This miniature wine grapevine comes to you from the Sonoma Valley of California’s legendary North Coast region. The care information below will help guide you in growing your plant successfully for many years to come. Most cultural practices that are used for other deciduous bonsai are applicable for grapevines as well. We highly recommend referencing any of the published works on bonsai techniques to supplement this overview.
A protected patio or other shaded area is the best place for your grape bonsai. During hot periods, make sure sun exposure is limited to mornings only in order to prevent your plant from drying out too rapidly. In areas with frost/freezing, a bright, sunny room will suffice. When grown indoors, the bonsai should be kept a minimum of 24” from windows, as windows can act as a magnifying glass and burn the leaves.
As its pot is small in size, your bonsai grapevine will require regular watering to avoid drying out. Also avoid allowing the plant to sit in freestanding water. Good drainage is as important as regular waterings. Water enough to observe water exiting the drain hole at the bottom of the container.
For aesthetic purposes, remove long shoots that haven’t fruited leaving two nodes. This creates good branchlet structure and canopy development.
Remove all of last year’s growth, leaving two buds for fruit development in the following season.
Your plant will perform better next year if allowed to go dormant during the winter. If you live in a frost-free area, you may leave it out on a protected patio or other shaded area. In areas with snow or freezing temperatures, the plant can be placed in a basement or in a very cool place in the home to avoid freezing. Remember to keep the roots moist but not in free-standing water. Activity in the roots continues even though the plant has lost its leaves.
Every 2-3 years, during mid–late winter, remove 1/3 of the existing root ball. Repot using a well-drained, balanced potting soil.
Use a well-balanced, soluble plant food 1/2 strength every 4 weeks during the growing season. This is important to the health of your tree, as vital nutrients are flushed from the soil with each watering and need to be replenished. Watch for mildew and aphids, similar to roses.