Best Time to Prune and Root Grape Vine Cuttings?

Edymnion(7a)December 6, 2012

Hello all,

I've got a venus grape vine that I've let just grow however it wanted the last two years so that it could get well established. This year I plan on pruning it to make sure I get just the branches I want out of it.

My question is as follows:

Given that the vine is now dormant and hence the proper time to prune in general, when would be the best time to do so if I want to attempt to root the cuttings?

I suppose the answer will depend on what it takes to get the cuttings to root. I vaguely recall seeing something about taking cuttings early in the winter and putting them somewhere sheltered and cool (like the crawlspace under the house) in plastic bags and forgetting about them until spring. Is something like that what it would take, a couple months of leaving them alone before they'll root (which would mean prune now), or would it be better to prune closer to spring when the vine is waking back up since it'll be in the growing mood?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I think the best time to prune in areas with freeze danger is in spring just before or as growth begins. I think this is too early in zone 7.

I'd take cuttings for rooting 2-4 weeks before growth begins. Then they may need to be buried or stored in a cool place until rooting. It depends on whether you can control temperature or are reliant on nature, they need warmth to root rapidly.

I'm not an expert on rooting grapes but have done it many times. Usually by just planting them where I wanted a vine, covering until spring, and then uncovering the top bud. This works but there are ways that result in much higher % takes.

The key to rooting them is getting callus formation first. This works best at warm temperature, just the right moisture level, and rooting hormone. The cutting needs to be fully turgid but not wet. Some experts callus them in moist sand. This months Good Fruit Grower has an article on rooting grape cuttings.

I've never used rooting hormone so that's not essential.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 2:58PM
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Some varieties root much better with hormone, others do fine without it. Best to root in a loose medium, medium to coarse sand works good. Damp, but not wet, too wet and you invite rot, heat from the bottom will root cuttings much faster than no heat, a heating pad works good if it doesnt shut off after x minutes like so do, or you can get a pad just for seedlings/cuttings.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:31PM
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bencjedi(6 - Central Kentucky)

Easiest way is to scratch and rough-up a woody, long, living vine on one side that reaches the ground in late summer, covering that 'damaged' part with soil and pointing the rest of the vine up in the air. In the spring you will have bud and leaf formation on both sides of the vine on either side of the buried part. At this point you can cut the vine, so the buried part is now its own plant. Tah-dah!

I did this a couple times and it worked great. The only caveat was the óffsprung' new plant was delayed in production relative to the parent in which it was spawned off from. In the next year after the separation was made the new plant fruited about 3 weeks later after the main plant. In the following year (this year) I am noticing both parent and child are in sync. Both are forming fruit at the same time.

If you don't want to fool with cuttings and hormones than using the main plant as the host and life support system of an emerging 'child' plant is comparatively very easy.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:24PM
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