The Q&A Archives: No Grapes

Question: Last year when I lived in Manhattan Beach, I planted Red Flame and Thompson grapes and the Red Flame bore fruit. Early this year, I relocated away from the beach to an inland location and transplanted the vines near a semi-sunny spot. To my surprise the vines grew much larger and looked healthier than last year, however, neither bore fruit. Is this normal? Since the vines grew so well, I'm not sure why they didn't bear fruit.

Answer: Sounds as though there are two or three reasons for your grapevines to look terrific but produce nothing. To begin with, recently transplanted grapes (or any other plant for that matter) require a period of adjustment before they can perform, so the problem might be just a matter of getting used to a new location. Or, perhaps your grapes were moved during bloom, which might have kept them from developing fruit. A second concern is that grapes grow and produce best when planted in full sunshine, not in part shade. One last consideration is that grapevines will develop lush growth but few fruits if overfertilized.

If possible, move your grapevines to a site that receives full sunshine all day. Hold back on the fertilizer, water regularly, and wait to see what happens. You should see tiny flower clusters next spring and there will probably be fruit next fall.

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