How to Cut a Grape Plant

Overview

Whether you prefer your grapes for juice, jam, wine, or eating fresh, your backyard grape vine will produce much more growth than you'll be able to handle. Take advantage of the grape plant's fecundity by propagating the cuttings for additional planting locations, or give out young grape vines as gifts. You can take cuttings from all types of grape vines using this process.

Step 1

Wait until late winter when temperatures warm to above 40 degrees F in your area, but before the grape plant starts growing again. You want to take cuttings while the plant is still dormant but when the weather is warm enough to not harm the tree. While you can also take cuttings in the fall, you will need to store fall cuttings in the refrigerator until spring.

Step 2

Identify healthy shoots on the grape vine. These will be vigorously growing shoots, not weak shoots. Because the shoots aren't actively growing while you're taking cuttings, look at the growth pattern on the stems and choose stems that show a history of strong growth and budding.

Step 3

Cut the vine using anvil pruners, snipping just below a bud at a flat angle, not tilted. Take cuttings that contain at least three buds, or sections where the vine appears ready to branch. You will be able to identify bud sites even in the dormant season.

Step 4

Fill several containers with potting soil. Use containers that are at least 6-inches deep and have drainage holes on the bottom. The size and type of containers depends on how many cuttings you have, but Oregon State University suggests placing cuttings 6 inches apart, so you could fit two cuttings in a large 14-inch pot or one cutting per smaller 6-inch pot.

Step 5

Plant the cuttings in the containers immediately so they have the best chance of taking, spacing them out as recommended above. Sink cuttings in the soil so the second bud is just above soil level, then water the cutting. Store cuttings in a humid environment until they take root. Once the cuttings have rooted, you can plant them outside.

Things You'll Need

  • Anvil pruners
  • Container
  • Potting soil

References

  • University of Minnesota: Growing Grapes for Home Use
Keywords: granevine cuttings, grape vine, cut grape plant

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.