How to Start Grape Plants


Grape vines grow almost anywhere in the United States, producing a tasty fruit you can make into wines, jams and jellies. You can start these plants by seeds, but the seeds will not grow true to the parent plant. This means that the fruit could be extra sour or the plant could produce no fruit at all. The easiest and most common means of propagating grapes vines is by taking cuttings. Knowledge of how to start these cuttings will help you produce a healthy plant and, eventually, a bountiful harvest.

Step 1

Take cuttings from the vines in early spring before growth starts, choosing healthy wood that is about one year old. Make a slanted cut with a sharp knife to mark the top of the cutting. Include three to four buds on the cutting, and then make a straight cut through the branch to mark the bottom of the cutting.

Step 2

Fill a small pot with half peat and half perlite for each cutting. Push the cuttings into the rooting medium so that one bud is beneath soil level and one is at soil level. Water deeply.

Step 3

Place a plastic bag over each cutting and store them out of the sun. This will increase humidity for the cuttings so they can root more easily. Make sure the soil stays moist.

Step 4

Transplant the grape cuttings into larger pots as they start to grow their own leaves and take root. Use the same potting medium you used when rooting the cuttings. Move the transplanted grape vines outdoors if the weather stays above freezing or to a window where they will receive full sun.

Step 5

Water the cuttings, keeping them moist during the growing season. Transplant them into larger pots as needed. Reduce watering over the winter, allowing the cuttings to dry in between waterings.

Step 6

Transplant the grape vines outside as soon as the danger of frost passes. After a year of growing, most will have developed a strong enough root system to develop outdoors. Choose an area that receives full sun on the south side of a building or slope. Water, keeping the vines moist, until they acclimate to their new environment and start to grow again.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Small pots
  • Peat
  • Perlite
  • Water
  • Plastic bags
  • Larger pots


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Grapes for Home Use
  • Ohio State University: Midewst Grape Production Guide
  • New Mexico State University: Vineyard Propagation from Cuttings
  • Oregon State University Extension: Growing Grapes in Your Home Garden
Keywords: starting grapes, starting grape cuttings, taking grape cuttings

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.