How to Graft Vines


Grafting vines is a technique used to join two or more different plants together into one. This technique is often used with grape vines where owners select different types of grapes to grow on one vine. While there are several different grafting techniques, bud grafting or "budding" is most successful when grafting vines.

Step 1

Select several branches that you are planning to graft onto a another vine. The new branches are called scions and the main vines on which you are grafting are called rootstocks. Choose scions that are healthy, round, have a diameter approximately the size of a pencil, have several buds and are 12 to 16 inches in length.

Step 2

Cut the scions off the vines and bundle them up. This should be done in late fall or early winter. Then place them in hot water (122 degrees F) for about 30 minutes. This will help kill any pests and diseases. Afterward, rinse the bundle of scions in cold water and apply a fungicide labeled for your particular vine and then rinse them again. Wrap the scions in moist newspaper and place them in a heavy duty plastic bag. Store the bag in the refrigerator for several months.

Step 3

Select a rootstock to graft each scion. This should be done in late winter or early spring. Suckers are ideal rootstocks. Allow them to grow from the bases of other vines and train them to grow (use a stick or grow tube if necessary) to the first wires. Tie them there and as they grow taller, prune them back, except for two leaves above the wire. In addition, prune back any buds that may be growing below the wires.

Step 4

Prepare the scion for grafting. Remove the scions and soak them in water for one to two days. Then, cut off the buds. Cut a small notch 1/8 inch below each bud and ¼ inch above each bud. Then take a knife and carefully cut off the bud, slicing from notch to notch. Immediately put the buds in water so they do not dehydrate.

Step 5

Graft the buds onto the rootstocks the same day as you cut them off the scions. Cut slices off the rootstocks to match the cuts of the buds. You can graft several buds onto the same rootstock, but only one between each sets of nodes. Fit the buds and cuts as best as you can. It is better to use a bud that is smaller than the rootstock cut than one that is larger. Use white or clear grafting tape to tape the buds securely onto the rootstocks.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Grafting tool
  • Water
  • Pesticide
  • Newspaper
  • Bag
  • Refrigerator
  • Grafting tape


  • Washington State University
Keywords: grafting grape vines, budding vines, bud grafting

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.