It is possible to grow grapes indoors in a large pot or container. A grapevine does spread and get rather large so you probably want to only grow one.
If you choose the correct variety then grapes can do well in a greenhouse, conservatory or even a warm and sunny room.
It is totally possible to grow grapes indoors if you just put them in front of a south-facing window.
I love my grapevine and that’s why I’ve made this complete guide on how to grow grapes indoors.
To grow grapes indoors use a pot or container that is at least 24 inches wide and 16 inches deep. Make sure it gets at least 7 hours sunlight, a south-facing window is ideal. Water it daily and use fertilizer during the growing season. Prune it annually to encourage fresh growth.
What variety of grapes is best for indoor growing?
There are many varieties of grapes that can successfully be grown indoors. Dessert varieties like Muscat of Alexandria and Black Hamburgh do well indoors.
Some experts recommend growing a variety indoors in a pot that produces fruit close to the trunk like Early Muscat, Seyval, Canadice, Interlaken or Swenson Red.
Buckland Sweetwater, Black Hamburgh, Rembrandt, Gros Maroc, Fosters Seedling, Chasselas Rose, Royal Muscadine are all good choices for growing grapes indoors.
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Should I grow grapes from seed or buy a young vine?
If you decide to grow grapes from a seed the grapes that are produced will not be exactly the same as the variety you got the seed from. This is because grapes do not make an exact reproduction of the vine or variety they came from.
If you grow a grapevine from a seed then it can take up to 3 years before it will produce any grapes.
How to germinate grape seeds
The best time to prepare your seeds indoors is at the start of December.
Only choose seeds that are healthy and in good condition. Check this by squeezing the seed, a healthy grape seed is firm to touch.
Place the seeds in water, healthy seeds will sink then discard any seeds that float. Wash your healthy seeds with water to remove any grape pulp from them and allow them to soak in distilled water for up to 24 hours.
Next, fill an airtight bag with enough wet paper towels or moss to cover your seeds and place your seeds inside this bag.
Now put this bag in the fridge for two to three months at a temperature of about 35F – 40F, this simulates outdoor winter conditions.
In early spring plant your seeds in soil, you want to keep them at least 70F daytime and 60F nighttime, you could use a warming mat to control this.
When the soil looks dry give it a misting with water, Between 2 – 8 weeks later you should see the first sprouts appear.
What sort of container or pot should I use for growing grapes?
When grapes are grown outside the roots can spread for 8 to 10 feet so you want to choose as big of a container as possible. Your container should be at least 24 inches wide and 16 inches deep.
It is best to use a heavy duty container made from pottery, clay or wood rather than plastic as plastic may crack after a few seasons and grapes when looked after can grow for many years.
You will want to put support for your grape vines like a cane or trellis in your pot as your grape vine will need to be attached to it for support as it grows.
What sort of soil should I use to grow a grapevine?
Don’t use standard garden soil for growing grapes in containers.
Place some stones in the bottom of your container for drainage.
Choose a light potting mix that is loose, rich in organic matter and drains well, the best type of soil for growing a grapevine in a container is moist silt loam.
How much light does a grapevine require?
Grape vines love the sun so the more the better.
As long as your grapevine is receiving at least 7 hours of sunlight daily it will grow healthy.
The more sunlight your plant gets the more grapes it should produce, for this reason, I use an LED grow lamp that is on a 12-hour timer.
How often should I water my grape vine?
During the growing season, you should water your grapevine every day.
Give them a good water that wets the soil 6 to 10 inches below the surface.
Water in the morning so the soil gets a chance to dry out during the day. You want the soil to almost dry out in between watering to avoid root rot.
Once your vines have grapes on them you may want to cut down the watering slightly to encourage the fruit to ripen.
What sort of climate is best for grape vines?
The best climate for growing grapes is warm moderately dry air as overly humid air can cause mildew problems in your grape vines (avoid putting your grapes next to a heater as this might dry them out).
Grapes need good air circulation so open your window regularly or blow a fan on them.
The ideal temperature for growing grapes is 61 degrees Fahrenheit or above during the growing season between early spring and fall.
During the winter they require a dormant temperature so need to be kept cool but not below 5F for a period.
What is the best fertilizer for indoor grape vines?
During the growing season, it is definitely beneficial to use fertilizer on your grape vines.
You want to fertilize in early spring just before the growing period starts with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer this encourages the grapevine to start growing.
When the growth starts in the spring you want to use a high potassium feed something like tomato plant feed would be ideal every 3 weeks.
When your grapevine is in full leaf increase the feeding to once per week.
Once the grapes start to ripen you should stop using fertilizer as this may taint the flavor of the grapes.
How to prune an indoor grapevine
You should prune your grape vine twice during the growing season.
First, trim the actual bunches of grapes when they are tiny, cut some grapes off as fewer grapes equal better tasting and bigger grapes.
Second time do the same again and trim the grapes in the bunches when they are bigger so they grow into bunches that look like they are in a store.
Remove the tendrils as they grow, these are the stems that curl around the main stems as these will consume energy to grow, you want all the energy to go into the fruits. The below video gives a demonstration on how to prune your grapevine.
How to pollinate grape vines?
Most grapes are self-pollinating, however, if you want to help with the process go round the flowers with a small soft brush and brush inside all the flowers to help with the pollination process.
When to pick grapes from your grapevine
The easiest way to test if your grapes are ready for harvest is to taste them although you might need to know what your chosen variety tastes like.
The seeds in your grapes will have gone from white to tan and finally to brown when they are ready for picking.
Also feel your grapes and if they feel as if they are plump and full of juice they are ready.
If your grapes start to shrivel then you have left it too late.
How to store freshly picked grapes
To store your grapes you want to put them in a sealed bag or container without washing them.
If you wash them the moisture will make your grapes ripen rapidly and shorten the healthy life of them.
Place your sealed bag or container at the back of the refrigerator as that is the coolest area.
If you do this your grapes will stay edible for 2 to 3 weeks.
What to do if your grape vine stops producing grapes
If your grapevine stops producing fruit the first thing you want to check is that your vine is getting enough sunlight.
You might want to buy an LED grow light to provide more required light.
Make sure you haven’t over fertilized your grapes as when a grapevine grows too rapidly then it produces fewer grapes.
To grow a grapevine outdoors
To grow a grapevine outdoors you want to choose an area that is south facing, a south-facing wall or fence that has good drainage would be ideal.
A grapevine planted outside will grow in practically any type of soil.
Just make sure the temperature in your local area is suited for growing the variety of grapes you have chosen.
You might want to use a greenhouse, if you do this plant the vine outside and train the vine to grow into your greenhouse.
Common grape vine problems and how to solve them
Grape vines are hardy plants when kept in the right conditions.
Disease or pests will rarely completely kill your grape vine if you treat it correctly.
You should prune your grape vine annually as this encourages fresh healthy growth.
Some common problems are:
Fungal – The most common problems with grape vines are fungal diseases. To help prevent fungal disease on your grapevine you want to make sure you don’t leave any debris in the soil when you prune your vine
Bacterial – Bacterial infections can be devastating for a grapevine. If your grapevine suffers from a bacterial infection you may have to fumigate the soil to solve it.
In the scenario that your grapevine does suffer from problems the best thing to do would be to cut off a sample of the infected area and take to an expert who can correctly advise you of the best treatment.
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