How to Start Grape Vines From Seed

Overview

Grape seeds require cold storage before planting to germinate reliably. This process, known as stratification, takes from 90 to 140 days. Grape seeds planted directly in the ground have a low germination rate. Because most grapes available today are hybrids, the vines grown from their seeds do not reproduce true to variety. Most commercial grape plants are propagated by grafting or by cuttings.

Step 1

Collect seeds from vine ripened grapes in the fall for spring planting or obtain stratified seeds from a nursery or grower.

Step 2

Remove the seeds from the grape. Drop the seeds into a glass of water. Remove seeds that float; these are dead and will not sprout.

Step 3

Clean and dry the seeds and store in the freezer at 0 degrees F. Transfer the seeds to the refrigerator in December or January. Place the seeds on a paper towel moistened with a diluted fungicide solution to prevent mold and refrigerate until planting time in the spring.

Step 4

Plant the seeds in March or April, three months after removing from the freezer. Plant in small pots of potting mix and place in a greenhouse until all danger of frost has passed. Keep the soil moist until the plants germinate.

Step 5

Move the pots to a cold frame after the last frost date.

Step 6

Plant the vines in the garden in the early summer when the ground has warmed. Plant in sandy loam soil with good drainage.

Step 7

Water the vines during dry weather. Water deeply, soaking the ground once a week as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Refrigerator/freezer
  • Diluted fungicide solution
  • Paper towel
  • Trowel
  • Small pot
  • Potting mix

References

  • Cornell University Extension Service: Cornell Grape Breeding
  • Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension: Propagation of Fruits and Nuts by Seed
Keywords: plant grape seeds, start grape seeds, propagate grape seeds

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.