Yellowing Leaves On My Grape Vines - Pics Included

half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)June 24, 2012

Hello, If it's not one thing it's another. In my case it's beginning to look like everything I recently purchased is looking ill.

Was hoping through the photos I listed here below that somebody may be able to determine what the cause of this yellowing is here. I have had this grape vine steadily growing away for several weeks here now while I complete the arbor that I'm planning to grow this onto.

In the meantime, I noticed that the leaves have begun yellowing about a week now or so. It seems to be currently happening on the lower leaves and slowly moving up. Mostly on the older big lower leaves at this moment. Some are almost completely yellowed now.

It also seems that the yellowing is starting from the outer edges of the leaves and working it's way to the center, if this is a helpful observation. I think this grape vine also fell into the possible over watering as I believe I was doing with my other fruit trees around the same time I picked these up from my nursery.

I'm wondering if this looks at all as if it may have been due to an over watering issue and if so, if I now back off the watering will this get better? Unless I'm having some other sort of issues... I was initially deep watering this plant almost every other day.

I have also been spraying this on a weekly basis (along with my other fruit trees) with serenade fungicide as a preventive measure.

By the way, this is a flame seedless grapes variety which actually had some flowering and is now fruiting a few clusters.

Thanks for any help on this..

Richard S.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


In pots the nitrogen is leached out on every watering. It's not serious if you are planting soon. Try mixing a tablespoon of ammonium sulfate, 21-0-0, per 3 gal water. Apply this one watering a week. See if that doesn't help. The old leaves won't green up but they'll quit getting yellower. You'll get more new growth that won't yellow.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 9:08AM
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half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)

Hello fruitnutz and thanks for your reply. I have read through the forum here and have seen many of your posts. You sound like a well experienced individual. It's awesome that this forum has knowledgeable users such as yourself that stick around and shed some insight to the many newbies and distressed gardeners that come around here.

Glad to hear this is something I can fix. It'll probably be another two more weeks before I get to replant as I'm finishing up the arbor and will be installing underground irrigation for a drip system. So for the time being, they'll remain in them buckets...

Any particular ammonium sulfate you would recommend? How about an organic approach to upping the nitrogen? I read that bone meal has about the same percentage of nitrogen (20% N) as the sulphate of ammonia has... although I'm not sure if this can be mixed with water and feed as you suggested with the ammonium sulfate.

What do you think here? Also, should I snip those yellow leaves off at this point or would that stress out the plant even more?

And should grapes normally be watered like once a week?

Another question I like to ask if your familiar with this one by sight. I have another grape tree variety that I picked up about three weeks ago, the black monukka. When I first picked this up there were a few leaves scattered around that had these red spots or blotches on them. The fellow at the nursery said this was due to irregular watering so I figured wasn't a real bid deal and should get better with a consistent watering plan. We'll the first week or so I think I was also over watering this plant as I was doing with all of my other newly purchased fruit trees.

Thought maybe you could tell me what does this look like is happening to this plant. Some of the upper leaves look OK with new leaves sprouting out looking nice and green to start. There are some leaves though that also don't look too happy. They seem like there not laying flat and more like there curled in as seen in the third photo. Not sure if this is normal for this type of variety but it certainly doesn't look right since some of the other leaves on this grapevine is looking flat and normal. Does it look like this may have been induced as a result of irregular watering pattern or some sort of nutrient deficiency?

Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks again for your time. Richard S.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 5:15AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I don't see anything serious looking in any of your pictures. And if you are planting in a few weeks you don't need to do anything now. After planting, an organic source of nitrogen would be good because that won't burn the roots. Blood meal, cottonseed meal, or another high nitrogen organic work well. You'll need to water every 3-4 days after planting. Once the plants are established water deeply every 1-4 weeks depending on your soil, weed competition, weather, rainfall, and like factors.

Your plants don't need leaves removed or fungicide from what I can see.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 9:08AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

The main problem: water stress.

Get them into the ground asap.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:48AM
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half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)

Hello fruitnut and thanks again for your update. That first photo I posted in my previous message showed more of the thompson plant on the left side. The few leaves towards the right side of that photo which looked a little curled in and showed some reddish was from the black monukka.

The second third and fourth picture shows only the black monukka alone... You can see from the third photo how some of the leaves looked like their curling in. Hopefully nothing too serious, maybe just a watering issue...

I picked up some blood meal yesterday from my local OSH. Looks like it's a little less potent than the ammonium sulfate at only 12% N. In my previous post I mentioned reading that bone meal was high in nitrogen. This had me confused, as I later learned that bone meal was high in phosphate (P) not nitrogen (N). This is the site were I read the bone meal was high in N.

Looked like some nice educational information for the new gardener, however I think that particular information is wrong...

In any event, I put some of this blood meal in all 4 of my grape vine buckets hoping this may help until I get them in ground...

I was surprised to hear 1 to 4 weeks on the watering once the plants are established. Sounds like they can go quite a while without watering. How do you know when they are established? Once there planted in ground and they seem to be growing? Like within a two weeks?

I'm using mels mix on the first two feet above ground (raised box to the side of the arbor) and then below that the ground is somewhat hard. Maybe what they call clay. I was thinking of trying to break up a little of the ground below the box and maybe mixing in some compost to soften things up. Does this sound like a good idea?

Would this sound like a once a week watering schedule? I think I'm still going to use my soil moisture tester for a bit, until I get better at this. It has a 12" probe so I can get down there and check the soil, although I realize that once this is in ground the roots will more than likely take off below chasing after that water...

Jean001a, thanks for your input. I'm beginning to think that too. I hope to get this done as quick as possible. So many other things going on here not to mention the little kids who demand as much attention as these plants. heh....

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 4:59PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


It's generally recommended that you plant in the native soil. No amendments particularly if it's clay and poor drainage. By amending you sometimes create a bathtub that drowns the plant.

Established is after 1-2 years of good growth. Right after planting they need watering nearly as often as in the pot. Gradually decrease frequency after planting.

Watering frequency after establishment is dependent on many factors: climate, soil, watering method, competition with weeds or trees, etc.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 5:49PM
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half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)

So if the soil is a hardened clay type, it will still take root and spread out well and grow OK...? I think I understand your bathtub theory, the roots would tend to stay within the amended soil and may hold the water more so at the bottom of the amended soil due to the harder slower draining clay soil below.

Hmm, I already built two very nice boxes for each side of the arbor, about 5 feet in length and like two feet deep and had planned to filled them up with mels mix. I thought this would get these roots off to a good start.

I could dig a foot below and loosen up the soil beneath so by the time the roots get down there they may be strong enough to push through. I wouldn't say the soil below is rock hard. I did till the ground prior to building the arbor and have done plenty of watering the area to keep it soft. What do you think...?

Established after 1 to 2 years, heh, and here I thought this meant a few weeks. :) OK,, I understand that part.. Such very helpful information here.. thank you so much for all your help..

Another question about these grapes growing up the arbor, do you think they would do OK at 4 feet apart growing up each post? The arbor is close to eight feet high.....

Richard S.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 6:34PM
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