The Muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia) is a species native to the southeast region of the United States. Muscadines have been under cultivation for hundreds of years. Being native to the southeast they are adapted to warm and rather humid climates, making them ideal for planting where the climate does not produce favorable chilling hours required by other varieties of grape. Hardy in zones 5-9 they perform best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
Of their notable characteristics is the tough outer skin which ripen in a wide range of colors: bronze to black and even purple. A rather versatile variety of grape it is grown to produce wine, juice, jellies and even eaten fresh.
There are hundreds of muscacdine grape cultivars, all requiring a pollenizer in order to set fruit. Muscadines grow best in fertile sandy loam and alluvial soils. Rather resistant to pests and diseases, including Pierce’s disease, which is a major contributor to the death of many grape species.
Muscadine Grape Cultivars for Fresh Consumption
- Black Beauty
- Black Fry
- Granny Val
- Southern Home
- Sweet Jenny
Muscadine Grape Cultivars for Wine, Juice and Jellies Preservation
Planting Muscadine Grapes
Muscadine grapes are adapted to a wide range of soil types, success can be found if the preparation of the planting site. Sites with well draining conditions are to be selected. When planting bare-root vines care should be given to dig a trench that will accommodate the vines root system without the need to coil the roots. Dig a trench that is about three feet long and at least a foot deep. Bare-root planting should be done in the dormant season. When planting containerized vines be sure to score the root system to help the roots grow outward into the surrounding soil.
In addition to providing a grape that is rather versatile, the muscadine vine provides great habitat for wildlife.
For a more detailed look at the muscadine visit the University of Florida’s Extension publication here. (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/document_hs100)