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How to Prune Grape Vines in Florida

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How to Prune Grape Vines in Florida

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Overview

Florida has a great climate for growing grapes: it has a growing season of at least 140 days without frost, plenty of full sunshine and lots of warm weather. Pruning grape vines is critical in the first two seasons to train the vine; after that, annual pruning can be used to maintain a healthy, robust plant with bountiful fruit production and growth in all the right places.

Step 1

Dilute household bleach with water (one part bleach for every nine parts water). Submerse tools in solution for a minute or two to sanitize them and then rinse. Dry thoroughly with rag.

Step 2

Prune away the last season's growth in winter, when the leaves have dried and fallen and plants are dormant. Prune canes extending from established lateral shoots, or cordons, back to spurs. Each spur should have three to four buds on it.

Step 3

Remove all little flower clusters in the spring of the second growing season so that the plant's energy can be focused on growing the vine.

Step 4

Prune the canes grown from the previous year's buds back to spurs, each with three buds, in the winter after the second growing season.

Step 5

Prune the vines again after the third season of growth. Remove suckers from the trunk that extends below the trellis.

Tips and Warnings

  • Florida's one drawback when it comes to growing grapes is the prevalance of Pierce's disease, which kills or shortens the lifespan of many popular grape varieties. That's why it's best to stick with muscadines, older varieties like Champanel and Herbemont, and disease-tolerant varieties from the Florida Experiment Station.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Household bleach
  • Water
  • Rag
  • Gardening gloves

References

  • Florida Grape Growers Association: Growing Muscadine Grapes in Florida
  • Desert Tropicals: Grapevines
Keywords: pruning grape vines, Florida grape vines, grape vine care

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine and a regular contributor on entertainment to "USA Today", "The Hollywood Reporter," "San Diego Magazine" and other publications. An alumnus of San Diego State University, Arnold has appeared on such TV shows as "CNN", "E! Entertainment" and "G4's Attack of the Show" to discuss home entertainment and technology issues.