Grape plants are easy to propagate from cuttings.
Most of the time they are done during the winter months when the plants are dormant. Cuttings taken in the late fall and winter are known as hardwood cuttings because just as it sounds, the wood is much harder during the fall and winter than it is during the growing season.
It must have been really cold the day that Duston and I took these photos and shot the video because we’re inside the building and I have my hood up over my head like I just robbed a liquor store.
What you see is me sticking hardwood grape cuttings into a Homemade Plant Propagation Flat fill with a soil mix that is mostly peat moss with some perlite mixed in. Just about any potting soil will work for propagating grapes like this.
Unlike most cuttings, grape cuttings have to be really long because the buds are so far apart. The grape cutting that I am holding in this photo is 18″ long and it has to be that long because even at that length it only has three nodes.
A node is a bud union. See the bumps on the grapevine? One at each end and one in the middle? That’s where new buds will appear next growing season. That’s also where the roots are going to appear, right around and below the bottom node.
Grape plants grow like crazy, growing as much as 13 feet in one growing season. They grow so fast that the bud unions have a lot of space between them.
In order to make sure the grapevines produce high-quality grapes grape growers prune their vines heavily during the winter to reduce the number of grapes the vine produces the following growing season. Too many grapes on one plant makes for a lot of really bad fruit. So they prune to get less fruit, but really good fruit.
Grape growers throw away miles unwanted grapevines each season.
Most if not all of the grapevines that are removed from the vineyards are just tossed away or shredded and recycled. The grape grower really has no use for them. I used to work in a nursery that sold grape plants wholesale. The owner of the nursery would actually send a crew out to prune grape vines for some of the local vineyards, in exchange he got the vines they removed.
They’d bundle those vines into huge bundles almost 30″ in diameter and 12 or 13 feet long. They’d bring them back to the nursery and drop them outside of the workroom, out in the cold.
It was my job to drag those bundles inside, one at a time and cut the vines into individual cuttings. Cold, frozen grape wood is hard and I had to make 5,000 cuttings each day if I expected to get paid. Seriously, that’s how I got paid. I was paid 8 hours of wages for 5,000 cuttings. That was my quota, and not hitting the quota wasn’t an option.
Making grape cuttings is super easy. Take the entire grapevine in your hand. If you’re right-handed the pruning shears will be in your right hand, the grapevine in your left. Start with the butt end of the grapevine, not the top of the vine.
You can usually tell the difference because the bud is thicker, then as you get to the other end, the very top of the grapevine, it gets much, much narrower. However, when you remove the vines from the plants in the vineyard, be careful to keep them all oriented in the same direction so you can’t make a mistake.
With the grapevine in your left hand, the pruning shears in your right hand make your first cut about 1.5″ above the top node, then as you slide your hand down the vine remove and all side branches, usually curly cue looking things, then move to the bottom node.
The cut at the bottom node is critical. You want to cut right below the bottom node, but not into the bottom node. This is where the roots are going to grow and if you damage the bottom node the cutting won’t root.
But you don’t want to leave a long stub below the bottom node because this part of the cutting will be in soil, and that stub will be nothing but dead wood-rotting underground. That’s not good.
In the above photo, the stem below the bottom node is too long and needs to be cut off.
There! That’s better. We’ve cut right below the bottom node but not into it. Roots will form all around this node.
Making the cut on the top of the cutting is less critical and you want to intentionally cut at least 1″ above the top node if not 1.5″ above the top node. That part of the cutting, the part that we are leaving above the node, will die back but we intentionally leave it long to serve as a handle and to protect the buds on the top node of the cutting.
See how differently we treat the cut on the top of the cutting as opposed to the bottom of the cutting. This also helps you to tell the top of the cuttings from the bottom as you handle them. Should you drop a whole bundle of cuttings and they go everywhere, you will instantly know which is the top and the bottom.
Once you have your cuttings made the next step is to dip them in a rooting compound. I like liquid rooting compounds because you buy them as a concentrate then mix with water to the strength you need.
Hardwood cuttings need a stronger solution than do softwood cuttings. Don’t worry about the details, the instructions are on the bottle. We often use Dip n Grow, but what brand of rooting compound you use really doesn’t matter.
Powder rooting compounds are fine, they work just as well. They make powders for softwood cuttings and powders for hardwood cuttings.
Once you have dipped your cuttings in the rooting compound you can stick them outside your garden or you can stick them in a flat of potting soil like I am doing here.
Your cuttings will be perfectly fine outside in the cold and snow. They won’t do a lot in the way of rooting until the temperatures get above 45 degrees F., but they will root come spring. Ideally, if you get about an 80% success rate you are doing good with hardwood grape cuttings.
Once you have your cuttings in the flat pack the soil down tightly then water until the potting soil is thoroughly wet. Then move the flat outside. Do not leave the flat inside. If you do, the tops will start to grow before the cuttings have roots and they will all fail. They’ll be fine outside in the cold.
If the soil in your garden is not frozen you can just stick the cuttings directly in your garden. Just take a spade and make a slice in the ground about three or four inches deep and stick the cuttings in the slit you made in the ground.
Pack the soil on both sides to make certain there are no air pockets around the base of the cuttings where you want the roots to grow. After that thoroughly water them in to moisten the soil and to help remove air pockets. After that just water as needed when it’s warm and dry. If it stays cold they probably won’t need any additional water.
Questions or comments post them below and I’ll do my best to answer questions for you.
Thanks for the great resource.
What’s the best way to ensure survival of rooted cuttings in pots over the winter?
I’m in north Idaho, USDA Zone 6a. I took cuttings from a cold hardy grape on our property and rooted them in 2-gallon pots last spring.
They did great over the summer, rooted and grew in the pots, but the plot where I want to trellis them won’t be prepared until next spring.
Is it dangerous to let them overwinter in pots? Do I need to figure out how to get them into the ground before it frosts?
Typically we would have had our first frost already, but we’ve had a really warm fall so far this year, so I have a bit of extra time to prepare.
Chances are they’ll be fine in the pots over winter. Or you could slip them out of the pots, dig a shallow hole, push them together in that hole then backfill. Just remember to move them in early spring before they leaf out.
Don & Lynne Coutts says
Happy to see all the information on grapes. Three years ago we sold our farm and moved to a retirement property. You don’t know how much we missed out gardens. We were very happy to read your article and grapes were one thing we missed very much. We would be happy to read up on your grape growing.
Well poop, I couldn’t find much initially that was so specific to cuttings so I did my best with the knowledge I had. I’m quite sure I left around 2 inches of cutting below the nodes and very little at the tops. I did dip them in root compound, but did I screw up too severely? It’s March now and a few buds are looking fuzzy so I think it might be too late to change what I’ve done. Maybe they’re ok? Also, if they are, should I expect to wait several years for fruit because of being a cutting or will they pick up where they left off from the year before?
As long as you have at least one node (bud union) in the soil they should be fine. And they will produce fruit quickly, remove any flowers this year so they can’t fruit.
I transplanted most of vines started this Spring. Leaves turned Brown and dropped after transplant 2-3 days later. is plant dead or go dormant? Roots were ok. Cuttings were started in good old clay in southern Ohio and took off this sprig, but probably lost some roots in transplant.. PS love your information!
If they failed this spring and did not come back they are probably dead. Best to transplant them while completely dormant. Stick them in late winter, transplant months later once they are again dormant. Around Thanksgiving.
Wow, Mike!! I am really confused now. In your article you told us to be very careful about the top and bottom of the cutting. Now I am reading that you saying it is alright to stick the cuttings in the ground upside down! (?) Do you mean putting the top bud in the ground? Why would you want to do that?
When I mention putting cutting is the ground upside down I am referring to a bundle of cuttings that are only stored upside down for the winter, then later removed and stuck right side up. We put them upside down to discourage top growth but enhance callousing at the bottom of the cutting. Instead, keep it simple and just stick the dormant cuttings the correct way in the early winter. Keep it simple and skip the burying bundle step completely. Just stick your cuttings right in the garden. That burying method is done when the ground is too frozen to stick cuttings the correct way. That hole is dug ahead of time.
Hillside Vineyard says
I live in Missouri and I am wanting to take some hardwood cutting from concord grapevines. Will do this sometime late November thru February. Will frozen ground/soil medium affect the cuttings after they are put directly in the ground or in a container surrounded by straw?
No, as long as you can can get the cuttings into the ground they’ll be fine even if the ground freezes. Or put them in a potting mix or compost, then move them outside. Trying doing some at different times through the winter. I now do a lot of my hardwood cuttings at the very end of winter, but I’ve not tried grapes that way.
Please help! My uncle recently passed away. He had a very lush grapevine up hear in northeastern Ohio. I would very much like to take a few cuttings from his grapevine and plant them at my home for sentimental reasons. Here is my issue. I have taken the cuttings in the middle of August. His house is going up for sale soon and it’s one of those situations where I am forced to take the cuttings now. I got some nice cuttings, bought some rooting hormone, peat moss, and high quality soil. Any advice you have would be most appreciated! Should I leave the cuttings outside until it gets cold? Or should I keep them indoors? Etc. Thank you Mike I really could use your help.
Outside in an enclosed container including winter. If they don’t work go back, knock on the door, explain yourself and ask to take a few cuttings in December. Most they can say is no.
Al Priestman says
Hi there! I stumbled across your article while searching for advice on transplanting my hardwood cuttings from a couple of pots into their own containers.
I have about 6 out of 10 that have budded with 2 or 3 healthy looking buds on each beginning to open up. They are a mix of vinifera exalta and vinifera flame.
I’m in London, UK & right now (mid April 21) we are having generally chilly weather (dropping to around 0c 40f at night.
I’m reluctant to disturb any fresh roots that might be developing but would like to split the cuttings to give to friends an family. Any advice on how I may be able to check they are safe to transplant into individual pots without harming the fledgling vines?
Thanks for your help and best wishes
It sounds like they are not yet ready to divide. They will often make buds long before they have many roots. If you stuck these over the winter, I’d leave them be until summer, then separate them very carefully. You should be able to slide the entire root ball out of the pot without disturbing it to check for root growth.
Al Priestman says
Thanks for the advice Mike, much appreciated!
Larry Boitano says
Penny Warner says
Thanks for this article, Mike!
Oh boy, I did my cuttings all wrong, but we’ll see. They were just barely breaking dormancy when I received them, but now they’re full in onset of leaves.
I just hope they root. I got 150/25 of each kind, so I should have plenty. Wish I’d seen this first. They were good, healthy cuttings!
Have a great 2021 season!
Penny Warner, BYG member
They should be just fine.
Peter Laidlaw says
Hi Mike .. thanks for the great pages. I have managed to graft and callous some vinifera buds onto local rootstock to the point that roots are just emerging and buds are just beginning to push. I waxed the tops now and turned off the heat. I guess i am early but I wanted to try. I’m in Niagara region, Canada.
Do you think I can just wrap them in damp peat or sawdust now and keep them cold until Spring and in doing so, they will be OK?
Yes, but keep them cool but above freezing so those buds are not damaged.
Thanks for the great article. We potted our cuttings last spring and they have been growing in pots all year. We’re in the mountains in northern California and were advised to leave them in pots over the first winter in order for them to grow stronger before they have to survive a winter out in the field. I am trying to decide whether we should prune them at all this year – would you have any advice on that?
Thanks very much.
That depends on what they look like and what you want them to do in the spring. I’m thinking don’t prune because you’ll want to tie them up once planted. Me? I would have planted them in the fall and let them get rooted in. Roots grow anytime temps are above 40 degrees.
Thank you, that’s helpful..
Sandra Ciminski says
I have a working vineyard taken care of by a management company for a winery and was think of increasing my income by cloning my vines. Is that a profitable situation is my first question (I have about 1400 vines of cab front clone 4 which are very nice). If this is a profitable thing how long will it be before I can sell the plants? And where to find the best information to be successful?
I used to work for a nursery that did 500,000 grape cuttings a year. That alone should help you understand the market. Make cuttings in the winter, plant them out in the spring, dig and sell them as one year plants the following fall. We have a member that sells tens of thousands of UNROOTED cuttings in our members area alone. http://backyardgrowers.com/join
James Gould says
I was told and have always planted my concord grape cuttings upside down in the soil and covered them with about 4″ of soil. It works for me . Your thoughts? Thank you
That’s a method that works well. I worked at a nursery and we did 500,000 of them a year that way in a cold barn.
Hi. I just got some grape cuttings in eastern Washington with hardiness Zone 6a (in the middle of October) and the ends are covered with wax. The nights aren’t getting below freezing but will be probably next week with highs in the 40s. I only have 3 cuttings and would like at least one to survive. Should I try to overwinter them outside in the ground in regular soil, in a pot outside, or in our garage (which is heated to 50F)? We are supposed to have a wet winter this year so I don’t want to freeze them either. I’m guessing that they won’t do well if I try to get them to grow roots inside before planting them outside, with cold shock and all. Thanks for the help.
I think 50 degrees F. is too warm for them, they’ll break dormancy. Only three cuttings is tough, doesn’t leave you much room for error. Me? I’d make a fresh cut on the butt end if you can do so without damaging the bottom node. Then I’d stick them in the ground and hope for the best, burying just the bottom node and a few inches of stem. Or I’d dig a hole and bury all three cuttings upside down in the hole and dig them up in the spring. This method will protect them from the extreme cold, they won’t dry out and chances are they’ll callous up and root over the winter. But it’s really your call.
jenia johnson says
Hey, Hope you’re doing good! I need help to see if my 60 year old grapevine is dead… A few years before our mama died my brother took a small cutting from the vine at mama’s and transplanted in his yard and it has flourished ever since . My brother recently past away in June 2020 and the land he lived on wasn’t his so I had to move the vine. The vine is huge and has multiply roots which looked great . I planted it as soon as possible . The leaves turned brown which I expected cause I’m sure it went into shock after being disturbed in the wrong time of year for transplanting . The cordons have no life and no leaves that I can tell. I’m sacred it went into shock so bad there’s no reversing the damage. i put it in a huge hole still on my brother’s homemade trellis and watered everyday and cordons still looked like it had green life for a while but all stems and curly things look dead! Is there any hope because this vine has been alive for about 65 years and I would have never moved it but I had no choice because the owner’s of the land my brother lived on said they were about to lock the land up . So that meant get the grapevine too… Wrong time to get it I know but I didn’t have an alternative. Does it have a chance still and if so how can I tell??? Thanks for your help and look forward to hearing from you! Sincerely, Jenia
It does have a chance. Just keep it watered as needed and wait. This is how you test to see if a plant, or a branch on a plant has died. Just scratch the bark of your plants with your finger nail. If the tissue below the bark is green and firm your plants are fine. If the tissue is brown and mushy that part of the plant is dead.
jenia johnson says
Thank you for responding. I have started at the branches and went down every little bit and most are dead no life and breaks very easily , all brown inside but I know the main branch as you say has a chance so I’ll keep waiting . Hopefully next spring it will surprise me. My brother did have 2 other small vines he had growing from the main plant that I have had great promise with because since removing them from his yard they continue to flourish! Green leaves and growing more vines every week ! I am just hoping the main mature plant will begin again … Question ? I have heard that I can cut into the main branch to see if there is green or at least life but will that make the plant suffer & sometimes like people say can happen ” BLEED OUT” … can that possibly happen? Can I injure the plant by doing so? Thanks & look forward to hearing from you! Best wishes, Jenia
You are not going to hurt the plant. This is how you test to see if a plant, or a branch on a plant has died. Just scratch the bark of your plants with your finger nail. If the tissue below the bark is green and firm your plants are fine. If the tissue is brown and mushy that part of the plant is dead.
Maureen Collins says
Jenia and Mike,
Hi, just butting in here! Jenia, be patient, leave the vine in the ground through the winter.. Grapes are amazingly resilient and it could easily surprise you next spring with new growth. It may not come back but you have nothing to lose by leaving it alone.
Pat Dumas says
Thanks for all the useful info! I have a little over a one inch thick limb from a grapevine pruning. I used the limb as a plant support, and lo and behold it’s rooted! It’s got a few nodes up the length of it, and wondered if soon it will sprout leaves? Thanks!
Pat, if it’s rooted, it’s probably going to take off growing.
Pat Dumas says
Thanks Mike! I appreciate it! Pat
George Maurer says
Hi..I am in Somerset, WI (54025) and annually help a grape grower and farmer prune and harvest , just as a ministry to help them with the labor load. He offers me clippings as well as his thanks. Currently, beginning in April after pruning, I have about 200+ clippings in 6 inch pots….All have leafed out but I need to know how leafing ends, and rooting begins…before I plant them. I keep them outside on “make-shift” work benches covered with a poly-tent. I water daily, being careful not to allow the roots to get dry and die. Because our temperature gets hot, like 80 Deg +, I open the poly greenhouse and finely spray them with water..
Do I have to keep the covered by the poly?;
Should I open them for more sun, or will covering them with the poly-tent slow rooting, etc?
I’ll answer your question by saying that when I used to do 5,000 grape cuttings a day in the winter we’d store them in the barn, butt ends covered in soggy peat, then come mid May they’d get planted out into the field in the summer sun. In fields that were very much sand and gravel. And it gets plenty hot here in northern Ohio, it was 90 degrees here just a couple of days ago in mid June. With that said, your plants should root just fine and protecting them from the sun a bit will probably do them more good than harm. Just be patient and keep them watered.
Carolyn Caranci-Rosvelti says
Hi Mike I have 50 year old grapes vines that are being knocked down tomorrow afternoon. I saws all some of the root to get it out of the ground and out it in dirt and water in the garden. It is huge. What else can I do to make sure I have some seeds or a way to replant these grapes as they are a family tradition and my family is very upset that they are being knocked down due to Reno. If you ca reply or email or even call me that would be amazing. I even having budding grapes that are green and super tiny. Can I save these as well. Pls help very desperate. Thanks so much
At this point you can try some softwood cuttings of the grapes. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
Matteo BATEMAN says
Hi Mike. I did my first bucket. Only two cuts made it out of 5. The 2 are growing leaves. You never showed a video of how to separate. and what to do with them. Please help. I want to put them into separate pots
Simply empty the bucket and shake the soil loose around the roots. Pot with only about 1″ of soil covering the very top set of roots and they should do fine.
Diane Bancroft says
How do you determine the age of a grapevine.
Great article, thanks for taking the time to write in such detail.
A quick note on the wood below the bottom node. It is actually important, and shouldn’t be discarded. Oddly enough, roots do come from the wood region below the bottom node. The wood below needs to be scraped to remove strands of the old outer “skin”. Roots will grow from these cuts. I am a grape grower (wine and table grapes) and am in the process of cultivating from hardwood cuttings. I use both the rooting in water method as well as straight to soil. I can post a nice picture of roots pushing out from the cut, and scratched surface of the cutting if you’d like.
Roots are more likely to come from a bud when a long arm is left attached to the parent vine, and partially buried so that some is above and some is below ground. It is popular with farmers that don’t mind ungrafted or own-root plants.
Walter Ambrosch says
Q: Will ALL Grape varieties grow on their own rooted vine or do they have a more hearty rootstock?
There are some grapes that are grafted but off the top of my head I don’t know for sure which they are. I’ve rooted Concord, Niagra and Cawtabwa. Probably spelled that wrong.
Thanks for the great article and photos! I just have one question – if I take the cuttings now while the vines are dormant and stick them in a propagation flat, when do I transplant them to the garden? That is, when will I know they have grown enough roots, is 6-8 weeks enough time?
6-8 weeks is probably not enough time. Mos hardwood cuttings are not well enough rooted to be transplanted until mid summer.
Holt Spivey says
Little confused. I understand the cuttings on the top and bottom, but do you need a middle node and if so why
No, you really don’t. A top and bottom node should be fine on grapes.
How long can cuttings be left out of water or soil? I’d like to give some as a gift but there will be about a week between cutting the vines and giving them to my friend. (My friend is a gardener, I know nothing about plants.)
Just keep the cool, in the refrigerator but leave room at the butt end so your friend can cut them again so the dried out portion is removed.
Mike, is there any advantage to leaving canes on the vine until early spring then cut and plant? Or are the results better when cutting in winter well before spring.
I’m in Sacramento, so our ground doesn’t really freeze in the winter.
Especially in your climate where cold won’t damage the canes exposed to cold air I’d say there is an advantage. I am now doing my hardwood cuttings in very early spring instead of Nov/Dec and it’s working really well.
3 years ago I took hard wood cuttings right before bud break, I think in March. 20 Syrah, Stuck them right in the ground and each one has flourished. On the other hand last winter I took hard wood cutting (zin) in January, refrigerated them and planted them the end of march, with a very poor success rate. Not sure what I did wrong on the second go-around.
I don’t like storing cuttings and I never do it. Had you used fresh cuttings taken on the day you stuck them your results would have been better. But then again, not exactly sure what cuttings you tried. See this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-winter-time-plant-propagation-can-home/
and this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2016/09/hardwood-cuttings-winter-of-20152016/
Hello Mike. This article is a treasure. I am trying to get cuttings of some heirloom grape vines from my wife’s family’s farm before it sells in a few weeks. I believe we are cold enough that these steps will work. I don’t really have a good place to root them outside. I am hoping it will work to use a container like yours above and just place that outside. Would an unheated garage work (so as to avoid rabbits and deer nibbling on them)? Or should it be fully outside?
I would also like to possibly get cuttings of some heirloom rose plants. Do you have suggestions or a link regarding that process and/or considerations?
My father-in-law passed in 2010 and we just lost my mother-in-law this summer. Preserving some of the vines (and maybe roses) would mean a lot to my wife (and her siblings and to our children, etc.).
That would probably work. I’d actually do some both ways. Some inside and the rest just stuck in the soil in your garden. Actually just sticking them in the soil really does work. Just do a lot so your chances of success are better. The roses. Make the cuttings, wrap them in wet newspaper, put the bundle in a plastic bag, stick in the fridge for a couple of months. Don’t make the newspaper too wet. Check every few weeks.
Thanks Mike. Currently no active garden (long story) and no time for soil prep before hard freezes, so thinking the wooden flats for starts is likely my best bet for now. Just not sure if the cuttings can winter over in the flats completely outdoors (since not in the soil with more stable temperature) or whether better in the unheated, but more protected, garage. Probably do both, as you suggest, and with as many as I can manage to increase chances of success.
For the roses, I saw your related post <> and I wanted to correlate that with your advice above. Your suggestion above suggests that I can keep them for a few months in the fridge, checking every weeks (presumably to keep the newspaper moist, right?).
Using the rooting compound should increase likelihood of rooting, right? I won’t be safe from frost/freezing until late May or early June, so if I delay potting the rooted cuttings to pots, that will help, but how do I manage the movement to outdoors if they have been potted indoors, albeit in a cool basement? Also, should I use light or limit light once potted, but not yet able to move outside? If there is a related article on this already, please just point me in that direction. I appreciate your generosity with information. I don’t mean to bombard with questions, just up against the clock, so to speak, on trying to properly plan and cut and propagate these family-tradition grapes and roses. Thanks again!
The roses are going to be tricky but it’s worth a shot. Indoors, in pots, they will need light if they break dormancy. Transitioning them outside they would need lots of shade for a few weeks.
Paul Gardner says
This is a great article, and I thank you!! I have 6 cuttings that I started in the spring of this year and have them in a 18 gallon tub. They’ve sprouted and had some good growth this year. We live in Tacoma where the winters aren’t too bad. I can’t plant them in the ground as we’ll be moving in a couple months and they will form my new mini-vineyard. Will it be OK to winter them over right where they sit, along side my current arbor? Should I fill the bin with leaves for protection, or just leave them like that until spring?
They should be fine right where they are. Move in early spring in case they are rooted into the ground through the container.
I have made 20 cutting from my yard, each cutting about 16″ long and a little wider than pencil size in diameter,
And I stick into ground about 12 inch deep . Only left about
4 inch above ground . Also I left the stem 1″ below the bottom node.
Mike , please let me know . Do I have good success rate ?
Next time make the bottom cut closer to the node but not into the node and stick two nodes below ground, the rest above ground.
Sherwood Botsford says
If you have a lot of pruning to do, (Like mike cutting zillions of grape cuttings) look at getting a pneumatic pruner. These are air powered, and start at about $100 bucks on Amazon.
They can be a pain to use in the field, as you need a supply of compressed air. An ATV with a trailer, a generator and a compressor, or a gas powered compressor. (They start at about $600, but probably will run more than one pruner at a time.
claude irby says
i was making cuttings for several thousand cottonwood-poplars and found that a paper sutter that mounts on a board works well. you can cut two or three at a time if you are getting industrial with your project. more is better right??. It is portable and doesn’t need electric or air to power it and your hand doesn’t give out so soon. Not all of us gardeners are hand milking cows these days….
Interesting approach. You have to be careful about making too many cuttings of any one plant unless you know you have a purpose for all of those plants. I myself often end up with too many of some plants. You just have to know what your purpose is for those plants because once you have them rooted it’s difficult to throw them away so you have to know what the end game is for them.
I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. It will get down to 40 below for at least a few days this winter. Can I still put my cuttings into the soil in the garden or should I bring them into my cool basement?
I think outside is better, they’ll break dormancy in the basement. Better yet do them at the very end of winter.
I propagated grape vines for the first time this year. 2 out of the 8 survived and are growing in pots. My question is, because it is now fall and I haven’t planted them in the ground yet, is it too late to plant now? If so and I leave them in pots over the winter will they come back in the spring?
Now is a great time to plant them and they’ll over winter better in the ground than in the pots.
Mike, you mention 45°. It’s still in the 50s and 60s here in MD, should I wait until Nov/Dec?
Mike, BTW, I bought your VHS video tapes many moons ago.
Thank you! I appreciate that and appreciate that you’ve stuck with for all this time.
I think it’s best to wait until completely dormant, probably after Thanksgiving.
Sherwood Botsford says
If your grape has some wild american grape in it’s makeup, it should do fine in a pot overwinter. (Wild grapes are mixed in to get winter hardiness for cold climates)
If you can’t get them in the ground, put them against the house on the east or north side, and bury them in leaves.
Thanks for great video. I’m in New Zealand and would love to transplant some vines we have, trouble is it’s April and our vines still have the last of their grapes on. It’s just starting to be autumn (fall), and we are moving house! Would it work to take cuttings now even though they aren’t dormant and if so do I leave the leaves on or strip them etc?
Thanks would love your advice because I’ve grown up eating these grapes and wish I could take them with us!
All I can say is try. I’d do a bunch of them and strip half and leave half. Or treat them as softwood cuttings, or medium hardwood and use of these techniques. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
Hi Mike, thanks for the detailed article. I’m a backyard grower in North Eastern Wisconsin bordering the UP of Michigan. I successfully transplanted 8year grapevines from a neighbors yard into mine!! They grew wonderfully for 3 seasons, with a harvest of 50lbs of fruit for the 2018 harvest. We had a rough winter with snow totals of 30” above our average!! Once the snow began to finally melt, I noticed that many of our vines had been stripped by rabbits and other unknown rodents. I’m devastated to say the least. So today, I went out and pruned below all of what had been damaged in hopes to save some of the main base of each plant, and a few of the vines that remain. Out of 6 hardy plants I only have about 30% remaining. I saved much of the hardwood that still showed some green hoping to root them. I will follow your method for doing that, but would like your advice about the timing of the process. It’s now late April and our growing season is typically late May to Late September. Am I safe to try rooting the cuttings and leaving them in my basement over the summer to plant out in a permanent location in late summer/fall??
Thanks for your help,
Andrea (devastated hobby gardener)
I’m guessing your grape plants will bounce back quickly, hopefully the part the below the snow was not damaged. As far as the cuttings are concerned I would not keep them inside. You can just stick them in the ground, in your garden, and they should root for you and over winter fine. Just keep the soil around them moist. Or stick a bunch of them in nursery pots filled with potting soil.
Oh Mike thanks for the tips for growing grapes vines. My neighbors have a vines she wishes was not there. I have offered to cut it down and or trim it up. But I will definitely be helping her out one way or another. She says she hasn’t had good grapes for many years, now I know why pruning their vines heavily during the winter sounds critical to produce a better crop the following year. Can’t wait to start trimming and making cuttings for my start to grapes. Nice article keep up the great work you are doing for us out here.lurking land…
John Pendergrass says
mike my grapes do great until just before they start to ripen. then within a two day period they all fall off. i have tried different sprays but they dont help. any sugestions??? john p.
See this; https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/plpath-fru-24
Hi Mike, I have a project and I need to buy stick from the vine to make spoons, each stick should be 14” long, where can I get them, please let me know if I can buy them from you.
You’ll have to go to a local vineyard or maybe a craft store????? Our members, http://backyardgrowers.com/join, will have cuttings but probably not until December and not that many will be 14″ long.
Charles Lindsay says
What is the secret to rooting hard wood muscadine grape cuttings? I need help!!
I have no experience with them but if they fail as hardwoods this fall/winter, try softwood in June.
I live in upstate NY and there is a particular wild grape vine I would like to take cuttings from as it produces much larger (relatively speaking for wild grapes) fruit. The issue is we are moving in 2 weeks and we only have a few hours forecasted to be below freezing before we move on Oct 31. I’m guessing being this early in the fall, this will not be enough cold to make the vines go dormant. What are my chances of success if I follow all your instructions except for cutting the vines a little earlier than the ideal time?
Chances are you’ll be fine, just take the cuttings as late as you can and stick them in pot full of soil and leave them until spring. Water daily until it freezes hard.
Pam Drapala says
The hardwood cutting from my grapevine is sprouting leaves. I placed my cutting in water. What should I do from here, please?
All you can do is wait for roots. Then transplant. Rooting them outside in the soil is usually more effective.
Georgia Dacakis says
Hi MIke, enjoyed reading your article. I’ve got some cuttings that I’ve planted straight into pots – 3/4 potting mix and soil – in Greece in summer. Plus 35 degrees which is great for swimming but not so sure about cuttings. How much water and direct sun do they need? I didn’t use rooting compound before I planted them. Can I add this now?
Small cuttings are better in shade then semi shade. Don’t apply rooting compound now.
Hey, after I plant my clippings in the box, what’s the best way to remove them and replant without damaging the roots? How long should they be in the rooting box? Thanks so much! Great site.
It’s going to take the several months to root as hardwood cuttings. I don’t know what kind of box you are rooting but if the cutting root into the soil below the box, into the ground, then you really want to wait until Thanksgiving when dormant to move them. But if not rooted into the ground you can probably gently get them out the box in late July by working your hand under the soil and shaking and lifting them out.
Thomas A Miller says
Is it too late to cut from an old vine (40+ years) in saratoga, california. I am about 1 mile from the original Katherine Kennedy estate wines and down the street from the original David Bruce family home where they planted their original grapes for their wine. Although the house has changed ownership a number of times, there is still an original vine that is still alive but hasn’t been pruned in years. Is it possible to get cuttings and propagate them? Mid-March
As long as the vines have not broken dormancy then I would say yes. Just make the cuttings and stick them in your garden. More than likely they’ll root, but they will leaf out first. Make plenty of cuttings to allow for losses.
If I want to transplant my cuttings to their permanent location how deep should I plant them? I plan on planting 7 cuttings in each spot where I would like them to mature permanently and thinning them to the one cutting that looks the best. I wasn’t sure if I needed to go deeper than the standard 3 inches as you do if putting them in a pot or a flat for future use.
When potting or planting rooted cuttings you really only want about one inch of soil over the roots. Any more is too deep.
Lazarov Farm says
Hi Mike! Just want to say thanks to your explanations about rooting grapes. I added your article in my browsers favorites to easily come back to it and reading it again. Sounds realy motivational to me. This year will be my first try and I hope to do it properly. Will definitely use rooting hormones, My wines are Muscat Hamburg. Here in Bulgaria we use it for wines, but personaly I use it for destilation of brandy (Rakia as known in Europe, and mostly at The Balkans), Once again thank you and best regards.
You are welcome Georgi.
Matthew Bloomfield says
Thank you for all the great advice. It is still winter here in New Zealand, I came across a vineyard that was being ripped out, so I will try transplant the big vines and take all the canes off them and use them as cuttings. There are literally thousands being ripped out to make way for a dairy farm.
Thanks again for all your helpful advice.
Judy Torp says
It’s early Aug here in Seattle &my 35 yr old grape is growing well. the pro b l r m is that in terms next two weeks the grape will be removed due to construction work. Is it possible to take a few cuttings from this grape & try to get them to root in order to salvage this grape? I know a neighbor wants to have a cutting before it gets ruined by trying to dig it up, store/stage it for up to 3 weeks & then replant. Some of it’s roots go over 10′ in each direction from the center & the grape covers about 30′ of chain link fence. Obviously,I don’t prune it severely. Any ideas would be very welcome.
Judy Torp says
Oops I forgot to check the notify of reply..sorry for the typos also
Try doing some softwood cuttings now. Transplanting it is not likely to well this time of year. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
Keith and Mary says
Hi Mike, it’s Keith and Mary in N.C . My Niagara grape just wasn’t taking off after 2 years. So, I put it in a big barrel like pot. It has gone crazy, we put it next to chicken coop and it is almost covering one side. Will it be OK to leave it in the planter? The planter is about 20″ high and 24 ” wide. We took hardwood cuttings and have had great success, they have leaves and are now about 2′ tall. We did those in the fall in case we lost the plant when moving into planter. My other question is when can I transplant cuttings? I was thinking in fall or do we have to wait till they go dormant? This year we can finally see the results of our hard work, lots of beautiful bushes are growing. Hope this finds you and your family happy and healthy. Looking forward to a fun summer. Your friends, Keith and Mary
Keith and Mary,
In your climate the grape is probably fine in the planter for a while but it will or should out grow it. You can transplant cuttings in the fall providing you can get them out without damaging the roots. If you think you are going to damage roots, wait until dormant. Have fun!
Ken Gatto says
I purchased some dormant root cuttings of Campbell Early grapevines and did not have any luck pre-callusing them as I believe the bottom cut was not made close enough to the bottom node. After several weeks I re-cut the cuttings and now have them soaking in H2O prior to placing them in an incubator at 85 degrees. Do you think this will work?
I’m not sure. The 85 degrees will bring them out of dormancy fast and they don’t have any roots. I’m not sure that’s good. Bottom heat only would have been a better option or no heat at all.
If I get the cuttings to root—-can I leave them in the pots all summer and put them in the ground in the fall? Reason for this is that I will have cuttings in the spring but will be developing an area to grow them after—-kind of the horse before the cart syndrome—-thanks—
Absolutely, they’ll be fine in the pots all summer, just keep them watered.
Mike A says
My father sent me some vine cuttings in the mail. Unfortunately he did do anything to differentiate the tops and bottoms. Any ideas on how to know top from bottom by looking at the cutting?
It’s going to be difficult, but some should be thinner at the top.
On my cuttings the buds tip upwards.
How come my grape cuttings are lighter colors? They are concord grapes and they were just pruned in winter. But they are light colors, and your pictures are dark shiny wood. Are mine ok?
At this point I wouldn’t be concerned, the age of the wood can change the color. Probably won’t be well enough rooted to transplant until June or late June.
Hi! Great post you have here. I am from the philippines and grapes definitely grow here too. My problem is this: I have 40+ cuttings and i stick them into pots of pure river sand. At first most of them started budding which made me ecstatic. However, catterpillars attacked some of them causing their remaining leaves to die. Are they going to have new buds again? How about the ones that did not bud, can I dip them to some rooting hormone to encourage rooting? Or are they good as dead?
Don’t be in too big a hurry to write them off. I probably wouldn’t re dip them now, just water as needed and if necessary spray the caterpillars.
So after you have them in the flat of potting soil how long into the future should you wait to transplant them into the garden? Same year or wait a year?
Typically you stick them in the winter and should be able to transplant them in mid summer. Hardwood cuttings take longer to root than softwood cuttings.
This video has helped so much! We are starting a vineyard and looking for the best place to get the trimmings. Do you think other vineyards would be willing to give away some of their trimmings or should we go directly to a nursery?
Probably not, they would be very cautious about who the allow in their vineyards. The growers who get those clippings earn them by pruning the grapes for the vineyards. But if you join our members area right now, you can get unrooted grape cuttings for as low as 69 cents each. But they won’t last too long. The 30 trial is only $7.00. http://backyardgrowers.com/join
Why do some say to soak in water for week/overnight? Some say to leave in water to root. Some say to plant inside. Some say to build a plastic tent (mini greenhouse) over them. You say no water and leave outside. Im in MN….maybe -20 isnt a good temp for them to start outside? Maybe…..none of this matters as long as i do one of these methods
Some say. Some say a lot of things and all I can tell you is that years ago I worked in a nursery and my job was to make 5,000 grape cuttings a day! 5,000 a day! We did not soak them or anything like that. Given the chance we would have just planted them directly outside but since the ground was frozen we stacked them upside down and packed soggy peat on the roots in a building that was below 40 degrees. Often just above freezing. Freezing wouldn’t have hurt them but the owner wanted them calloused up and lightly rooted before we planted them out in the spring.
In my own nursery I simply stuck them in a bucket of potting soil as I do many of my hardwood cuttings and set them outside. See this https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-winter-time-plant-propagation-can-home/
Can I grow muscadine in Reno? I grew grapes last year and had enough to make jelly. As muscadine are a type of grape, would they grow there?
I think they’ll do well in Reno but you have to check your zone and match that against the plants that you want to grow. Zone map for the United States:
Zone map for Canada:
Hello sir. …
I am from Pakistan. ..
I wanna propagate grape from cuttings, it’s midwinter here now. .it’s so much cold. ..
My question is that,
1):- when i have to take the cuttings from tree and then when i have to plant them.. .
2):- where i have to plant the cuttings in cold place or warm place. ..( Means it needs high temperature or low )
Grapes are easily done during the winter. Take the cuttings now and simply plant them out in your garden if the ground is not frozen. If it is frozen buy some potting soil and stick them in a large nursery container with plenty of holes in the bottom. Put the soil in the bucket, stick the grape cuttings. Ideally a temperature of 45 degrees would be perfect, but you can put them out in the very cold, well below freezing temperatures. The cold won’t hurt them and they’ll root in the spring/summer. Just keep the soil moist but not wet. See this https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-winter-time-plant-propagation-can-home/
Lee Hulcher says
Thank you for all the wonderful information. I have a small vineyard of 15 plants and I would like to expand it. I live in SW Montana and have a nice greenhouse that I can heat if needed. My question is, can I use the green house to get a jump start on rooting cuttings for next year. The weather here is high desert and can be fickle, hot one day cold the next, with temps in the Greenhouse from 20 to 75 any given day. Also what is the needed dormancy period on grape cuttings?
I’m going to guess here, but if you can keep the grape cuttings at about 40 degrees I’m sure they would root faster over the winter. The danger is that they break dormancy then you have to protect them from freezing for the rest of the winter. We used to bury grape cuttings in a barn that was around 35 degrees most of the time. But we did that because the ground was frozen and couldn’t field stick them at that time.
Frank Barthol says
If I cut and plant in December, in Southern Illinois, what do I do with the spring’s folage, do I nip it back the entire first year through summer? I have a deer problem, but do I start tying the growth to a bamboo pole? Thanks for the info, for the first year I am not going to purchase new vines.
Just stick the cuttings in the winter, then as the plants start to grow in the spring you can just let them grow, but as the vines start to grow out you can cut them back, but do not remove all of the leaves. Most growers just let them grow and don’t prune that first year.
I would like to try hardwood cuttings, how about make my cuttings and place them in the dirt where I want the vine to grown in my vineyard. Could I put two cuttings in one spot to insure one to grow and by pass putting them in another container?
Absolutely you can do that and putting in an extra cutting is good business. Keep them a few inches apart because if they both take you might want to move one of them. You can do that as long as you don’t damage roots in the process. In other words, don’t let that second cutting get established if you think you’re going to want to move it.
Seth George says
Thanks for the write up. I recently helped my neighbor prune his grapes and I took some cuttings home and stuck them in a bucket of water in the garage. They’ve been in there for about a week and a half now and are starting to bud and leaf out. Also, they are anywhere from pencil thickness to 1/2 inch thick and from 2 feet long to 4 feet long. I’m in Norther Wyoming, zone 4 but in the winter we dip into the zone 3 for a week or two. I’ve never done anything with grapes before and was wondering if you could suggest how I can successfully get some plants from these cuttings?
Your timing is off, best time to do them is when completely dormant. But I’d cut them into 12″ cuttings as per this article and stick them in soil and hope for the best. They are easy when done in the winter.
I just bought and planted a red seedless grape plant and put it into my backyard. Our soil is sandy and has a high ph level so I put about 15lbs of organic soil with worm castings in the hole around the plant to give it the needed organic stuff to grow. It was doing fine the second day and had perked up, and then we had a very rainy, cold day. This morning the leaves turned a very dark greenish black and became limp. I feel like it may have gotten too much water. Have you got any advice as to what could be wrong?
If you soil is sandy any excess water should drain away. Not really sure what happened. If you think it’s too wet simply remove it from the hole and plant without all the compost etc. That might be holding too much water, but I really don’t think that’s the problem. All I can say is give it some time.
I am going to Europe mid July and I’d like to get some cuttings from my grandmother’s very old grape vine and bring them with me here in Florida. My question is, how can I improve the chances that my grape cuttings will survive the 24 hour trip and do I plant them straight in the ground as soon as I get home or do I put them in water to grow roots? I did check with the customs and I am applying for a permit to bring them to US legally.
Mid July? This is going to be very challenging. Put them in a cooler with a cold pack and see this page, https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
Cuttings can last for about 1 YEAR if refrigerated and kept moist (not drowning)…wrap either in dampened newspaper, or sphagnum moss, perhaps a large baggie if there are many cuttings….and Yes, you can put them in a 6 inch plastic pot once arriving home with a light potting medium…they will start leafing first and then rooting…NOTE: Be certain to cut the clippings about 1 inch below the bottom (a “straight” cut), and at a slant 1 inch above to other( top end)…this is necessary so you will know which end is the bottom and is planted below the surface of your soil…generally it is best to make cuttings as close to the trunk as possible…My 200 plant mini-vineyard all came from cuttings rooted in pots in my basement during cold Wisconsin winters…I did not use lamps until leafing started (and then with standard florescent lamps such as a work shop lamp…(not necessary to pay more for “special grow lamps)…allow enough cuttings that have a a 10-15% loss,…but a 90% yield.:>)…also, select vines that are about the diameter of a pencil and have 2 nodules at the bottom which well be buried, and 2 nodules above soil level
Excellent information based on actual hands on success.
Is having 2 nodules buried ok, good, bad?
Two nodes below the soil is fine.
Bruce Cunningham says
Importing plant materials without agricultural permits will cause difficulties at customs.
Jen H says
Well, my husband and I may have made a very bad mistake. Yesterday evening, we pruned our grapes and took some cuttings to propagate. We are in East TN and there are leaves on the vines. However, these vines were 7 yrs old when we moved there 4 yrs ago and hadn’t been pruned or tended to at all. This was literally the first attempt of any sort with them. Have we killed them?
I’m pretty sure they’ll be fine. You probably did them a world of good.
Jen H says
Thanks so much! Have a great day!
Hay I’m saurabh chavhan from India_Patel factory in Maharashtra
Glad to have you here Saurabh!
We are in Central Alabama and have a concord grape vine that’s been an awesome producer for about 25 years or so. We’ve never rooted any plants from it, but we will this year I hope! I’m concerned this year as it has not started budding at all although everything else around is budding. We had very cold weather this past winter, but no different than years past and there have been no chemicals sprayed or distributed anywhere near the vine. We did prune it this year, but probably not as much as we should have. If it hasn’t budded yet, can we still prune it more to possibly help with the budding? If not, what would you suggest? Thanks so much!
The grape vine is going to bud out if it’s healthy and happy. If it needs pruning, go ahead and get it prune while still dormant.
This is how you test to see if a plant, or a branch on a plant has died. Just scratch the bark of your plants with your finger nail. If the tissue below the bark is green and firm your plants are fine. If the tissue is brown and mushy that part of the plant is dead.
Hi Mike and thanks for all the great information! It’s April and I’m in Wisconsin, still pretty cold and freezing every night. Can I take cutting now or is it too late?
In your zone you probably have to mid April to take hardwood cuttings. Next year get them done by end of March. But as long as they are not ready to push leaves you can still do them.
Louis from Livermore
I p[anted a few wine grape vines in my back yard, I got a fairly good success rate but one plant a Petite Verdot, vine has a root sprouting right next to the hardwood cutting I planted, the cutting has small leafs. I’m afraid if I dig in and remove the root/sprout, it’s going to kill the plant? The sprout is green and it’s starting to develop new leafs? Any advice?
If you could move it with doing any root damage it might work, but it would be much safer if done when the vine is dormant.
Hi, I took hardwood cuttings off my concord grape vine last month (feb ’16) brought them inside, dipped them in root hormone and planted them and left them inside. the buds started forming leaves a week later. I spray them regularly to keep them moist. I know that there can’t be many roots at all after just a couple weeks. In the center of the leaves I can see little grape pods already formed. have I done something wrong? Obviously, I don’t want grapes, I want root development. I believe I should remove the grape pods correct? In the future is there something I should do differently to avoid this?
Yes, I would remove the grape pods. I’m not sure there’s a lot you can do to prevent plants from doing what they are hard wired to do. Often hardwood cuttings will start making leaves, trying to grow at the very same time they are making roots. About all you can do is keep them watered and wait until they are well rooted. Some of our hardwood cuttings stuck in the dead of winter are even close to being well rooted until mid summer, even though they have leaves.
HI Mike! This week I planted hard wood cuttings from my grandfather’s grape vines. in pots. Three days after planting them, a neighbor kid ripped them all out of the pots and threw them on the cement. They sat there for 1/2 of the day before I noticed and replanted them?. Do you think it will ruin the chances of them living? It has been above 45 during the day all week, so I don”t think the plants are dormant any longer.
They should be fine, 1/2 day exposed to the air is not going to dry them out too much. I’m guessing they are still dormant, plants break dormancy rather slowly.
mike… my mother has a small grape arbour that has rarely been pruned. if an unpruned grape vine gives ‘bad’ grapes, will starts from it have the same grapes?
also, do grapes have gender specific vines and need pollinators?
No, I don’t think the quality of the fruit will be affected with new cuttings as long as you are starting with a desirable variety. And I don’t think you need any gender specific pollinators for grapes.
thanks mike. it took me a while to remember i asked a question on this topic…lol my ‘foggy brain’ doesn’t allow for much short term memory. i know i’ve left comments on other topics, but can’t remember which ones. guess i’ll come across them to see answers eventually…:o) it would be nice if there was only one place to look instead of so many. but i’m grateful for what i can get!
Yes, here on the blog it is difficult to keep track of comments. In our members area, http://backyardgrowers.com/join, it is much easier and you get an email response when somebody responds to your post. Most questions are answered there very quickly.
Michel Levesque says
I live in Gatineau, Quebec. Right now, it’s -15c (+5F) with 30 ” of snow, and there’s more to come. I get that my spring’s a bit later than yours but could you help me calculate the difference between my place and yours. You give such helpful insights and I appreciate it. But if I was to put my box of freshly watered cuttings outside today, I would end up with an ice cube of dirt in an hour. If you could help me calculate how many more days to add per zones, this might help. Then i could do the math when reading your post.
Thank you , and, as alqays, great data.
I don’t think we are all that different. I’m USDA zone 5 or 6 depending on who you ask. Right now it’s warm, but a year ago at this time is was 15 below zero F. If you make hardwood cuttings right now and set them outside in your freezing weather, they’ll be just fine. My hardwood cuttings that I did in November have been froze solid most of the winter. As long as the plants are hardy in your zone, the cuttings will be just fine. For softwood cuttings read this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
don markum says
I have noticed that if a rooted or hardwood cutting are kept moist they will be ok. if by chance they dry out ( big danger of being in a cold frame or inside they will die.
You’re right. Moist but not wet and kept cool enough for the tops to stay dormant.
Hi Mike, How do you keep a cat out of the sand in the box ?
That’s never been an issue for me but it would the same for trying to keep all critters out of a garden.
Great site, thank you! Before finding your site a friend and I followed the advice in this article: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/root-grapevine-cutting-placing-glass-bottle-water-68657.html
We started early, and by Thanksgiving we had roots. All of our cuttings have rooted now–with about 1 inch roots. The process was fascinating to watch! We’ve kept them at 60-65 degrees in a well lighted area.
Should we pot these up? If so, how do we raise them? Can they survive in water? I’m in the Reno, NV area, and I think the soil might be workable in March, but our last frost date is May 15.
Should we start over taking cuttings in early February? Since we know this is a successful rooting method it would be OK to try again. Thanks so much for your advice!
Here’s the thing, the cuttings that you rooted need to go dormant for the winter. So the best thing is to pot them and move them outside, maybe acclimate them to the cold slowly. Had they been outside all along they would be prepared to freeze and make it through the winter. I would pot them, get them outside, and then do some more cuttings over the winter. I am doing hardwood cuttings of many things right now.
Thanks for your reply, Mike. I’ll take your advice and pot these up and start their transition to the great outdoors.
do these instructions work for muscadines?
It’s worth a try. Some grapes that are difficult to root have to be grafted and that’s more complicated. But I’d try them to see how it works.
Ron Jerome says
Hello Mike, I live in the UK and last November I took about thirty cuttings. I placed them in the open garden in a sandy soil area. Nothing happened until a few days ago and buds started to appear. Since I only nepepd 4 or 5 I pulled one up and There is no s!ign of roots, is this t
He’ll norm or will they start to grow roots e?eventually.
Thank you. Really enjoy your posts.
As long as the grapes are making leaves just let them be, keep them watered and as long as the tops don’t fail they will root. Always stick lots of extra cuttings as you did in this case. More about propagation here. http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
James Billings says
Where can I get the best root starter for my muscadines . I really like your Website I enjoy all that you show, I’ve learned a lot that I did not know. Thanks for all your help
Dip and Grow is as good as any. Available online, Amazon etc.
What if you got cuttings from an area that is still cold and grapevines are still dormant but your weather is allready hot (and allready in spring in our area) would you still plant them outside or would you cover them or how would you approach that? I have had some grapevine cuttings i started in November they are doing great (potted outside and watered when dry) i got another set in late February and potted them (by then allready in the 70’s here) and the tops looked great started budding almost immediatley but then they died off and are looking dead now but left them alone to see what happens (some of them i put on the bottom shelf so they were not sprouting right away but the ones on the top did and look dead now – the ones that were on the bottom shelf look like i am starting to get bud break on them so growing at a slower rate but look to be the survivors) so in hotter weather do you think the ones that immediatly sprouted are dead and over or do you think they will come back ? My guess is they are done and over but i am waiting for a while longer to see if anything grows (some have another bud that did not open so curious to see if will push that bud out or not others with one bud that crashed and burned not sure anything will come of them – debated trying to graft them and add another bud out of curiosity)
Taking a grape cutting that is completely dormant then introducing it to 70 degrees temps is hard on them. But it’s very possible that they cuttings that you got were too dry from the start and that’s why they failed. Best to do them in the dead of winter, then let things happen naturally.
Elvira Townsend says
Good morning Mike,
I put some grape clippings in the ground on Wednesday the 19th I want to know how long before they will produce fruit.
I’m really not the expert at actually growing grapes for production, but I would think that you would have some grapes next season. I just root them, pot them up and sell them.
Dear Mike, Thank you for all your kind word, and sharing your wealth of knowledge with us American. I would enjoy nominating you for our next President. The American people certainly need someone with as you demonstrate. God bless.
Please, continue to share knowledge wealth with us. Thank you. roger
Thanks Roger, I appreciate your support. I wouldn’t last long in Washington. I don’t mind shoveling manure but playing political games is not my thing.
A manure shoveler is EXACTLY what is needed in Washington!
greg gruszczyk says
Mike ,I have tried this in northern Indiana in the ground had trouble with frost pushing them out of ground. How deep can these be planted?
Probably no more than 2″. Check them over the winter, or stick them in a tub of potting soil and transplant in the spring. Make sure the tub has plenty of drainage holes. Or stick them later in the winter.
If I root the grape vines directly into my soil (zone 5 in AZ, 5200 ft above sea level) can I leave them there to grow or do they need to be potted in the spring?
And if I put them in a box like you did, how do I transplant them into my garden, vineyard (haha), or pots to give to my sisters?
Thank you, your information is very much appreciated!
big brad spikely says
There are some wild grapes growing nearby; what do you think of propagating these to use as rootstock/ would it be a good idea? If i did this with rose of sharon tips, will they bloom while creating roots? Thanks 4 ur time.
I would do some research and figure out what rootstock is best for the grape that you intend to graft. But first I’d try and just grow them on their own roots. If you do the rose of sharon now you should have success. If not try them in the summer with this http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
Todd Lohnes says
Hi Tom. Sorry, but I had gotten out of the plant business at least 10 years ago, but I’ve always been doing something with plants every year since and today I opened up some new info. just to see what’s new.
I have lived in quite rural areas of Nova Scotia for all of my life, but that covers pretty much all of our province anyway. Sales of plants never went very well because people would prefer paying 10 bucks for a plant at the nursery as opposed to 2 or 3 bucks at my place. It got discouraging and that’s what got me away from them for the last 10 or more years.
I have a lot more reading to do, but as always I’d like to thank you for having such a positive attitude. I’ll get into it again.
Arzella Starkey says
Thank you Mike for showing the grape propagation once again. I was going to go back through my emails and find it but you included it here also so that was a blessing for me. Thank you! I learn so much from you.
Robert Kelley says
Mike your site has been very informative for me. I was wondering if you could do High Bush Cranberry the same way you do pussy willow. My son has a nice hedge of High Bush and would like to extend this hedge.
Hello Mike I will try this My neighbor has beautiful grape vines.
I have a question…I want to know how to propagate my orchard plants.
I love them, what do I feed them? I got my plants for $1.00 each at the local supermarket, When the flowere die off they get rid of them. The girl said cut the long flower stem. And spray the plant with salt water.
Thanks hope to hear from you., Vicki Sevierville, Tn.
I really can’t help with Orchids, but spraying them with salt water seems a bit extreme to me. I’d suggest you go to Google and see what you can find out.
"Broadway Joe" Diehl says
Mike, I just recieved my “Small Plants, Big Profits from Home book and CD’s. Best $47.00 I’ve ever spent
Can’t lay it down. I could just kick myself though, I have a large crop of concord grape vines and last year
when I pruned them way back, I threw away all the vines down in the corner of my garden. They laid all
summer in a pile. Are they useless at this stage? I’m very excited after reading your information on propagating
grape vines. Now seems to be the time to get started before spring. You have me all excited and ready to learn
and get dirty. That’s part of a great slogan for a shirt if you haven’t already used it., “Get Dirty” I make copies of
all you’re news letters and place them in a folder. Great to be back! Thanks for sharing all of this knowledge with
us. One more thing. I’m sure you already know this but my 86 year old father in law taught me to prune the grapes
way back to where I thought I was going to kill them but they grew back with a vengeance and heavy with grapes.
I’d say those grape cuttings are no good at this time, but don’t fret, spring and summer will be here soon and you’ll find all kinds of things to propagate.
Great video! After starting them in a flat, when should they be planted in their final location?
Barbara Thompson says
hey Mike M; this will seem like the dumbest question in the world, but where do you get grape vine cuttings. I’ve checked around my small area and no one seems to grow grapes. Any suggestions? By the way, you are the BEST!!!
Marsha Barnes says
I enjoy reading your hints on growing things, it is amazing how much you know.
Thanks a lot. Marsha
Thanks Marsha, I appreciate that.
Audrey Sexton says
Can you root black beauty, Pams, late frys, etc. grape vines 5′ to 6′ long cuttings?
How long of a window do you have after the vines are pruned before you have to root the vines.
I’ve 2 questions:
1- If we lay the cutting under soil and only one node be out of soil,is it rooted?
2- Can I propagate grape by air layering in summer?
You can air layer grapes in the summer I’m sure and I would think that buy laying the cutting horizontal with one node exposed it probably would form roots from the nodes under the soil.
Lyle Hillier says
I live in the central part of Utah. the soil is not great, but I get good harvest of tomatoes, corn and etc however I have not had great success growing grapes even though I live in the town of Vineyard. 😉 I started off with 3 plants of concord and 1 “green table” grape. I can’t remember the variety. I plant new plants in the spring and they start growing just fine with perfectly green leaves. Sometime in late spring, the leaves start to turn a mottled green/yellow and the plant seems stressed. I have only had one plant last me more than one season. I have been persistent for 5 years now and I’ve only had two plants survive thru the winter into the next season however I have not had one grape and the plants do not grow larger than a small rose bush. My 1 green grape plant grows prolifically producing growth of 12 feet in either direction, but i get no grapes and the growth is dead the following year. Each year for 5 years now the new growth comes from the existing root and shows promise, but the cycle continues. Am i dealing with disease or should i be more technical with my watering cycles or fertilizer? Thoughts?
Getting grapes to survive should not be a difficult thing at all. We have vineyards around here in the areas where the vineyards are the soil really isn’t all that great. In other words, we could never grow nursery where they very successfully grow grapes. That tells me that grapes are pretty easy to grow and not all that fussy about the soil they are in. Fertilizer? I’d be concerned with fertilizer. Usually less fertilizer is a lot better than more. Over fertilization can and will kill plants and if doesn’t kill them it greatly reduce fruit production.
Secondly, what about late frost. Late frost shouldn’t kill the plants, but it will without a doubt take out flower buds.
If you are doing well with all of your other vegetables there is no reason in the world why you can’t grow grapes. Especially, Concord, Niagara or Catawbwa. My suggestion is to plant more plants and be careful that you are not over caring for them. I know that sounds crazy, but often times it can be the case. Water them enough that they don’t dry out, back off on fertilizer and see what happens.
dean bodenschatz says
we have a rose plant in our back yard that produces roses as big as my hand is there a way to get more plants form this bush? we have tried your recommendation of taking cuttings of 6 inches or so in length scoring 1 end dip it in root growing compound wrap in wet newspaper plastic bag etc. store in a cool area for 6 weeks or so and when i unwrap them i get nothing but molded sticks.
we have also tried the aquarium thing where we take buds are very young growth cut approx 2 inches long score the end dip in root grow put them in miracle gro potting soil moisten the soil and seal with air tight lid [where the sun hits at least 4 hrs. a day] set on a tray to allow light watering the tops do show some growth but no roots appear. can you give me any help are is it impossible to reproduce hybrid roses.
thank you in advance for any help
This past 6 months, I have rooted 200-plus rose cuttings from 6 of my favorite rose bushes.
After they rooted (6wks) in a sand bed with overhead mist (Mike’s mist system), I transplanted them to a grow bed and within another 8 wks, they produced flowering rose heads.
Although I hated doing it, I clipped off the tiny rose heads (about 3 inches down the stem), so the little bush would get thicker.
I have not tried the rolled newspaper method. I may try hardwood cuttings from them in January or February.
Some rose varieties are very difficult to root. Are you taking the cuttings in the spring after the rose has bloomed (softwood) or in the fall (hardwood)? Other times may prove more difficult. The best way I have found to root cuttings is to root them outdoors in natural mulch from trees in the shade with a soaker hose watering them once a day to keep the soil moist. Even hard varieties eventually root and the cutting seem to stay fresh without bacteria. The snow has just melted and the cuttings I placed last fall have taken root slowly over the winter.
That’s an interesting take, hardwood cuttings of roses outdoors over the winter. Plants never cease to amaze me.
Thank you for being thier. Keep up thee good work Mike. Soon as I get back to work shortly thier after, I will buy your book. Thanks again!
Stephen Dunn says
I can hardly wait until spring! Among several other things, I do have grape cuttings stuck in sand beds. My varieties are Canadice, Black Spanish, Thompson’s Green Seedless, and a bronze variety of Muscadine. I gave my dad two of my rooted cuttings of Black Spanish two years ago and this year he had enough to make over a dozen bottles of wine plus a couple batches of jelly. Hopefully I will get a few cuttings off of my Concord next year.
Hi Mike! thanks for the idea- and reminder that it’s time to get going on the grapes! We’re curious about grape varieties. We have a couple growing, and have a good friend who has some others, if we were to get some cuttings to root, would they be a marketable item without knowing the “exact” variety (IE purple seedless) or is there a way to find out what variety it is? Thank you for your info! We are reorganizing our life after the US economic nose dive crashed into my husbands emergent need for joint surgery and made quick work of our FORMER life. So at this point we’re seriously considering adding your system to our efforts of self employment. Thanks again for your wealth of knowledge.
There really is now way to know for sure what variety you have, no matter what anybody else tells you. There are just so many that are very, very similar. It’s always so much better to start out with named varieties that you are certain of the variety, no matter how generic they may be. There will be a market and you will be started off on the right foot then you can add more named varieties as time goes on. Keep in mind I used to work for a guy that did about 500,000 grapes a year and none of them were very special varieties. There is a market for just about any plant you can buy and I talk a lot about that in my Backyard Growing System.
I am having some problems rooting azaleas,you seem to be very successfull ,while enjoying your work.. I am going to try rooting grapes (muscadine) vines. Any help and advise will be greatly apprecated.
Do the azaleas in mid summer using this http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm. Do the grapes just as I have explained here during the winter.
Hans Gruetzenbach says
Please note that it is a proven fact that Muscadine vines have a very low success rate of only about 1% from hard wood cuttings. It’s basically a waist of time. You will have far better success from June to August with soft wood cuttings.
bobby garrett says
Mike–I am wanting to propgate some scuppernongs.Do I do the same as with the grapes as you show?
Absolutely I’d trying doing them this way, you have nothing to lose but a little bit of time. Some plants are more challenging than others, but most all can be rooted by one means or another.
Al Percival says
Excellent article on grape propagation! I have actually done this pretty much as you have described, and it works great.
I was able to get some cuttings from an old Concord variety that are actually from parent vines that are at least 130 years old – an old family homestead that has had the vines for as long as they have lived there. I have made excellent wine from these grapes, and figured that the parent vines have withstood the test of time and would be very hardy and a good one to have in my grape row. I have also dug some grapes from an old vineyard that belonged to my wife’s grandfather, who had a produce market on Rt. 250 about 50 years ago in Norwalk, Ohio.
I really enjoy your articles and think that getting your hands dirty in the soil keeps a person humble and “down to earth”. It is so neat to watch things grow.
God bless you.
Berlin Heights, OH
Thank you Al for being a subscriber!
I have a ton of grape vines that produce a lot of leaves but no grapes.What’s up with that?
Right off the top of my head I would say, not enough sunlight, possibly too much fertilizer. I’d give them good pruning this winter. I posted a link in one of the comments to a pruning video.
If they only produce leaves they need to be pruned ! Grapes don’t grow well too far from the main stem, also they could be wild vines or a few will need another vine to pollinate . To prune if the vine is about 3 years old leave 3 buds only on each shoot. Make sure they have plenty of sunshine and get enough water (water twice a week and long enough for there to be water standing on the ground around vines )
silly ? do you line the bottom of the box with anything
Line the bottom of the flat with newspaper or cardboard, something that will decompose and not tangle with the roots.
Ray Bennett says
I really enjoy your talent and sharing of information. I would like to learn how to propagate cuttings form fruit and other trees and flowering shrubs that grow in the Philippines where I have family in order to help them with their livelyhood.. Any info on this will be appreciated. thanks
Most fruit trees are budded on to a rootstock grown from seed. But you can try all kinds of things from softwood cuttings during the growing season. More here http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
shep field says
do you root blue berries like you do the grapes ? thanks shep in raleigh, n.c,
Blueberries are usually done as softwood cuttings during the summer. The process is different. http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
I’ve got an overabundance of grapevines growing wild for about 150 feet along the edge of the forest in my yard in SE Oklahoma, most of them around 30 to 40 feet long and growing up into the trees. Last year they had a number of bunches of rather small green grapes, but this year there were far fewer.
I’m going to try getting some cuttings and plant them along my fenced garden with a good mixture of manure and leaf mulch in the sandy soil to see if I can turn them into viable vines that produce.
So far, my Hydrangea cuttings are doing ok, and if they all work out I’ll have 2 dozen of them for my front yard gardens.
My strawberry gardens are doing great, 16 inside my greenhouse, and another 28 in the fenced garden, all from the original 2 plants I purchased 2 years ago.
The Asparagus inside the greenhouse are also doing good, although cut down for winter now, and expect my first harvest in the spring.
I’ve also propagated my original 12 Coreopsis to 125 plants, all along my front gardens.
Without Mike’s help and advice, I’d probably have given up landscaping my property years ago, but now am the envy of all who go by! Thanks Mike!
Thanks Mike! My grandparents had enough grapevines to provide all of us with a year of jelly and grape juice. They were seeded Concord and were the best!
Thanks Larry, I truly appreciate comments like this.
Asparagus grow outside in Germany where the winters are terribly severe. They plant on the South facing wall of a shed or barn so the soil warms early as possible. They probably don’t need to take up precious greenhouse space.
Al Simpkins says
Mike great as usual!
Per your video re top or bottom of the cutting.
If we get cuttings from someone how do you determine which end is bottom as I assume that it makes a big difference?
That’s a great question and the answer is, the seller should prune them just as I did here so you can tell. Or they should clearly tag them. But pruning them correctly makes it really difficult to mix up tops and bottoms.
Martha Blevins says
This is the best of the best Mike. I have tried to root grapes, grow from seeds , and
haven’t had much luck.
I save seed from all kinds of fruits and some trial and error but, keeps me happy, happy, happy.
I would LOVE to purchase some grape STICKS from someone who has an abundance. I also
want to know about muscadine grapes. Do they root the same ? Can you grow them from
Your info is worth a fortune. I would love to work for you for the education. Thanks for the good work.
I’d try them as cuttings. Seeds are usually not a good idea because a seedling will not produce a true clone of the parent plant.
Bob Fortner says
Hey Martha.Muscadine and scuppydines types only seem to grow well in certain areas ,like arkansas or georgia area,,When I was a truck driver ,I bought a few allready potted from down there,But I could not get then to live past the first winter here in Michigan..You made my mouth water just talking about them.
stephen pompa says
Hi Mike, I have three or four grape vines blue and white grapes. This spring they will be three years old. I haven’t put them on a trellis yet. This last season, season two, I got some nice bunches. I was able to fill a large bowl with about ten bunches. This season I will trellis them old style, above, so I can walk under them. This article about starting new cuttings will work great when the uprights are in I can plant one at each upright. My question is how far down to the ground should I prune the cane. How many nodes should be on the cane coming out of the ground. Thanks for the article.
Stephen, This video should help you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JOTRbUodQw
Alan Bailey says
Gooseberries are easier still.
I used my gooseberry prunings as supports my peas. The peas were a failure but nearly all the prunings rooted.
Sheryl Hartnett says
Thanks so much. Mike! I have two really good purple grape plants. Last year I made a hoard of jelly AND grape pies and indiviual fruit pies. ( NEVER AGAIN!!) I have a couple of neighbors with vines. My question is, can I plant cuttings from their vines along side mine even though we might know exactly variety they are? Also, can you cut ‘sticks’ now? Keep up the good work. I am just across the river from St. Louis. HAPPY NEW. YEAR!
Absolutely you can cut sticks now. Once spring arrives you have to stop cutting “sticks”. Sure you can mix and match the grape plants. you’ll know what they are when they fruit.
does this also work for raspberries or blackberries
Bert, you can try them, many things can be rooted as hardwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings in the summer might work using this http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
Bob Fortner says
Hey Mke I had a thought.Remember the thing you had about propagating roses wrapped in wet news paper? Im gonna try that with some hardwood grapes cuttings and blackberries as well..I dont have any need for more of these but I like to experiment .Ill let you know how it turns out.Your friend Bob
Bob Fortner says
Hey I grow a few varieties of both.For rasberry I have to dig out spaces down thru the rows because they grow in so thick.Do in early spring just as they start to come out of dormancy.Put them where you want them and they will take off fast like those strawberry bunches you buy..I grow the Heritage and the Caroline’s. Black berries It kinda depends on what variety it is.Most of them you can just dig out a clump in early spring .Preferably before they come out of dormancy.Cuttings of hardwood stems I havent had much luck with.But I want to try with the technigue used to do the roses just to see if that works.Also you can just reach down along side blackberries and find a couple of the long roots and ease them out of the ground.Cut in 6 inch pieces, plant about 2 or 2 and a half inches deep. Navaho variety doesnt work well from root cuttings,So with those I layer some tips into pots I set around the mother plant..Also you can just dig out a plant with a shovel and just put it any place you want if you do it before they get out of dormancy.Hope that helps.Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have questions or just wanna talk.
I have just moved to So. Florida (St. Pete). I have a small balcony (11×8) that I would like to grow a cherry tomato plant on. Is there one kind better than another for this type of growing and are there other “kitchen” plants you can suggest that I can start growing in Feb? I really enjoy reading your gardening info…even though my gardening is really confined! If I had a kitchen window I would grow herbs there…(guess I’ll grow them in the bedroom window so I have a little more room on the balcony for plants you will, hopefully, suggest!) Thanks for your help. Isabelle
william harrigan says
im currently growing grapes for last 5 years I have arbour that I started 2 types of grapes one on either side of arbour one is red other white . Is there a way to know if my clipings are white or red grapes ?
I’m sure there are subtle differences in the cuttings, but I’m guessing it’s going to be really hard to know which is which. Once they get leaves you might be able to compare the leaves to know what you have rooted. But that doesn’t help much when taking the cuttings. I’d just do a lot more than you need and hopefully you get enough of each.
Audrey Sexton says
Can you root black beauty, Pams, late frys, etc. grape vines 5′ to 6′ long cuttings?
Can you root black beauty, Pams, late frys, etc. grape vines 5′ to 6′ long cuttings?
Truthfully you can root just about any shrub out there. I wouldn’t make a grape vine longer than 15″. Just make multiple cuttings, they grow quickly once rooted.