The Q&A Archives: Slow Growing Grapes

Question: We purchased two different kinds of grapes from you and they seem to be growing EXTREMELY slowly and the leaves are getting something that looks like rust spots on them.

The hole was deep and wide, they are in the sun most of the day. Good drainage. Good watering.

Any ideas?

Answer: New plants do take a year or so to settle in and establish themselves; the optimum planting time is fall or very early spring, so if yours were planted in late spring they may still be rooting. Generally speaking, grapes do best planted in an open area in full sun and away from root competition from other plants or trees. In a less than ideal spot they will grow more slowly.

They are deep rooted so it is possible that you may be overwatering or even underwatering (if you are watering lightly but often); by now a good deep soaking once a week should be sufficient.

Unfortunately, grapes are subject to a number of foliar problems and it sounds like yours are being attacked by one of them. Most gardeners find that a regular spray program is needed to keep their grape vines healthy and producing well. You may wish to contact your County Extension office for a definite diagnosis of the problem and suggested control, plus information about the recommended spray regimen and timing for grapes in your local area. Their telephone number is 863-0110.

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