The Chinese have cultivated grapes for over 2,000 years. Kyoho, Zana and Rizamat are popular varieties used in table grape and wine production. Chinese grapevines produce the most fruit when grown in a "T" formation. Regular pruning and systems to encourage upward growth are required for the successful implementation of this method. Home gardeners can grow grapevines using common household items such as twist ties and wooden stakes. Chinese grapevines are easily propagated from hardwood cuttings.
Collect cuttings from dormant vines in January. Cuttings should be taken from the previous year's growth and be about 6 inches long and no more than a pencil size in diameter. Store cuttings in a cool, moist place until early spring.
Mix 50 percent potting soil with 50 percent perlite in a medium-sized container. Be sure the container has adequate holes for drainage.
Bury the bottom three nodes of the cuttings below the surface of the soil. The upper two nodes should be above the surface and have no buds.
Pour water over your cuttings until water runs out the bottom. Water your cuttings every one to three days but never allow the grapevines to sit in standing water.
Plant a wooden stake firmly into the soil. Take care not to damage any of the newly grown roots.
Tie your vine to the stake as it grows in order to ensure a single, sturdy trunk. Tie the vines loosely and adjust the position of the ties accordingly as your vine grows upward.
Add small amounts of fertilizer specially formulated for fruit production. Follow label directions exactly as over-fertilization can burn roots and kill vines.
Transplant your Chinese grapevines directly into the ground once they reach 12 inches in height. Find an area with eight or more hours of sunlight a day and well-draining, loamy soil. You may have to re-stake and tie the vines again.
Water your Chinese grapevines immediately after planting. Soak the soil with an open hose and continue to water your vines every two to three days, especially during periods of low rainfall. Never allow standing water to accumulate.
Continue to encourage upward growth until the vine touches the upper reaches of the stake. Add a trellis or other lateral support structure for the vine to grasp onto. This will allow easy collection of fruit and maintenance of your Chinese grapevine.
Prune dead and dying leaves throughout the year to maintain a healthy plant. During colder months, prune any lower shoots or leaves that may emerge and allow growth only on the uppermost part of the vine.