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How to Transplant Muscadine Vines

vine image by Dubravko Grakalic from

Muscadine vines grow best in southern regions and must be transplanted properly in order to thrive immediately after you dig up or receive the plant. Muscadines can be tricky to transplant because of their shallow, fragile root systems, so digging them up correctly is of the upmost importance. The best way to transplant muscadines is to find 1-year-old vines (identify these by the two nodes on the stems) during the late winter to spring season when they are dormant. It is also key to choose the planting site and prepare the soil correctly before you transplant the muscadine vine.

Choose the planting site. It must be in full sun with well-drained soil. Muscadine vines grow best on a trellis system, particularly a single-wire system where one taut wire is connected between two posts. Halfway between the posts, under the wire, dig a hole at the site that is about 8 inches deep and almost 1 foot in diameter.

Dig up the muscadine vine from its current location. Since you will be picking a young vine, the root system won't be largely spread outward. Use a shovel to dig straight down into the dirt about 12 inches and 2 feet back from the base of the muscadine. Dig down in to the soil and slightly lift upward before pulling the shovel back out. Continue this method in a circle around the vine, until you have loosened the soil around it significantly.

Shift around the soil that you dug into to locate where the roots are facing. Once you figure this out, use the shovel to gently dig into the ground underneath the root system, and push upward to loosen it from the ground. It is important that you do this gently and carefully, as the root systems are quite fragile.

Place the muscadine root ball in a damp burlap bag and tie it around the base of the trunk. Carefully transport to the new planting location.

Hold the muscadine vine at the ground line (the line that points out what part of the vine was above ground when it was buried) and place the vine into the hole. Use plant ties to secure the growing portions of the vine to the wire.

Reach into the hole and straighten the roots so they are pointing one direction and are not crowding against each other.

Fill in about 4 inches of topsoil into the hole. Water thoroughly to let the soil settle on the roots. Fill in the rest of the soil on top of the root ball, filling it up to the top and tamping down lightly.

Layer about 2 inches of mulch over the planting area and around the base. This will help retain water, deter weeds and protect the roots.

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