Kiwi is a unique plant that prefers full sun, but can often grow just as well with only indirect light. The bottom line is that kiwi needs a bare minimum of 6 hours of light, whether direct or indirect. Kiwi is also a fruit that enjoys full, afternoon sun. In many cases, plants need protection from the sun later in the day, but as long as temperatures are not extremely harsh, kiwi will do fine in full afternoon sun. This is particularly true in climates that are warm, but not humid. Kiwi prefers dry, hot air to a moist environment.
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How Many Hours of Sun Do Kiwi Plants Need?
Kiwi plants need a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day, but will do well with a full day of indirect sun. With the exception of Arctic Kiwi, all kiwi varieties should have exposure to full sun or indirect light. In climates where humidity is low, most kiwi vines do well with direct sunlight all day, even in the afternoon when temperatures are typically the warmest.
- Kiwi vines should have 6 hours a day of full sun.
- Indirect sunlight is also sufficient in most cases.
- In dry climates, day-long sun is usually not harmful to kiwi plants.
Don’t be afraid to allow your kiwi to bask in the afternoon sun, provided there is not excessive humidity. If humidity is high, however, opt for indirect light, as this will balance the environment for your plants and prevent wilting from too much sun and humidity.
Can Kiwi Plants Grow in Indirect Sunlight?
Kiwi plants can grow in indirect sunlight. In many cases, as long as temperatures are warm and they get adequate indirect sun, they may grow just as healthy and robust as they would if they were grown in full sun.
- Kiwi can grow and thrive in indirect sunlight.
- Making sure your plants get a full day of indirect light is the key to a successful harvest in the absence of full sun.
The key to growing kiwi in indirect sunlight is making sure they get lots of it. Although they prefer full sun, if you optimize indirect sunlight, you can achieve success with this plant.
Can Kiwi Plants Grow in Shade?
Kiwi plants will not do well in the shade. They may grow to a certain extent, but it is unlikely they will produce fruit. In most cases, if grown in total shade, kiwi plants will never reach maturity. Because kiwi is a vine, it will grow rapidly and in various directions to try to find light if none is available.
- Kiwi vines will not thrive in full shade.
- A poor harvest and overgrowth of foliage typically occur if no direct sun is provided.
- Arctic Kiwi can be grown in shade. For this variety, shade is recommended.
If your kiwi is deprived of sunlight, you may also end up with foliage overgrowth and no fruit. Arctic Kiwi is the exception to this rule. The Arctic variety should be planted and grown in full shade. Full sun could actually harm this type of kiwi unless it only receives direct sunlight in very small doses.
What Happens if Kiwi Plants Don’t Get Enough Sun?
If kiwis do not get enough sun, you can anticipate poor growth. This all depends on how much they are deprived of sun. For example, if your kiwi gets 4 hours of full sun a day, rather than the recommended 6, you may not see a significant difference. However, if kiwi plants only receive an hour or two of sun each day, you can expect to have a much lower fruit yield, and the flavor of the fruit may not be as robust.
- Sun-deprived kiwi may not taste as good.
- Slow or poor growth can occur if not enough sunlight is provided for your kiwi plants.
- Overgrowth of foliage is common if kiwi is light deprived.
You may also end up with an abundance of foliage, and a leggy appearance to your plants. If you can’t expose your kiwis to full sun, opt for day-long indirect sun. Indirect sunlight is often enough to keep your plants healthy enough to produce a good harvest.
Can Kiwi Plants Get Too Much Sun?
Kiwi plants can get too much sun, but usually, the danger of sun deprivation is worse than the hazards associated with too much full sun. Signs that you are overdoing it with direct sunlight include leaf scorch, which is evidenced by the browning of the edges of your plant’s leaves, and dark spots on the fruit itself.
- Kiwi plants can get too much sun.
- Leaf scorch and brown spots on the fruit are signs that the plants are overexposed to the sun.
- If there is little or no humidity, it’s unlikely that kiwi plants will be harmed by the sun.
A combination that is particularly bad for kiwi plants is too much sun and too much humidity. Kiwi fruit thrives in very warm temperatures, but prefers a low-humidity environment. Therefore, an environment of 90°F (32℃) with low humidity is actually better than an environment of 80°F (27℃) with high humidity.
Kiwi Plant Sun Requirements
Hardy kiwis can thrive in a variety of sun conditions, although certain kiwi varieties have more specialized needs. Here are the keys to growing the best kiwi:
- Kiwi plants should have 6 hours of full sun each day.
- A full day of indirect light is often sufficient for most kiwi varieties.
- It is not necessary to give the Arctic Kiwi variety full sun exposure—indirect light is perfect.
- Afternoon sun does not typically harm kiwi plants.
- Kiwi is partial to warm temperatures, light, and low humidity.
By providing plenty of light, you’ll grow an abundance of delicious kiwi fruits. Whether you plant your kiwi where it receives a lot of direct light or a location where it mostly gets indirect sunlight, your plant will find a way to thrive.