A good way to propagate grapes is by taking cuttings: a complete line can be obtained from a patch of vines. Grape growers take cuttings in autumn and germinate them in the same season or in winter when they are in a woody state. It is best to prune cuttings in the fall, as pruning and germination can be combined. Before the procedure, treat the vines with 3% iron or copper sulfate and wait a few days before starting work. In this Bubgo article, we will show you how to propagate grapevine cuttings for germination at home.
When to Start Germinating Grape Cuttings in Autumn and Winter?
Cuttings usually germinate in the fall or winter. You can start as early as November. This way, there will be a harvest as early as the year of planting: not much, but a bunch. This work is done in the fall and winter.
When germinating cuttings from November to early February, be aware that the buds on the vine are dormant during this period. On the other hand, the root cells are not dormant, which ensures that the vine is awakened and forms a root system before the buds on the shoots wake up. This is the case for both fall and winter sprouting.
How to Cut and Store Grape Cuttings Before Sprouting at Home
Cuttings are usually taken from the middle part of the vine, where there are the most fruiting shoots. The most suitable cuttings are those with seven or eight eyes. Depending on the variety, it can grow up to 20 inches (0.5 m). There is no need to cut shorter than this, as the plugs will lose moisture and dry out quickly.
When there is no way out, cut three-eyed cuttings. But the ends must be filled with paraffin or covered with garden asphalt - this will prevent water loss. During autumn germination (i.e. when short-term storage is provided), the chopped shoots can be placed in water for a day. Then dry them slightly for a day, wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the basement or lower compartment of a home refrigerator.
Storing plugs before germination can be done in the fall or winter at low and positive temperatures of about 35 °F (2 °C). If the temperature is higher than 46 °F (8 °C), the buds may awaken, which is very detrimental to the cuttings.
Tip: The humidity level during storage should be about 80%. However, it is extremely important to avoid condensation, as condensation can be a precursor to mold. Therefore, do not wrap the cuttings in damp paper or place them in damp river sand or sawdust. During storage, check the plugs about every 10 days. If you notice mold or an unpleasant odor, immediately immerse the shoots in a red solution of manganese dioxide or hydrogen peroxide. The concentration is about one teaspoon per 0.26 gals (1 liter) of water. Then be sure to dry them out and repack them in new wrapping paper.
How to Germinate Grape Cuttings at Home at Different Times of the Year
The cuttings should be prepared before starting to germinate, either in autumn or in winter. The process is not complicated. Basically, it consists of acclimatizing the cuttings for about a day. Then follow the recommendations.
1. The cuttings should be cut off about 0.4 inches (1 cm) and left in water for several days.
2. After a few days, the plugs should be fertilized with honey adding one tablespoon of honey for every 1.32 gals (5 liters) of water.
3. Keep the plugs in this state for another 24 hours, then rinse them with running water and let them dry.
Once you have done all this, you are ready to start rooting the plugs.
A. 3 simple steps for germinating grape cuttings in autumn
Fall germination of cuttings usually occurs in November, literally from the first few days of the month to the end of the month. Usually, in autumn, the cuttings will wake up fairly quickly and no special rooting operations are needed. Therefore, the method is not as complicated as in winter.
In autumn, you can germinate grape cuttings in water. This is the easiest method. This is common among grape growers who propagate their grapes at home.
1. If you don't have one, you should take or buy an ordinary glass jar and be sure to put a layer of ordinary cotton wool or foam rubber at the bottom. This layer will act as a water reservoir, both of which are very good and often used.
2. Place the cuttings on one of the chosen materials and pour in as much water as the absorbent layer can absorb (usually no more than a few centimeters).
3. Next, place the cuttings in a bottle on a warm, bright windowsill. To make sure that the water does not spoil and damage the cuttings, you should replace all the water every few days - you should do this
Tip: When grape cuttings root in the fall, the roots will form at the junction of air and moisture. If your cuttings do not become dry and are perfectly viable, calluses can form on the cuttings after ten days, and then the root system can start to appear. It may happen that the root system on the plug will also appear without the previously formed callus. However, in most cases, it is from the callus, and often in the cuttings of the heel of the vine and in the grooves of the cuttings (if any), that roots will form. You can germinate cuttings in white water.
2 Ways to Germinate Grape Cuttings in Winter
In winter (December to the end of January), it is also possible to germinate cuttings, but this is slightly more difficult than in autumn. Several methods are used.
A. Sprouting on ragged cloth
To sprout in a rag roll you will need a clean, well-watered cotton cloth or a piece of linen treated with boiling water beforehand. Then follow the instructions.
1. The grape plug should be placed in the cloth or linen so that the heel of the plug is wrapped and the tip with the buds is not covered. These are the requirements of the crop.
2. The two halves in swaddling clothes should be hidden in cellophane bags and tied up with the ends of the bags. Or tie them up with any kind of string to slow down the evaporation of water.
3. Still place this twist horizontally in any warm place, such as in a kitchen cabinet or on a bench. Lay them so that their heels are facing the radiator, about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) away from the radiator so that they do not get too hot.
About every three days, they should be replaced with a new cloth or unraveled, treated with boiling water, and then the inserts rewrapped in cloth. If this is not done, they will start to wilt and become moldy. If mold has developed, wash the shoots with a pink manganese solution. Usually, a callus will form in a few weeks and then the roots will begin to form. This method works very well, but you need to keep checking the cuttings for mold formation. If you follow this procedure in the spring, you will get healthy seedlings.
B. Sprouting in steamed wood chips
Germinating in steamed sawdust, such as coconut substrate, sphagnum moss or perlite are materials that will do the trick. Rooting cuttings in these types of substrates is good because they do not need to be watched closely. The likelihood of mildew is extremely low, but cuttings should be treated with a pink manganese solution, hydrogen peroxide, or the organic fungicide phytosporin before taking them.
Also, germinate cuttings in a clear container. The best choice is a glass jar or plastic bottle cut in half. This way, you will notice when the roots start to form. Then follow the instructions.
1. When everything is ready and the jar is half-filled with the substrate, you need to moisten the substrate well and place the cuttings in it so that they are buried about 2 inches (5 cm).
2. Next, place the jar on light and warm windowsill.
3. You just need to make sure that the substrate does not dry out and the temperature in the room does not "dance", otherwise, the vines will not take root.
4. When the roots have formed, the cuttings should be transplanted into the soil.
How to germinate grape cuttings? Please share your experience with other gardeners in the comments!