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Commercial kiwiberry production in Minnesota

Quick facts

  • To produce fruit, plant at least one male plant for every six to eight female plants.
  • Arctic Beauty, Actinidia kolomikta, is the best choice for Minnesota growers interested in planting for profit.
  • Kiwiberry grows best in well-drained, aerated, moisture-retentive, slightly acidic soil.
  • New vines take four to five years to train for production.
  • Vines need to be pruned throughout the seasons.
  • Kiwiberry vines need sturdy support for growth.

This page contains information for commercial fruit growers. If you are interested in growing kiwiberry in your home yard or garden, see Growing kiwiberry in the home garden.

Kiwiberry is an exciting new fruit crop for Minnesota, and many aspects of production are still in the research phase. We have compiled some region-specific production recommendations based on our research to date, and will continue to update information as we discover more. 

Keep up with the latest kiwiberry research on the University of Minnesota Fruit Research site, and follow us on Instagram @umnfruit

For general production information, take a look at resources developed by Oregon State University and the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station

Selecting kiwiberry plants

Kiwifruit is in the genus Actinidia, which includes about 80 species that are native to the forests of eastern Asia. Two species, Actinidia kolomikta and Actinidia arguta, can be grown for fruit in Minnesota and similar regions. These species have become known as kiwiberries because they produce grape-sized berries with a flavor similar to fuzzy kiwifruit, but a bit sweeter. Unlike the larger fuzzy kiwi, kiwiberries have thin, smooth skin and do not need to be peeled before eating. 

A third species, Actinidia polygama, can also be grown in this region. The fruit has an unusual spicy, green-peppery flavor that some people find too strong. 

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Site, soil and mulch

In the wild, trees shade the trunks of kiwifruit vines. The tops of the plant receive sunlight by growing up into the forest canopy. Successful vine growth and fruit production in a cultivated setting can be achieved by imitating environmental conditions found in its native habitat. 

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Training and pruning

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Vineyard management

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Managing pests and challenges

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History of kiwifruit production in the Upper Midwest

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Emily Hoover, Extension horticulture specialist; Jim Luby, horticulture professor, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; Bob Guthrie, volunteer kiwiberry curator; Emily Tepe, fruit researcher; Seth Wannemuehler, graduate student

Reviewed in 2019

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