How to Prune Muscadine Grapes


Muscadine is a species of grape that is native to North America. The grape is known for a leathery skin and resistance to diseases and pests that plague most imported varieties of grapes. Like all grapes, muscadines respond better if they are pruned. The method in which you prune muscadines is similar to pruning other grape varieties.

Step 1

Pick out the healthiest, most vigorous muscadine shoot in your grape plants garden.

Step 2

Cut all other shoots back to the ground with a pair of pruning shears.

Step 3

Train the single shoot to grow straight up by tying it to a stake. Allow shoot to grow upward onto a trellis to form the trunk of the plant. Do not prune away any leaves from this trunk.

Step 4

Snip off the tip of the vine when it reaches the trellis to encourage side-shoots (cordons) to grow from the primary vine. Remove ties from stake, and tendrils that wrap the trunk to prevent girdling of the primary vine.

Step 5

Wait until winter to prune for maintenance to avoid frost damange.

Step 6

Prune away any cordons that grow within 2 ½ feet of the ground.

Step 7

Remove all but 2 to 4 new shoots (node spurs) per every 6 inches growing off of the side cordons.

Step 8

Remove any cordons that are no longer producing abundant fruit, and train a new cordon to grow along the trellis.

Step 9

Remove all growth that extends beyond 8 inches from the cordons with a hedge trimmer.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Plant stake
  • Plant ties
  • Hedge trimmer


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: The Muscadine Grape
  • NC State University: Muscadine Grapes in the Home Garden
  • University of Arkansas:Muscadine Grape Production in the Home Garden

Who Can Help

  • University of Arkansas: Muscadine Grape Production part II
Keywords: muscadine vines, training grapes, pruning plants

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.