Planter’s Row: Muscadine Grapes

By Jessica Pittman, Clemson Extension
Muscadine grapes are native to the Southeastern United States and have been a favorite fruit of Southerners since they were discovered by the early colonists.
Growing our own muscadine vine starts with selecting a variety.  The bronze variety, Scuppernong, and the black variety, Thomas, are the varieties most requested and widely known.
There are two types of grape vines:  perfect-flowered types and pistillate types.  Perfect-flowered types are self-fruitful meaning that only one vine is required for it to produce fruit; pistillate types are self-unfruitful and must be interplanted with perfect-flowered cultivars for proper pollination and fruit set to occur.
Muscadines do well in South Carolina since their preferred habitat is a sunny, well drained location.
In fact, they do best when they are exposed to full sun for most of the day.
If planting a container-grown vine that is at least one year of age, the plant can be set out anytime during the year if irrigation is available.  Bare-root vines should be set out during the months of February or March; they can be kept refrigerated until that time if the roots are kept moist.
Muscadine grapes are drought-tolerant but should be watered regularly during dry periods the first two years.  Once the vines become established, water requirements are highest from bud-break until flowering; after flowering, watering should be limited to maintain the plant and maturing the fruit without stimulating vigorous vegetative growth.  Information on training the vines, fertilizing, pruning, trellis systems, and insects and diseases of grapes can be found in fact sheet HGIC 1403.
These fact sheets can be picked up at your local extension service or found at
Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.

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