How to Ripen a Kiwi Fruit

Updated April 17, 2017

Sweet and tangy, the kiwi makes a fantastic snack or addition to a salad. A native of China, the kiwi was first harvested in New Zealand in 1906 and spread slowly westward before farmers fertilised it in the United States in the late 1960s. The durable kiwi can survive between four to six months in the refrigerator but will ripen in a paper bag at room temperature. Kiwifruit experts Professors Charles Mainland and Connie Fisk of the North Carolina State University Department of Horticulture Sciences recommend taking the following steps to maximise your kiwi sweetness.

Store a rock-hard kiwi in the refrigerator. A soft kiwi will not last for four to six months in a refrigerator because it has already begun or completed the ripening process.

Isolate kiwi from ethylene-producing fruit such as pears and apples in the refrigerator to avoid having it ripen before you are ready. Ethylene naturally expedites the ripening process of any fruit within its range of exposure.

Remove the kiwi from the refrigerator and store in a paper bag at room temperature when you're ready. Paper bags make effective kiwi storage units because paper is penetrable and allows for greater air circulation than a plastic bag. Fully-ripened kiwi should be squeezable but not mushy.


Speed ripening by placing an apple or pear in the paper bag with the kiwi.


Avoid buying kiwis with rotten spots indicated by visibly darker patches under the fuzz.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper bag
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About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.