Grapevines have been propagated from cuttings for centuries. This saves money spent on new plants and produces a genetically identical plant, preserving the characteristics of heritage varieties. Newer hybrid varieties may be patented and a special license may be required to propagate them.
The main factor in the successful propagation of vines by cuttings is high humidity. In high-humidity areas, cuttings can be placed directly into the vineyard to root. In most areas, they need to be rooted in the greenhouse or in a sunny window for planting the next year.
Take cuttings of grapevines for propagation while pruning the vineyard, during the dormant season, preferably in the early spring. Choose healthy, vigorous sections of vine from the center of the cane. Cut a section with five to six buds. Do not use the tip of the cane--older wood is best.
Cut the bottom of the grape cane straight across using a sharp knife. Make the cut just below a node and avoid crushing the stem.
Cut the tip of the cane at a 45 degree angle about 1 inch above the node.
Plant the cutting in a small pot of potting mix. Place the cutting vertically into the soil so there is one node above ground level and the second node is planted at ground level with the slanted cut facing up.
Water the grapevine cuttings and cover them loosely with plastic. Lift the plastic and mist the plants three times a day until the roots begin to develop. Keep the soil moist.
Remove the plastic once the roots are growing. Continue to keep the soil moist and mist the grapevine cuttings two to three times a day.
Move the rooted grapevines outdoors slowly the next fall before transplanting. The vines should be well-rooted and leaves should be present. Continue to water as needed to keep the soil moist during this time.
Place the new grapevines in the vineyard for a few hours, increasing the time outdoors by a few hours daily until the vines are hardened off and ready to transplant in the vineyard. Once the cuttings have leafed out and formed roots, they can be placed outside, first in the shade, and then planted out in the vineyard.