How to Transplant Established Grape Vines


Grape vines are versatile, providing shade and privacy when grown over an arbor. Grapes block an unsightly view growing up a fence. The vines have beautiful green leaves, aren't fussy growers and come back year after year. And of course there is the added bonus of fresh fruit. Sometimes a grape vine will outgrow the space it's in and need to be moved.

Step 1

Wait until the grapevine has lost its leaves and gone dormant. Early spring after the last average date of frost but before the vine has leafed is a good time for transplanting.

Step 2

Trim the grapevine back to its trunk and two lateral branches on each side of the trunk. Prune the lateral branches back to 2 feet.

Step 3

Dig the hole for the grapevine's new home. The hole should be at least two feet deep and wide. Add two buckets of compost to the removed soil and mix in well.

Step 4

Dig the grapevine up. Plunge the shovel into the soil 8 to 10 inches away from the trunk working your way around the trunk in a circle. Major roots that are holding the grapevine in place may be clipped with a pruner, rather than trying to yank them out. Try to keep as much of the roots intact as possible.

Step 5

Put the grapevine and root ball on an old bath towel. Wrap the towel around the root ball. Move the grapevine to its new home by carrying the towel or placing the towel and root ball in a bucket or wheel barrow.

Step 6

Refill the hole so it is the same width and depth as the root ball. When the root ball is planted it should be flush with the ground. The soil should reach to the same point on the trunk in the new hole as it did in the old location. Place the grapevine in the hole. Water well. If it is fall water again in a week and then go back to your normal watering schedule. In the spring, water the vine every three days for the first few weeks if there isn't enough rain to keep the soil moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Pruners
  • Compost
  • Bucket
  • Bath towel


  • "The Country Garden"; Charlie Ryrie; 2003

Who Can Help

  • Arizona Master Gardener Manual
Keywords: transplanting grape vines, transplant grapevines, moving a grapevine

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.