Finding Free Plants: Wild Muscadine Grape Vines

Today our kids made a fantastic observation, when they discovered wild muscadine grape vines growing in the outskirts of the woodland, where we usually dig up elderberry suckers to transplant to The Land.


Wild Muscadine Grapes


 
This piece of woodland is one of the few remaining woodland areas in our neighborhood, which is being developed at a rapid pace, so we are trying to save native species before a developer comes in and tears everything down. We have seen this happen in many areas of our community, and now that they have begun digging into our small tree-covered neighborhood, we fear that many native species will be lost.

Wild Muscadine Grape Vines

Wild Muscadine Grape Vines

Wild Muscadine Grape Vines


We have some experience with growing muscadine grape vines, as we currently have two varieties growing in our backyard at the house. We bought muscadine grape vines from Florida Hill Nursery, and they are now growing over a homemade arbor.

Seeing these wild muscadine grape vines growing far above us was simply thrilling, and the kids decided to take a smaller muscadine grape vine down and plant it at the land for Mother's Day.

Old muscadine grape vines can be hard to transplant, but we decided it was worth a try. There are at least four more rooted vines in the same area, so if we do not succeed at the first try, we'll try again.

Our oldest son first cleared the area off brush to get rid of critters, and then he attempted to dig up the vine, which turned out to have two root systems. He wrestled with the two muscadine vines that grew up high in the trees, and he arrived at The Land covered in vines - it was a delightful sight.



We found a sunny place at the corner of what will one day be our garden. It is on a slight slope, which means it is dry, but with wetland nearby it will get plenty of nutrient-rich soil. We used a couple of smaller trees as the trellis, and we cut the grape vines off at a point, where we still had some new growth remaining.

Transplanted Wild Muscadine Grape Vines

planting Wild Muscadine Grape Vines


Although wild muscadine grape vines can be hard to grow from cuttings, we decided to give it a try. Any of the grape vine, which had broken apart on the journey to The Land were brought home to the house, were we dipped the ends into a rooting hormone, before placing these in a bucket full of rich soil, which we then covered with a garbage bag sealed tight.

propagating Wild Muscadine Grape Vines from cuttings
Attempting to propagate Wild Muscadine Grape Vines from cuttings



About Wild Muscadine Grape Vines

Muscadine grape vines are native to the south east (hardiness zones 6 - 10), and these wild grape vines like warm temperatures and high humidity, which we can certainly offer them here in North East Florida.

They prefer full sun, good drainage and something to climb on like a trellis or a tree. We originally got our muscadine grape vines for the house, because they are resistant to many grape diseases that otherwise bother grapes here in Florida.

The wild muscadine grape vines have a reputation of killing trees, as they climb as high as they can and then spread out. A couple of the wild grape vines we saw had spread along the powerlines with actual grape clusters hanging fown, albeit dangerous, it was a marvelous sight of nature attempting to conquer man-made objects.




Our oldest son took us to see the area which he had dug up the grape vines, because he declared that there were more left. He had essentially cut off two vines that had set root, after layering by themselves, and the mother plant was left remaining. We are hoping that this particular mother plant will start setting off new shoots if we leave it in place.



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Have you had any experience with growing or eating wild muscadine grapes?

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