Grafting muscadines

This approach was done just to see if they could be grafted. My future plans are to add a few grafts of a bronze self fruitful variety onto my female muscadines for cross pollination.
This approach graft has been detached about a week and appears healthy.

This is a newer test graft that is still attached.


@Auburn - Do you mind giving an update on your approach grafts from last year? How did they turn out?

I’ve got a ton of wild muscadine vines and would like to try grafting some over to named varieties. Looking at possibly attempting to approach or green wood graft these.


Update. The grafts appeared to be alive going into the winter but didn’t survive. I don’t know what is going on with muscadine grafting but apparently the successes are very few. I don’t remember which YouTube video I was watching a while back but the person attempted fifty grafts and reported that he had two takes. I haven’t attempted any other muscadine grafts.

Hate to hear that. Appreciate the update though.

Yeah, it appears it’s hit or miss with them. I’m going to attempt it just for kicks. I’ve got an endless supply of rootstock to work with, so if I can even get a few takes it’ll be worth it. Thanks again.

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I appreciate the effort to graft these vines, especially since there may not be a lot of detailed, helpful online tutorial help to just simply imitate. Years ago I did a bunch of approach grafts along a fence that involved using one mature Ison vine to grow it out about 40 feet east along the fence and approach graft it onto 4 inferior vines along the fence line. It was a success, and now each of the vines grow Ison grapes…Brief summary: In Spring when preleaves begin forming, match up similar sized parallel sections of both types of vines, then tie them together on one end of the graft zone. Clip off any sideshoots so that you have 2 sections about a foot long with no side growth, and they sould be between 1/4" and 1/2" thick. Eyeball them to see if they can be tied snug and fairly straight. The less crooked, the easier.Then, eyeball the sections between the nodes to line up the nodes together and the flat areas together. You are looking for 2 or 3 of the flat spots between the nodes on each side to line up. Compare that to placing your left and right inner arms snug together…wrist against wrist and elbow against elbow. The 2 snug wrists and the 2 snug elbows are like the aligned vines’ nodes. I did not shave down nodes to get them to make a flattened match, I just shaved the flat center of both vines…in between the nodes…in between the wrist pair and elbow pair. After the alignment is planned and the time has come to shave 2 crooked, spiraling, oval vines to make a flat common surface to tie together, shave 10-25% of the rounded contact area to make the mating surface. I shave fast and flat face-to-face, regardless how much spiraling/oval-ness, or crooked-ness may be the case. Then I snuggly tie the opposite end of the graft zone with the cord. With both ends tied and 2 or 3 flat areas shaved, I then would quickly wrap Parafilm all along the shaved area. I then would snuggly wrap some 3/4" wide white electrical tape on top of the parafilm. The tape may need to be pulled pretty firmly to pull together the stiff, crooked vines to make them get in line and have maximum touching on both sides.I don’t want to cut too deep and risk doing plumbing damage that shuts down sap flow severely. In many cases, long Ison vines were approach grafted onto one vine in one area, and a few feet further down again approach grafted on another vine, and then looped around in a big circle and approach grafted again onto a third vine. nearby. Most grafts grew out well during the whole growing seaqson. I removed the tape and clipped off the unwanted ends late in the year. By this time the vines had grown thicker and most fused together in a good, solid, rounded shape. I did add a few extra cord wrappings where the tape was not strong enough to keep the vines tight. Over time these tied areas will girdle the vines, so the cords need loosening or replacing along the way. The closer the approach grafts are to the main vertical trunk, the better. The vines will continue to poke out new sprouts upstream from the grafts, so they should be rubbed off or clipped off regularly. Yep, like many other grafted plants, they try to detour away from the graft and starve out the new intruder…As for grafting some scions onto an inferior vine,I did a bunch of those also. Cleft grafting dormant scions onto the Springtime vines that are starting to make pre-leaves worked best when I chose scions that were from a T-shaped cutting with a fat node in the area where the side shoot came from the main vine. The fat node there has some tiny brown dormant buds that do not bust out as soon as Spring comes.THose are the best buds for this grafting, because the normal fat buds on the scion will quickly leaf out before the graft wound has healed, and then they dry /die. The fat node’s tiny dormant buds just sit there patiently doing nothing until after the graft wound is healed and sap is flowing well through the healed wound. Then they shift gears and start growing out to start their career as a vine.Because the clipped vine will continue flowing lots of pressured sap to the end where the graft is, it can flood out the wound and not heal. I made small notches into the upstream vine a few inches before the graft to divert some of the extra sap and let it just dripdown there. Each morning the graft wound should be dry around the tape, and the upstream notch should be moist/drippy. Keep checking the moisture on a daily basis, because the shallow notch can start healing and stop dripping, causing more sap to reach the tape area and flood it. If so, I just recut the existing notch a bit deeper to resume the sap detour. A mature muscadine sure does pump a lot of watery sap.It may take more than a month before the tiny buds start busting out, but that is a good thing. I don’t unwrap these grafts until late Fall. No need to rush it. The plastic electrical tape on top of the Parafilm stretches right along as the vine thickens…Since muscadines can grow huge and outlive the grafter as they make a huge amount of fruit, they are a “lifetime” investment, unlike grafting a peach tree that won’t live very long…More people should consider growing them…The sooner you upgrade your vines via grafting, the sooner they can start their L O N G life of making those grapes for your enjoyment, and the enjoyment of the squirrels, opossums, crows, raccoons, etc. Good job.



Appreciate that reply. I’m going to try both of those methods in the future. I’ve got a ton of mature vines growing natively, but not fruiting. Would love to repurpose those into ones that are fruiting. And with size of those rootstock, I think that would help me jump ahead years in the game, if I can get some to take.

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Just staring at the 2 photos…the top one does look like a good, strong bond has developed. Not seen in the shot: did the inferior vine send out new sprouts upstream from the graft zone in an effort to cut off the sliced up part of the vine with the intruder vine attached? I removed all side vine shoots of the inferior vine that were upstream of the graft area. I wanted the good vine graft area to be the first spot for the inferior vine to grow outward…both before the grafting and for months afterward. In short, I wanted the inferior vine to be slick from the ground up to the graft area, both main trunk and smaller vine coming off the main trunk. A straight shot for the sap to reach the new vine graft area. No detours or places to divert the sap…Yeah, it’s a bit fuzzy… Also, the thinner vine is greenish/less mature than the thicker vine. I chose vines that were all hardened off and had tan bark. Downstream from the graft I left every side shoot or new shoot in place because I wanted every leaf downstream from the graft area to photosynthesize and send the manufactured chemical goodies upstream/back toward the graft area to feed it. The photos show the 90degree side shoot with the great big joint/node where the outlet comes off the vine, and I can see some of the important tiny brown buds on the fat node. These are money for cleft grafts. When I clipped dormant vine sections in February to use in the March/April grafting, I clipped them about4 to 8" long with the “T” centered node in the center of the scion.The “T” side shoot is cut to maybe an inch in length. I dip the freshly clipped ends in melted candle wax before putting them in the freezer bag for the fridge. I want the ends leak proof and resistant to infection. The hot wax should kill germs from the clipping of the ends. Seeing the green leaves near the graft, I am thinking that the plastic wrapping was removed during the growing season rather than in late Fall after the leaves dropped. I want the wound to heal as much as possible prior to the unwrapping, and late Fall gave it lots of time to do that. Also, I see that the downstream vine from the graft zone was already clipped off, rather than letting in stay on and keep working until late Fall…This very wordy write-up is not of interest to normal glancers of fruit comments, but is intended to flesh out additional issues/considerations for muscadine grafting. TINY audience.