How to Graft Muscadine Grapes


The muscadine is noted for its resistance to both disease and pests that plague imported grapes. Because of this, the grape variety is frequently selected as root stock for the use of grafting to cultivated grape vines of other varieties. Grafting imported species of cultivated grapes to muscadine root stock helps increase the resistance of imported species to soil-borne diseases. One of the easiest methods for grafting imported species to native muscadines is called bud grafting. Bud grafting attaches a new vine to a muscadine trunk when it is just emerging. As the vine becomes hearty, muscadine vines can be pruned away, leaving just the grafted vine to grow from the trunk.

Remove Bud

Step 1

Make a cut 1/4 inch above a new, sprouting vine on the imported vine. Draw the grafting knife downward at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees, just under the bark of the vine, until the cut reaches 1/8 inch deep.

Step 2

Grasp the vine gently between your thumb and forefinger.

Step 3

Rotate the knife and cut upward across the horizontal axis of the budstick to remove the sprout. Your bud should be 1/3 of the way down the chip.

Prepare Root Stock

Step 1

Select a point on the root stock to attach your bud.

Step 2

Make a cut in your root stock identical to the cut you made in your bud. Draw the grafting knife down at the same 45- to 60-degree angle you used for your bud until the cut is 1/8 inch deep.

Step 3

Grasp the chip as you did your bud.

Step 4

Rotate the knife and draw it outward, making a horizontal slice to remove the chip.


Step 1

Align the chip to the cut you have made in the root stock.

Step 2

Verify that the edges align neatly, and the surface layer of the vine (cambium layer) touches so that it can heal together.

Step 3

Wrap the chip completely with plastic tape, making sure that the edges of the tape overlap halfway, and no cut edges are exposed. If any edge is exposed, the bud will dry out before it can heal.

Tips and Warnings

  • Most plastic garden tapes are designed to decompose on their own. However, check the bud and remove the tape once the bud has healed in place to prevent girdling of the plant. Plants grafted in summer will heal within three weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Muscadine vine
  • Imported grape vine
  • Grafting knife
  • Plastic tape


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Grafting and Budding Nursery Crop Plants
  • Florida A&M University
  • Winemaker's Journal: Grafting Grape Vines

Who Can Help

  • Ohio State University: Midwest Grape Production Guide
Keywords: propagating grapes, root stock, muscadine roots

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.