It is critical you prune your muscadines

I’m a firm believer that if you live in the south and are a prepper, then you should grow muscadines… preferably commercial varieties.  Around here they grow wild almost everywhere.  Unlike many food crops, muscadines really require little care.  Diseases and insects don’t bother them and they can handle dry spells.  Muscadines love the heat & humidity of the south.  A mature vine can get 30 -40 feet long but I keep mine around 15 feet long.  A mature commercial plant can produce around 60 pounds of grapes each year and they are soooooo good!

I have most of my vines inside my orchard and they are on a trellis system, but that is not necessary.  They easily will grow up & along any fence line.  And boy do they every grow.  Muscadines mostly only fruit on new growth, so if you want a large crop, you need to prune back the vines each year and thin them out.  I cut off all but a few inches, so that I have a few buds on each shoot.  From that, each bud will put out several feet of new vine.  The fruit forms on these new vines.  That is why it is critical to prune your vines when they are dormant in the winter.

I just took these pics today.  I pruned one row and called it a day.

muscadine 5

muscadine 4

muscadine 3

muscadine 2

muscadine 1

In the spring, they will leaf out, grow new vines & set new fruit.

muscadines 5-4 small

mus 1

muscadines 11 small


  • Comments (4)

    • 2

      I was wondering what you do all winter when things aren’t growing as much, but it looks like you still are out there working the field still. 

      What other winter projects do you work on to prepare for the next growing season?

      • 4

        All my fruit tress need pruning too, and I have over 150 of those.  A properly pruned tree or vine will bear bigger & better fruit and will be healthier.  They are easier to pick also.

    • 3

      It took most of a paragraph to realize what you were talking about. Oh it’s grapes!  Could have been nearly any food crop or useful plant.  LOL!  Is there a similar plant recommendation for arid SoCal?  

      • 3

        Yep, muscadines are a southern grape that love our conditions… conditions typical grapes would struggle with.

        I suggest folks grow a commercial variety of whatever grows wild in your area.  That way you know your plants will do well.  For example, around here muscadines, blackberries, persimmons & pecan grow wild all around me.  I have planted commercial varieties of each.

        Sorry, I have no experience growing in your climate.  But I understand pistachios, pomegranate and jujube do well there.  I planted a couple of pomegranates last year.  They are a Russian variety & I hope they make it thru the winter.  I have several jujube that I planted last year too.