When is the best time to take cuttings to propagate a grape vine, and what is the correct propagation procedure?

Grapes March 18, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF
Grapes can be propagated in several ways, but perhaps the most common method is through dormant cuttings. Wait until after the vines have gone dormant to collect propagation material. Select one-year-old growth slightly larger than a pencil. Collect long, straight shoots from which to make cuttings. It is best to take a 6 foot or so shoot and then start making cuttings at the base of the shoot. The cuttings have to be right side up or they will not root. An easy way to remember is to cut the base of the cutting flat and the top of the cutting at an angle. The cuttings should be 12 to 18 inches long and contain 4 buds. Three of the buds should be placed under ground and the remaining one left out of the soil. Dipping the end of each cutting in rooting hormone may speed up the process of root production. The cuttings should be placed in the soil as soon as you prune them. The cuttings will callus over the remaining winter and next spring some will start growing. Keep the soil around the cuttings moist but not overly wet for the rest of the winter. Since not all cuttings will likely grow, it is best to do about 10 percent more cuttings than the number of vines needed.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.