How to Care for Grape Plants

Overview

Grape plants are luscious vines that produce sweet, green or purple fruit. Thick bunches of grapes look heavenly hanging from a pergola or archway and add a sense of decadence to any home garden. With the proper care, grape plants can live for many years and produce fruit for decades. Take the time to research the exact type of grape you are growing before the planting season. This will aid you in making appropriate planting and care decisions.

Step 1

Plant your grapevine in the right location from the start. Grapes require eight or more hours of sun and well-draining soil. If planting multiple grapevines, space each plant 6 to 8 feet apart.

Step 2

Tie vine to a wooden stake to encourage upright growth. Vines also grow well on pergolas, trellis and a variety of fences.

Step 3

Water established grapevines every three to four days or once a day for vines less than a year old. Use a slow-drip hose to water your vines slowly over several hours. This will decrease evaporation and ensure more water reaches the roots.

Step 4

Spread 2-to 3-inch layer of high-quality mulch along the base of your grapevine. This will aid in soil moisture retention and prevent an onslaught of weeds. Be sure to leave a 1- to 2-foot radius of clean space around the trunk or central vine of the plant.

Step 5

Fertilize your grapevines with a slow-release 10-10-10 formula. Apply fertilizer 6 to 12 inches away from the base of the trunk to avoid root burn.

Step 6

Prune your grapevine heavily once a year during late autumn. Remove any lower shoots or leaves that may emerge and allow growth only on the uppermost part of the vine. This will shape your vine into a tree and provide maximum fruit production.

Tips and Warnings

  • It may take several years for your plants to grow large enough to produce fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Grapevine
  • Water
  • Wooden stake
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • String
  • Pruning shears

References

  • University of Minnesota: Growing Grapes for Home Use
  • Ohio State University: Grapevines
  • National Garden Association: Grapes
Keywords: grape, grape plant care, grapevine

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.