Yellow Tree

Buy Kiwifruit Plants - Step-by-step Guide

May 15, 2020

Looking to buy kiwifruit plants in New Zealand, but don’t know where to start? Read our step-by-step guide on how to purchase high quality kiwifruit plants in New Zealand, including what licenses are required.

1. Identify which kiwifruit variety you wish to grow

The traditional Zespri Green (i.e. Hayward), popular SunGold (Gold3) and innovative Zespri Red (Red19) kiwifruit each represent a different market opportunity for orchardists to explore. When choosing from the Kiwifruit varieties in New Zealand, growers need to balance the characteristics of their land and location, desired spend and the projected return-on-investment for different fruit varieties.  

The current consumer preference and higher orchard returns for SunGold kiwifruit, is driving many to favour this variety, particularly for new orchard developments.

2. Select a kiwifruit rootstock

Selecting which kiwifruit rootstock to choose is often based on the soil type and condition within your orchard but it is also worth understanding how it will influence the management and productivity of the fruiting kiwifruit scion. The right choice of rootstock for your orchard will create the best platform for productivity in future years.

The two primary rootstocks used by New Zealand growers are Bruno and Bounty71. Bruno has been commonly used as a reliable and productive rootstock by growers since the late 1970’s and is found on the majority of NZ’s Green and Gold kiwifruit orchards. Bounty is a relatively new option (released to the industry in 2012), but it is generally considered to have better tolerance to heavy, poorly drained soil conditions and may in some settings offer additional benefits to yield and fruit quality.

Our staff can provide guidance and advice to assist you with selecting the best rootstock for your orchard.

3. Select male varieties

Ordering kiwifruit plants combines your choice of kiwifruit varieties in New Zealand, with the right rootstock for your land. Growers need to choose a selection of both male and female plants in order for pollination to occur.

Female plants like the popular Gold3 (Zespri SunGold) or Hayward (Zespri Green) are paired with male plants like the M33, M91 and Chieftain. The quantity and type of male kiwifruit plants required will mostly depend on the female variety grown and the orchard layout.

At Southern Cross Horticulture, our horticulturalists design strategic orchard setups to maximise yields. We can advise you how to do the same in your orchard to produce fantastic results.

4. Check what licenses are required

In order to grow Gold or Red kiwifruit, growers need a license from Zespri. It is only necessary to hold a license for the area of land planted in Zespri Sungold and the new Zespri Red varieties. An appropriate license would be required for either conventional or organic growing.

Existing license can occasionally be purchased from another grower. Alternatively, new license released by Zespri is available through a tender process – this is typically on an annual basis. New kiwifruit growers can find information on license and becoming a grower here. Existing growers can access information through the ‘Canopy’ website.

6. Ensure plants are being supplied from a KVH-certified nursery

Sourcing disease-free, certified plants should be a priority for kiwifruit growers and investors. KVH certified nurseries all have to comply with best-practice for biosecurity risk-management, laying the foundations for healthy and sustainable New Zealand orchards.

KVH certified plants meet the standards for the KPCS (Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme) and the nurseries are aligned with HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) in order to provide a place of production free from all target organisms and/or diseases.

We can guarantee the provision of high-quality plants and seedlings that will grow your wealth faster. Furthermore, our highly trained horticultural staff can guide your decision-making processes, sharing generations of kiwifruit growing knowledge.

7. Order kiwifruit plants and vines from SCH

To find out more about our plants and plant availability please use the following nursery enquiry form, and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you’d like to know more about establishing your own kiwifruit orchard, the first step is for us to meet. We’d welcome the opportunity to visit your land, to listen to your vision, and discuss the potential to create a world-class orchard with you.

*Southern Cross Horticulture makes no warranty or representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, photographs or other published material in this publication. Southern Cross Horticulture shall not be liable to any person for loss, injury or damages arising from a person’s reliance on the published material.