If you have a grape plant and want more grape plants, it’s easy to grow your own. Or so says my extension agent, so we’re going to give it a try. I would have waited until I had results to show you, but thought I’d share the information now and results later in case you want to try this yourself this year–it has to be done while the grape plants are dormant, and since spring is coming up quick that really means it really needs done now.
Every year your grape plants can be pruned back so they only have 30-40 “buds” on the whole plant. The buds are the nobs on the branches where leaves were last year that will produce more new branches this year. This means that you can leave ten shoots off the main branch with 3-4 buds per shoot or 3-4 longer branches with 10 buds per branch. So a lot of last year’s growth on your grape plant can be trimmed off while the plant is dormant through the winter months. These cuttings are perfect for starting your own new grape plants.
Take a chunk of the grape vine you just trimmed. This must be last year’s growth.Cut a section of that vine with three buds. Make sure you keep track of which direction the vine was growing as you’ll need to plant it growing the same way. I cut the bottom section at an angle and the top straight. I did a bunch expecting some fail rate in this experiment (click on the picture to get a closer look).
Now take those 3-bud cuttings and plant them in some potting soil so the bottom bud is buried and the other two are above the soil line. You don’t want to have the top leaf out before the roots start growing, so ideally you’ll want to warm the soil and keep the top of the plant cool for a while. I’m not that technologically advanced, so we’re just planting them in some potting soil inside and we’ll see if any grow. Keep the soil good and moist so the roots can grow. You can treat the bottom of your cutting with a rooting hormone before planting to help encourage root growth if you’d like.
I got a couple of grape plant cuttings from this same extension agent, but didn’t get them planted right away–I kept them damp in the refrigerator until I was ready to put them in the dirt. This is supposed to be possible, but I think I must have kept them over-damp because they started growing mold on the stalks. I might have killed them, but I put them in the dirt anyway, just in case they might decide to grow.
Once the little plants have leaves and it’s warm enough to plant them outside, just separate each new vine with its roots intact and plant them outside where you want your new grape vine to grow. I love free plants. I’ll let you know how these turn out.