The Q&A Archives: Grapevine Problems

Question: We were given a grapevine two years ago. The first year it didn't grow fruit, last year it grew beautiful grapes. Unfortunately we only got one bunch, the neighbor kids ate the rest!!! This year we had tons of grapes, but the vine started turning brown, then the leaves turned brown, the fruit shriveled up and the whole vine looks dead. Do you know what could have caused it? Have we lost the grapevine?

Answer: Grapevines are prone to a number of disease and insect problems so you'll have to do a little detective work to find the cause. If the vine completely dried out, check the crown of the plant near the soil surface for outward clues of insects, or injury (perhaps cracking and splitting, lawn mower or weed whacker damage). If it appears intact and free of problems, then consider root injury - from nematodes, drought, soggy soil, or other stressful condition. For now, cut back the dead vines and remove the debris from the garden. Cut all the way back to the woody parts of the plant. Then cross your fingers and hope for new buds on the remaining woody canes next spring.

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