Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - September 01, 2008

From: Montreal, QC
Region: Canada
Topic: Edible Plants, Vines
Title: Niagara and Concord grape crop failure
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi, I have been growing niagara grapes and concord grapes for 3 years now and this year I found myself without any fruits. The plant itself if full of leaves and is healthy. I was wondering why this was happening. Just to help you answer me I did plant berries behind it, the grapes hang on 3 wire that is about 12 feet long. Please help for I love my grapes.

ANSWER:

Both of your cultivars of the northeastern native species, Vitis glabrusca, are generally well-adapted to your area.  We cannot say for sure what caused your grapes' crop failure this year, but can list some of the common causes.  The most frequent cause would be a late spring freeze just at the time your grapes were flowering or beginning to set fruit.  Lack of pollinators when the vines are flowering is a more frequent cause nowadays.  Honey bees are the most common pollinators for grapes.  Other common causes are water stress - too much or too little at critical times.  High soil nitrogen caused by too much fertilizer.  Finally, disease and insect predation are possible, though less likely, causes.

The bad news is that this year's crop is a loss.  The good news is that your vines had an entire growth season to build up plant strength for next year's crop.  Watch your vines closely next year beginning at the time they flower and continue monitoring them through the growth of your grape crop.  You may then find the answer to your question.

Here is link to an online article, Growing Grapes for Home Use from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

 

More Vines Questions

Non-native pothos ivy from Houston
May 30, 2013 - My pothos devils ivy is about 5 years old and grows outside. A couple of years ago its leaves became spectacularly large, like 12" wide and its stalk about 1 - 2" wide. A couple of years ago i gui...
view the full question and answer

Vine to cover concrete retaining wall in Georgetown TX
March 02, 2013 - I have an unsightly concrete retaining wall and culvert covers that require fast coverage from a vine of some sort. The plant must be deer resistant and drought tolerant. The retaining wall and culv...
view the full question and answer

Should grape vines be covered in winter from San Antonio
February 07, 2011 - Do I need to cover grape vines in winter?
view the full question and answer

cultivating the invasive Passiflora incense
July 16, 2014 - Hello! I have been collecting passiflora for a while now, recently I purchased a "P. Incarnata" from a local nursery where I have gotten a few other species to grow along my herb garden recently. No...
view the full question and answer

Native vine for privacy on metal mesh fence from Houston
March 20, 2014 - Is there a native vine that does not get top heavy in order to provide privacy from the bottom to the top on an expanded metal mesh fence? It's okay if it dies back, but prefer for it to be evergree...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.