify the pollen-producing male flowers or the pollen-receiving female flowers.

How to Grow Kiwi from Seeds

Growing kiwi from seeds is easy when you set aside a few minutes to try this fun gardening trick. I usually plant kiwi seeds when I’m already cutting kiwi as a snack for my kids to eat.

Collecting Kiwi Seeds on a Knife
Collecting Seeds on a Knife from Kiwifruit

Try these tips on how to germinate kiwi seeds from store-bought fruit.

Harvesting & Planting Kiwi Seeds

First things first, you need to collect some kiwi seeds from the fruit.

  1. Fold a paper towel in half and lightly spray it with water.
  2. Cut the ends off of a kiwifruit that you’d also like to enjoy as a snack.
    • TIP – Follow these awesome tips on how to peel a kiwi fruit from my friend Bob over at Home Cook Basics! This method allows you to effortlessly remove the skin of a kiwi for easy slicing – and even easier seed collection for planting new kiwi plants! After peeling, you can also learn how to cut kiwi to reveal lots of seeds you can plant.
  3. Inspect each end of the fruit for small black kiwi seeds. If you don’t see any, move on to the kiwi slices.
  4. Use the edge of a sharp knife to gently lift a few kiwi seeds from the fruit. Try not to cut the green flesh of the kiwi, but just pick up the seeds.
  5. Lay the kiwi seeds on the wet paper towel. Space them out so they do not touch.
  6. Continue harvesting kiwi seeds from the fruit until you have at least 10. You can get more, but I have found high germination rates with store kiwi so I don’t know that you’ll need more than 10.
  7. Spray the seeds with water lightly one more time.
  8. Fold the paper towel in half again and place it inside the bag. Zip it closed.
  9. Label the bag with a permanent marker, noting the type of seeds and the date.
  10. Place the bag in a warm place such as the top of a microwave or near a heating vent.
  11. Check back in a few days and each day going forward to watch for kiwi seed germination. (Rewet the paper towels if they dry out at any point.)

Note – You can also collect kiwi seeds by running the kiwi through your food processor with some water. I don’t feel like cleaning my mini food prep processor, so I always collect the seeds manually / by hand.

Planting Seeds from Fuzzy Kiwi
Planting Seeds from Fuzzy Kiwifruit

Finding Kiwi Plants for Sale

If you’re feeling impatient and don’t want to wait several years to enjoy the fruits of your labor, try finding hardy kiwi plants for sale. You can grow these kiwi vines in your yard in zone 6 like us and enjoy a quick, though different, fruit harvest.

Some place to find kiwi plants for sale:

  • Lowe’s
  • Home Depot
  • Local nurseries and garden centers
  • Local greenhouses and plant wholesalers
  • Facebook Marketplace and similar
  • Local roadside plant stands like Stauffer’s on 663 in Pennsburg

Growing Kiwi from Seeds – Tips

Now that you know how to grow kiwi from seeds, I hope you’ll give it a shot and enjoy these sweet fruit plants. Keep in mind that you’ll likely need to bring them indoors for the winter if you live in a northern grow zone like we do.

Once your kiwi seeds germinate, you can transfer them to little nursery pots filled with potting mix. Continue to water them evenly as needed.

Germinate Seeds from Kiwi in Baggies
Germinate Seeds from Kiwi in Baggies

Kiwi plants may grow quickly once they get going. Pot up into larger flower pots as needed.

You can also put kiwi plants under grow lights to improve their growing environment until you can get them outside.

When you do move kiwi plants outside in the warmer climate, be sure to harden them off to prevent plant sunburn and other issues.

I will be sure to come back and post new pictures of my plants as they grow!

By the way, if you enjoyed this post, you might also like our post documenting our experience of learning how to grow a peach tree from seed (peach pits).

For some great insights on growing kiwi, check out this kiwi resource from Oregon State University OSU Extension.

Have you tried growing kiwi from seed? Do you have any tips or questions about how to grow kiwi? Let’s chat in the comments – we love hearing from you!

(And always feel free to share our posts if you think anyone else would benefit!)

Happy Gardening!

05.24.22 – Updated to add resources for peeling and cutting kiwi. Also added link to peach seed starting.

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