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Information on Germinating Grape Seeds

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Germinating grape seeds offers a challenge to any green thumb, thanks to inviable seeds and plenty of opportunity for contamination. Fortunately, careful preparation can increase the germination percentage for a healthy vineyard in the summer. During stratification, temperature and moisture need monitoring to ensure successful germination after planting grape seeds in the spring.

Choosing Viable Seeds

You can usually tell a viable seed by the way it looks and feels. Healthy seeds are firm, with a pale white or gray endosperm inside. Any seeds that are squishy when you gently squeeze them between your fingers are not viable.

To double-check this, you can drop the seeds in water and discard those that float to the top, as healthy seeds tend to sink. Planting grape seeds that are healthy and viable is an essential part of this process, so take the time to sort and test your grape seeds in order to improve your chances of successful germination.

Preparation of Grape Seeds

Before stratification, viable seeds need a thorough washing to remove the pulp. Soaking the grape seeds in distilled water for 24 hours before stratification increases the odds of germination. Because the seeds need to remain semi-moist during stratification, you’ll need to prepare a proper bed for them, such as an air-tight bag or capsule filled with damp sand or wet paper towels. Damp peat moss is one of the best beds for grape seeds, as it has anti-fungal properties that can reduce the risk of mold that destroys the seeds during stratification.

Once you prepare the bed, you can tuck the seeds inside it and refrigerate them at 40 degrees Fahrenheit for about three months to stratify them, recommends Cornell University. You can safely store seeds in the fridge for a year or more, as they will not sprout in these conditions. The smartest time to do this is in December, as March is the time for planting in a greenhouse.

Planting Grape Seeds

After removing the seeds from stratification in early spring, you can plant them in small pots, or in larger pots with at least 1 1/2 inches of space between them. A greenhouse is the safest place for them until June, when you can transplant them to their permanent places outside.

They need temperatures reaching at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit by day and approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night during this germination period. Grape seed germination time varies from approximately two weeks to two months; sometimes receiving 15 hours of sunlight per day encourages them to germinate sooner rather than later. If some seeds don’t germinate, you can always pop them back in the fridge for stratification until next season and try again then.

Although it is possible to start grapes from seed, it is not the recommended method for propagating grapes, notes Oklahoma State University. Growing grapes from cuttings or by grafting desired varieties to proven rootstock are much more common practices than planting grape seeds, especially among commercial producers. These methods of cultivating new grape vines tend to be more consistent and reliable for reproducing grapes that have the same characteristics as their parent plants.

Information on Germinating Grape Seeds. Germinating grape seeds offers a challenge to any green thumb, thanks to inviable seeds and plenty of opportunity for contamination. Fortunately, careful preparation can increase the germination percentage for a healthy vineyard in the summer. During stratification, temperature …

How to Grow Grapes from Seeds

Last Updated: July 20, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Have you ever wanted to grow your own grapes? Grapevines are both beautiful and useful, and are one of the oldest plants to be cultivated. Grapes are typically reproduced from cuttings or grafts; however, if you are determined (it’s hard!) and patient (it takes a long time!), you can grow grapes from seeds. Read on to learn how to do it.

How to Grow Grapes from Seeds. Have you ever wanted to grow your own grapes? Grapevines are both beautiful and useful, and are one of the oldest plants to be cultivated. Grapes are typically reproduced from cuttings or grafts; however, if…