grape vine

Propagating Grape Vines From Cuttings

Propagating grapevines from cuttings is one of the easiest ways to expand your orchard. Propagating plants can seem intimidating, but it’s a lot easier than you’d think. 

When it comes to gardening, there is a lot to learn. If you are a beginner gardener, it can seem like a mountain to climb.

From planting seeds to watering and weeding, gardening is an adventure of learning that never stops. I’ve been gardening for many years, and yet there are many things that I have yet to learn. 

Propagating is something that I’ve only recently dabbled in and it’s so much fun.

The thrill of seeing dormant wood start to grow roots is pretty thrilling. Not only does this give you more plants, it also saves you a lot of money.

Plants are expensive. For many years as we were establishing our homestead, I had a yearly order of plants. It got expensive fast. 

Propagating grape veins from cuttings is one way to lessen the expense. 

I have a Valiant grapevine that is struggling to grow in our Zone 2b. It’s four years old already, and I’ve only been able to harvest a small number of grapes twice.

Not enough to make juice or anything like that. Last year it had one small bunch. 

It’s on the south side of our home, which would be supposed to be a good spot, but the soil there is not healthy at all. Instead of moving it, I want to plant fresh vine cuttings someplace else.

With our cold winters, what I intend to do is plant it inside my greenhouse (once it gets built).

Grapes like the sunshine and heat, so by planting them in there, I’m hoping to be able to grow a lot of grapes. Even with our cold winters. 

Propagating grape vines from cuttings is simple, and requires nothing but a rooting hormone, a sharp knife, and some soil.

When to take grape cuttings

You have two options when it comes to taking grape cuttings. Hardwood cuttings are usually taken in late fall to late winter after the vine has gone dormant.

You can also take them in early spring before the vine has gone out of dormancy (this is what I did). Hardwood cuttings are brown and look dead. 

The other option is greenwood cuttings. The best time to cut these is in late spring, to late summer. These are the fresh leaves that the old vine puts out. I had a lot of success doing it this way a couple of years ago.

Unfortunately, they got rooted out by chickens once I had them outside in their permanent location.

I plan to do this again later on in the spring. Right now I can only take dormant hardwood grape cuttings. 

3 Ways To Propagate Grape Vines With What You Have At Home

How do you propagate grape vines?

There are several different methods. Some of these have a higher success rate than others.

For beginners, it is recommended you start with hardwood cuttings because they have the highest success rate.

Propagating Grapes From Dormant Cuttings

Grapevines get pruned in fall usually after they have gone dormant. This is a great time to save some to propagate.

These dormant vines are often discarded, so if you live near a grape orchard, you might be able to pick up vine cuttings for free.

Dormant grape cuttings should be about 8-12 inches in length. If you are making cuttings from one vine, make sure that each cutting has at least one node that will be planted under the soil.

The bottom bud should have about 1/2 inch of stem under it, but not more. You don’t want to cut into the node where it’s supposed to root.

Dip them into rooting serum, and stick them into a pot of dirt.

These cuttings can be stored in a cold moist environment (a cellar would work great), until the start of the growing season. You don’t want to store them indoors.

They could start producing leaves before they have sprouted roots.

The following year they should be taken out and out in a warm spot.

A heating mat will help them root more quickly, but a warm spot can work in a pinch as well. After they have sprouted and are putting out new growth, you can plant them in their permanent location.

Grapes like a warm, sunny spot with good drainage.

Grapes propagated from hardwood cuttings have 80% success rates. New grape vines from hardwood cutting will expand your garden quickly.  

There are some types of grapes like muscadine grapes that cannot grow from dormant cuttings.

Propagating Grapes from Greenwood Cuttings

Greenwood cuttings are when you cut off a piece of green stem from your grapevine. These stem cuttings are taken in late spring, to late summer for the healthiest growth.

I took mine during a warm spring rain and had an almost 100% success rate. 

Greenwood cuttings should be about 4-6 inches in length. You need to remove all but one leaf to prevent excess moisture loss.

Dip the end of the cutting into rooting powder. Then plant them into a pot that can be covered. I use plastic fruit containers from the store.

These have a lid and help prevent moisture loss. Place them in a warm place, for 1-2 weeks. I placed mine on top of the refrigerator, but a heating mat would be excellent. 

A common problem that will decrease your success rate with this method is water loss. Lack of moisture will prevent cuttings from taking root.

Cuttings that dry out will not produce new root systems.

After 2 weeks, you can gently pull them, to see if they are starting to root.

Grapevine cuttings that are rooting will resist being pulled, as their roots are starting to grow. Cuttings that have no roots will pull easily.  

Once the cutting is well established, you can plant it into its permanent location.


Layering is a common method in a commercial setting, as it is a quick way to replace a dead vine in a row.

To propagate by layering, you bury a portion of a vine under several inches of soil. Be sure to bury at least one node. Nodes are where the plant grows out new shoots.

Layering produces a brand new grape plant. It can take several months for it to grow new roots and can then be separated from the parent plant.

Best Rooting Hormone for Grape Cuttings

Which rooting hormone is the best?

There are many on the market, and they are specified for different types of cuttings. For hardwood cuttings, use No.3 Stim-Root. For green cuttings or softwood, use No.1 Stim Root. 

You can use almost any rooting hormone, even a homemade one.

Another option is making a homemade rooting hormone. This one only uses two ingredients and is really effective as well.

Cover the end of the stem in raw honey, and then roll it in cinnamon. This makes a great homemade rooting hormone. 

How Long Does it Take to Grow Grapes from Cuttings?

It can take up to three years before you will be able to harvest grapes from cuttings. New vines start to grow within 2-4 weeks after planting, but they will not produce fruit for many years. 

When you order grape plants from a nursery, the plant will already be 2-3 years old, and this is why they can produce fruit faster. 

In conclusion, propagated grapevines from cuttings usually have a great success rate.

By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can grow your own grapevines without having to purchase an expensive plant. So why not give it a try?

Propagating grapevines from cuttings is an easy way to get new plants for free.

1 thought on “Propagating Grape Vines From Cuttings”

  1. i have been growing muscadine grapes for 20 years or more and have 7 different kinds and have been trying to grow tomcord grapes without much success. they are the best i ever tasted i had good success 1 year and the vine died. i have planted 14 vines purchased from Stark Brothers in Missouri and only got 4 to live with no grapes yet.I will try to start some new cuttings this fall and think i should have to put mine inside for the winter because it freezes here.

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