Skip to Content

All About the Green Kiwi

Thin, fuzzy skin and soft, juicy inner flesh filled with black seeds–that’s the definition of kiwi fruit. Over 40 different species of kiwis fit that description. Of those, the green kiwi is among the highest in demand, so no wonder you’re interested in growing them!

Green kiwis on a table.

Even if you’ve cared for a vine fruit before, you may feel nervous about nurturing a kiwi vine. Rest assured that these delicious fruits are not only worth the effort, but they’re easier to grow than you may think! Learning about them here could prepare you.

History of the Green Kiwi

Originating in central and eastern China, the green kiwi was primarily used as medicine until New Zealander farmers began growing them in the early 20th century. Though the New Zealanders initially called it a “Chinese gooseberry” because its taste and appearance resembled those of a real gooseberry, they later noted that its furry skin reminded them of the kiwi bird. Thus, the fruit was rebranded in 1959.

Closeup of kiwi fruit growing on a vine.

The new name made the fruit sound more appetizing to potential customers, so they quickly became more popular. Nowadays, you’ll find green kiwis growing commercially not only in New Zealand, but in California, Italy, Chile, Greece, France, Turkey, South Africa, South Korea, Japan, and of course, their native China.

Characteristics of Green Kiwis

There is no fruit quite like the green kiwi. Once you know what sets it apart, you’ll know not only how to spot one, but why buying them is always an excellent idea.


The hairy skin is one of the most unique traits of the kiwi. In the green variety, the skin and hair are brownish in color. The fruit itself is shaped like a plump oval about two to three inches in length and two inches in diameter.

Whole and cut green kiwis on a table.

Inside is squishy, bright green flesh with a paler green circle in the center, surrounded by a ring of black seeds.


With its slightly acidic juice, the inner flesh of a ripe kiwi is refreshingly sweet yet tart. Though not everyone cares for the fuzzy texture of the outer skin, that’s edible, too; it tastes like the inner flesh, but with a hint of bitterness.

Health Benefits

There’s a reason why green kiwis were highly respected as medicines in ancient China. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients that make you healthier. Here are the most prominent ones:

Vitamin C

Green kiwis are rich in vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and aid to collagen production. It boosts your immune system, hydrates skin, grows healthy hair, and prevents medical conditions like cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

Vitamin K

Who doesn’t want strong bones blood that doesn’t clot? Vitamin K handles that, and kiwis are brimming with it. Together with the small amounts of phosphorus and calcium that are also in kiwis, eating them reduces the odds of developing osteoporosis.

Vitamin E

To prevent diseases and boost the immune system, the body needs all kinds of antioxidants, including vitamin E. Fortunately, it’s abundant in green kiwis. Vitamin E also assists your body in fixing any damage done to your vision, brain, blood, and skin.

Closeup of green kiwi fruit.


Your body needs fiber to keep your heart, blood, and digestive system healthy. Since kiwis are full of fiber, snacking on them reduces the odds that you’ll develop heart disease, have trouble processing food, or suffer from high levels of bad cholesterol.


Like fiber, potassium is great at regulating blood pressure, which makes it essential for heart health. It also stops your body from producing kidney stones. Fortunately, green kiwis contain plenty of potassium as well.


There are several types of vitamin B, and folate is one of them. It’s responsible for proper cell growth and formation, especially in the blood. In fact, it can help treat anemia and encourage the healthy development of a fetus. You’ll find plenty of it in kiwis.


As a nervous system regulator and mood stabilizer, serotonin promotes communication between your body and brain. It’s present in green kiwis, so you may feel happier even long after you eat them. You may even sleep better!

Ideas for Eating Green Kiwis

You can’t go wrong eating a raw green kiwi; its luscious texture and tangy taste never fail to satisfy. However, some recipes use them as an ingredient. If you want to have even more fun with these fruits, check out these ideas!

Green kiwis cut in half.

Minty Fruit Salad

Sliced kiwi goes beautifully with any type of fruit salad, but this minty version is particularly intriguing. Toss the kiwi slices with with some mint leaves, orange chunks, toasted almond pieces, and a honey-ginger sauce, and you’ve got a unique appetizer for any meal. Kishu mandarins would be especially nice to pair with green kiwis in this recipe!

Chia Seed Jam

If you want to add a smooth, invigorating taste to other items you eat, a sugarless kiwi chia seed jam could be your new go-to. Made by mixing cooked apples, lime rind, and green kiwi slices with with vanilla flavoring and chia seeds, this jam wonderfully complements toast, crackers, pastries, pies, and even meat.

Closeup of a jar of kiwi jam.

Fish Tacos

Acidic foods give a delightful spark to the salty, briny flavor of seafood. That’s why fish tacos with kiwi salsa are so scrumptious. Red cabbage, red onion, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, salt, and lime juice mix with the kiwi slices to create the perfect combination of spiciness and tanginess.


For dessert, amplify the sweet side of green kiwis by making them into a sorbet. After blending frozen kiwi slices with some lime juice, you don’t even need to add any sugar to enjoy this delectable treat.

Where to Buy Kiwi Fruit

If those recipes whet your appetite, we’ve got great news — green kiwi fruit is readily available in grocery stores all across the country! In fact, you might be hard-pressed to not find them in your local produce department. So you can enjoy deliciously tart and tangy kiwis today

How to Grow Green Kiwis

Of course, before using green kiwis in any recipe, you must know how to grow them.

Kiwis growing on a vine.


When spring is far enough long that you don’t have to worry about frost or cold weather, install a pergola, trellis, or fence in an area of your yard that gets plenty of sunlight but not much wind. Make sure the soil is well-drained, too, or the roots may rot.

Plant your male and female kiwi vines about 10 to 15 feet apart so that they grow neatly rather than becoming tangled in each other.

Basic Care

As the vines grow, guide them around the structure where you’ve planted them. One season’s worth of kiwi fruits could weigh about 100 pounds, so the vines need ample support. Water the roots only when the weather is too hot and dry for rain. After the first year, start applying fertilizer or soybean meal to the soil every spring.

Prune the female vines while they’re dormant in winter; the male vines can wait until after they’ve bloomed. Both vines should be pruned at least two or three times from late fall to early spring.


If you’ve been consistent with your upkeep, your vine should produce green kiwis after three to five years. They’re typically ready to harvest in the fall, when the flesh is soft yet firm enough to stay intact when touched. The fuzzy outer skin will have reached its familiar brownish hue.

A man picking a kiwi fruit.

Remove the kiwis from the vine by gently pulling from the stem. They’ll stay good for up to six weeks in the fridge.

Where to Buy Kiwi Vines

If we’ve gotten you fired up for growing kiwis in your own garden, remember that kiwis are a package deal in that you’ll need a male and a female plant. Luckily, you can find both of them on Amazon!

Treat Yourself to a Fresh Green Kiwi!

Now that you understand the basics of green kiwis, you’re ready to grow your own and make them a regular part of your diet!

Closeup of white kiwi blossoms.
Kiwi blossoms.

Are you curious to learn more about kiwis? Head over to our Kiwis page where you’ll find all our kiwi-related resources including profiles of different kinds of kiwis, plus growing and care guides to help you at each step along the way of making kiwis part of your home garden!