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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.

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

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Friday - June 07, 2013

From: Chelsea, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation, Vines
Title: How to graft muscadines?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have tried for the last two years, grafting my perfect muscadines to the native non-bearing vines. I have tried every method available to no avail. I usually get two or three leaves, then wilt and die. Is it possible to do what I am trying? I am in central Alabama and have twenty year old vines I am trying to graft onto.

ANSWER:

Field grafting, as you are attempting, is very difficult and usually yields the results you've been experiencing.  Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) scions are sometimes grafted onto rootstocks of other small Muscadine vines in potted plants in the greenhouse, but that is rarely done and will not accomplish what you are attempting to do.  Muscadines are graft-incompatible with other species of grapes.

As cutting propagation of Muscadine is also difficult and often a hit-or-miss endeavor, most growers propagate their vines using the layering method.  That is, they bend their vines to the ground and cover a section of them with earth.  In time, the buried section of vine will produce roots.  The rooted vine can then be removed from the parent vine and planted elsewhere.  Muscadines can also be propagated by the air-layering method.

 

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