How to Start Grapes From Cuttings

Overview

Grape vines do not grow true from seed--the characteristics you like in the parent plant may not be present in a plant grown from the seeds. To keep these characteristics, you need to produce a genetically identical plant by making cuttings from the parent plant. Cuttings are also a good way to replace vines that die or are damaged in your established vineyard. Most grape varieties are fairly easy to grow from cuttings.

Step 1

Take your cuttings in late fall or early winter. Cut a length of vine that contains three or four buds.

Step 2

Make the lower cut just under the bottom bud and make the top cut one to two inches above the top bud. This extra length above the top bud makes it easier to identify which end of the cutting is the top.

Step 3

Bundle the cuttings for easy carrying and store them at 32 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4

Remove your grape vine cuttings from storage as soon as your soil can be worked in the spring.

Step 5

Plant your cuttings in a nursery plot to allow them to start growing well before adding them to your vineyard. If you are just planting a vine or two for a home garden, you can plant them in their permanent space.

Step 6

Prepare a nursery plot in a well-drained, sunny site which does not receive rainwater runoff from nearby buildings.

Step 7

Amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure before planting, for best growth.

Step 8

Make a furrow 6 to 7 inches deep and plant the cuttings in it with the top cuts facing upward. Space your rows 3 to 4 feet apart, with 6 inches between cuttings in a nursery row and 5 to 8 feet between cuttings if placing them in their permanent location.

Step 9

Fill in the trench around each cutting and firm the soil around it, leaving the top bud above the soil surface. The vine's shoots will grow from this bud and roots will grow from the underground buds.

Step 10

Water on a regular schedule to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 11

Check your newly planted grape cuttings closely for signs of pests or disease. These problems can kill your young grape plants quickly. Remove right away any diseased plants you find and avoid working between rows when the leaves are wet, to avoid spreading diseases.

Step 12

Transplant your nursery-grown cuttings into their permanent location early the next spring.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure the top and bottom is clearly distinguishable on your cuttings--if they are planted upside down they will not grow.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Compost or well-rotted manure
  • Hoe or shovel

References

  • Ohio State University: Midwest Grape Production Guide
  • New Mexico State University: Vineyard Propagation from Cuttings

Who Can Help

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Grapes for Home Use
Keywords: grape vine, grape vine cutting, grape cutting

About this Author

Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer living and working in Minnesota. She began freelancing in 2008. Mansfield's work has appeared in online sites and publications such as theWAHMmagazine, for parents who work at home, and eHow. She is an active member of Absolute Write and Writer's Village University.