How to Trim Muscadine Grape Vines


One of the hardiest grape varieties (disease- and insect-resistant), muscadine grapevines usually grow in the southeastern United States. They can establish and thrive at any time of year and grow rapidly. Muscadines can be grown for wine, fresh fruit or just aesthetic appeal, as they wrap around a trellis or arbor. Pruning is very important to muscadine production.

Step 1

Choose the main trunk in the fall of the first year by picking out the one that is the strongest-looking and most healthy. Secure this trunk to the trellis with a piece of twine, and prune away all the other side branches.

Step 2

Trim the muscadine again in late fall of the second growing year. You want to prune it so that you have the main trunk, and then pick out the strongest canes on either side of the trunk. Trim back all the growth around the trunk and two main canes. Prune the two main canes back so they each have only four buds, which will encourage more growth of the vine. This will encourage more fruit production.

Step 3

Prune back the vines every winter (when it is dormant) of the following years. This means that all the new growth will be cut back to two or three new buds on the canes, promoting increased fruit production.

Step 4

Pinch off the wood at the top of the muscadine vine. Harvest grape clusters with the pruning scissors.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning scissors
  • Pruning shears
  • Gardening gloves, if desired


  • Texas Gardener: Muscadine Grapes
  • University of Florida: Schedule for Grape Production
Keywords: pruning muscadines, pruning grapes, muscadine vine care

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.