The Q&A Archives: Starting Grape Vines From Seedlings

Question: I have some grape seeds that came from a vinyard. I would like to try and grow them. How can I go about doing this? Do they need to be put in a cool place for a few weeks to "trick" them into thinking they went through a winter?

Currently I have some in a little container with seed starter soil - and covered with a plasic bag to keep the soil moist.

Answer: Most grapes are propagated vegetatively (by grafting) rather than by seeds. One of the reasons for this is to preserve the characteristics of the desirable vine rather than take a chance on the variations that occur among seedlings. Another reason is to make sure the root stock is well suited to the local soil, since many grapes are rather finicky about this.

If you still want to try to grow a vine from seed, grapes need a period of cool stratification prior to germination. Set your container of barely damp soil wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for three to four months and then try to germinate the seeds. Be sure to remove the plastic as soon as they begin to sprout.

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