Planting Green Potted Grapevines

The best time to plant green potted vines is from May to June.


Planting field must be pre-irrigated. Pre-irrigate the exact locations where vines will be planted at least 24 hours prior to starting planting, to a depth of 24” or more. Make certain that drippers are located above the vines or that spaghetti tubing is used to direct water to the root-zone.

If vines are to be held for any length of time on-site, be sure the vines receive filtered shade and adequate irrigation. Their root-zones are small, so watering will likely be needed daily. Note: Plants on the edge dry out faster and will need spot watering. Wind is very drying so plants should be held in sheltered areas.


Make sure the root-zone is moist at planting time. It should not be dry, nor should it be dripping wet from having just been watered. Plants will come out of the cells most easily when the entire column of soil in the plastic cells is moist and excess water has drained away.

The plastic cells must be removed at planting time. Squeeze the sides of the plastic cell to break the adhesion of soil and roots to the cell walls. At this point, the root-zone should easily dislodge when the plant is pulled from the cell. There should be no tearing or ripping of the roots as the plants are removed from the cells. (If you experience tearing or ripping, the root-zone is probably too wet or too dry). Do not remove the plant from the pot by pulling it up by the trunk.

Place the plant and backfill the hole.

Backfill to establish proper height of the plant. The graft union or primary shoot must be 4” to 6” above the soil line after firming the soil around the plant. Remember, the soil will settle and the vines may sink some.


Place a vine shelter (such as a 1/2 gallon milk carton or grow tube) over the newly planted vines and secure them to the vine stake.

Secure dripper tube so that water is delivered to the root-zone of each plant. Irrigate the planting block as soon as the vines are planted in order to settle the roots, remove air pockets in the root zone, and allow the plants to take up moisture and recover from transplant shock.

Watering of newly planted green vines throughout the first growing season is extremely critical. How well it is carried out will be a huge determining factor in the success of the planting. Soils in the integral root-zone of the new vines must be kept moist at all times. The root-zone should not be kept saturated for long periods of time, nor should it be allowed to dry out. Water to field capacity and allow for some drying. Because soil textures and water holding capacities vary widely, it is not possible for us to provide exact watering recommendations, however watering vines every 3 to 5 days is a very general guideline. Clay soils will need less frequent watering but higher amounts per irrigation. Sandy soils will require more frequent irrigation but less water per cycle. 

Remember, as plants grow and daytime temperatures increase, plants will transpire more than they will at planting time. Do not make assumptions about moisture in the root-zone by examining the soil's surface. The best way to check root-zone moisture is by digging down to the root-zone and feeling the soil.

Keep green vines growing vigorously by ascertaining that their soils contain adequate Nitrogen levels or a fertilization program is in place.

It is essential that young vines are shut down by fall, otherwise frost can be an issue.