Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners

Grapes - Care and Propagation


There are several methods of rooting grapes. However, none are 100 percent successful.

The first method is called layering. Some of the canes are allowed to lay on or touch the ground and then partially covered with soil. The end should be exposed and allowed to grow. Roots should form on the stem buried under the soil. The newly rooted cane is separated from the mother plant and replanted.

Cuttings can be taken anytime in the late fall until plants are leafing out in the spring. Cuttings should consist of at least five buds off the previous year's growth. A single cane could yield four or five cuttings. Make sure you notice which end of the cutting is closest to the plant. Some people prefer to make an angle cut at the base of the cutting (closest to the plant) and a small cutting at the top. This makes it easier to remember which end is planted (the angled end.)

Early spring cuttings can be directly rooted into the soil. Make sure the soil is loose and well drained. Dip the cutting in a rooting hormone and into the soil. At least two buds should be buried. Cuttings should start budding and rooting within a month. Allow a year's growth before transplanting.

Fall cuttings should be stored, covered in damp, wrung out sphagnum moss. Place moss and cuttings in a plastic bag and keep cool, using an old refrigerator is available. Loosely seal the plastic bag. Check on the condition of cuttings throughout the winter. If mold is present, open the bag and allow the moss to dry out. If cuttings appear dry and shriveling, moisten sphagnum moss.

Follow above steps for rooting the cuttings in the spring.

Choose only disease free, top quality grapes for propagating.

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Bagging grapes as soon as possible after the flowers have dropped makes finer quality fruit, prevents stains  and bloom-rubs, wards off insects and diseases and  stealing by birds and lengthens the grape season. It  consists in placing a 2-or 3-pound size grocery bag  around each cluster that promises good shape and  large size, folding the top over a supporting branch  rather than the cluster and fastening with pins or  paper clips, then cutting a hole in each lower corner  to let water (if any) drain away. 

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See also: Grape Vines

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