Grapes Growing in Phoenix - Knowledgebase Question

Sun Lakes, Ar
Question by whelandt
March 3, 2010
I would like to plant grapes along the walls of my yard. Az. Extension said to only plant a European variety for success but could not tell me which are European varieties. Can you please let me know which would be best. Thank you. Dee Whelan


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Answer from NGA
March 3, 2010

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Grapes grow very well in the lower desert, and are even grown commercially on a small scale. They do best with a fair amount of direct sun and regular water and can take the summer heat and winter cold. European grape varieties with high heat requirements are recommended.

The best grape varieties for the Phoenix area are in the European class (Vitis vinifera). Flame seedless grapes and Thompson seedless grapes are both in this class and these plants can be easily found for sale locally. Others to consider include Perlette and Cardinal. The lower desert summer heat encourages these varieties to produce lots of sugar, creating a wonderfully sweet flavor. Interestingly, the heat also keeps some pigmented grapes from attaining full color, even when they are fully ripe. For example, flame seedless grapes stay green during the hottest months even when they are ready to eat. This requires one to perform taste tests for ripeness before picking them.

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