Are my grape plants dead?

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bcort

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Hi.. new to the forum, looking for some help.

Back in June, I got a few grape plants from a big winery. I had a pergola and was hoping to put them in planters and see if they would grow up the pergola. It was only a few bucks, so worth a try.

The plants all had one or two small leafs on them.

When I got home, I transplanted them from skinny planters into what you'll see in the pictures.

Fast forward to today. One of the plants has some leafs on it, though it hasn't really "grown" at all. One has the original leaf on it that's dead. The other two haven't done anything; their leaf has fallen off.

Pictures:




 

TonyR

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What I would have done is transplant them into the ground. If in pots you must water ever few days. Like all new plants they need care and water, mostly water.
 

dwhill40

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Grapevines in their natural state are designed to race up a tree and expose it's leaves to sunshine, hide their developing fruit until the seeds are ripe, and then when the fruit is ripe expose their fruit as colored delicious fruit for birds to take away and spread the ripened seed. Now put that in the context of a small clay pot.
 

bcort

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What I would have done is transplant them into the ground. If in pots you must water ever few days. Like all new plants they need care and water, mostly water.
The pots are enormously too small. Grape plant root structure basically approximates what you see above ground.
Grapevines in their natural state are designed to race up a tree and expose it's leaves to sunshine, hide their developing fruit until the seeds are ripe, and then when the fruit is ripe expose their fruit as colored delicious fruit for birds to take away and spread the ripened seed. Now put that in the context of a small clay pot.
Thanks for all the replies. Are these plants salvageable (or do they look salvageable)?
 

garymc

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Unfortunately, if the top died from bugs eating all the leaves or being hit by a lawn mower, the healthy root system would push new buds open on the stump or push up new shoots from the roots. You probably have dead roots on the ones with no leaves. If they're grafted, any new shoots would be whatever the rootstock is. You don't tell what variety of grapes they are, so it's hard to give advice. If the vines are something the vineyard had growing 4 feet tall with 2 foot arms, don't expect to cover a pergola with it. You don't say what climate you're in, but June is late for transplanting anything outside. I would put the living ones in the ground and go back to the drawing board on the dead ones. Find something that grows in your climate with little upkeep like weekly spraying. If you expect it to grow up onto the pergola, it should be something vigorous.
Grapes native to this continent and your area would be a good place to start.
 
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bcort

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Unfortunately, if the top died from bugs eating all the leaves or being hit by a lawn mower, the healthy root system would push new buds open on the stump or push up new shoots from the roots. You probably have dead roots on the ones with no leaves. If they're grafted, any new shoots would be whatever the rootstock is. You don't tell what variety of grapes they are, so it's hard to give advice. If the vines are something the vineyard had growing 4 feet tall with 2 foot arms, don't expect to cover a pergola with it. You don't say what climate you're in, but June is late for transplanting anything outside. I would put the living ones in the ground and go back to the drawing board on the dead ones. Find something that grows in your climate with little upkeep like weekly spraying. If you expect it to grow up onto the pergola, it should be something vigorous.
Grapes native to this continent and your area would be a good place to start.
I believe they're Roussane vines. You bring up a good point about how they could grow.

I'm in the San Joaquin Valley in CA, so the grapes aren't from too far away.
 

dking193

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Get your pocket knife out and scrape and cut into the wood near the top. See if you can find some green wood. If no green wood, move down 3-4 inches and try again. Keep doing this until you fine green wood or get to the bottom of the vine.

No green wood, it's dead. If you find green wood you might have a chance to save it. Young plants need lots of water and wet soil to establish a root system. Until they get a good root system. That little pot would dry out in the summer each day, way too small. Too late to probably keep it soaked. Water it well and gently remove from soil. Find you a water bucket and submerge the root system in the water. Leave it there and replenish the water as needed to keep the roots wet. See if some buds come out. Problem is it's getting late in the year for new wood to grow, age and turn brown and harden before winter comes. Depending on where you live even if you could get it growing again, winter cold might kill it off again. Hope this helps.
 

dbeck

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Vines are hard to kill. If everything above ground is dead, it can still push up new shoots from the root system.

Vines store all their energy (carbohydrates) in their root system.

First, you need to get them out of those tiny pots. A vine should be balanced meaning that however much you see out of the ground, you should have an equal amount of roots to match it. Tough to do in those little pots.

What I would do is go ahead and plant them and see if they don't push up some new shoots next spring. If they don't, its an easy matter to dig them out and plant new vines. You should not plant anything later than the first week of June.
 

Johny99

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Vines are hard to kill. If everything above ground is dead, it can still push up new shoots from the root system.

Vines store all their energy (carbohydrates) in their root system.

First, you need to get them out of those tiny pots. A vine should be balanced meaning that however much you see out of the ground, you should have an equal amount of roots to match it. Tough to do in those little pots.

What I would do is go ahead and plant them and see if they don't push up some new shoots next spring. If they don't, its an easy matter to dig them out and plant new vines. You should not plant anything later than the first week of June.
I absolutely agree. Put them in the ground, keep them damp till fall, and see what comes up in the spring. You my be surprised.
 

crushday

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Similar question....

I planted 100 vines about a month ago. Most of the plants aren't looking alive at this point. I'm guessing they went into shock and have been establishing new root growth. I have been watering once a week. The soil is sandy and well drained.

When I first planted, most of the vines had some sign of growth. Within a week most of that was withered and looking dead. I assume the root disruption was enough that the leaves could not sustain.

Anyone with with a suggestion? Just wait it out?
 

Johnd

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Similar question....

I planted 100 vines about a month ago. Most of the plants aren't looking alive at this point. I'm guessing they went into shock and have been establishing new root growth. I have been watering once a week. The soil is sandy and well drained.

When I first planted, most of the vines had some sign of growth. Within a week most of that was withered and looking dead. I assume the root disruption was enough that the leaves could not sustain.

Anyone with with a suggestion? Just wait it out?
Not a grape grower, but I have been growing plants / vegetables most of my life, and at least where I live, watering once a week for newly planted material would mean certain death. My stuff gets watered daily or every other day until I see vigorous root activity in the form of vigorous growth.
 

crushday

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Not a grape grower, but I have been growing plants / vegetables most of my life, and at least where I live, watering once a week for newly planted material would mean certain death. My stuff gets watered daily or every other day until I see vigorous root activity in the form of vigorous growth.
Thanks, John. Not much instruction given in the 'plant new vines' department of the internet. To be fair to my 100 new vines, it did rain every day for the first two weeks and I have watered heavy between business trips. Yesterday was a healthy watering. I can see buds or leaves on 53 of the vines. The others, withered. 8 of them appear like dowels rising from the ground. I'll report again in about a week or so after I get home from Montana.
 

treesaver

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What Johnd said. In sandy ground, they more than likely are toast. Young plants take a lot of care!
 

Dennis Griffith

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Bare root? If they were bare root, then it can take a couple of months to come out of dormancy (depending on variety). Were they dormant when you planted them? If you got them in pots, it's a crap shoot as you don't know how they were treated prior to you planting them (ie, periods of dry or freezing). You can do a scratch test to see if there is green under the bark. Or nip an end off and look for green. Green means it's alive. No green = dead.
 

crushday

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Bare root? If they were bare root, then it can take a couple of months to come out of dormancy (depending on variety). Were they dormant when you planted them? If you got them in pots, it's a crap shoot as you don't know how they were treated prior to you planting them (ie, periods of dry or freezing). You can do a scratch test to see if there is green under the bark. Or nip an end off and look for green. Green means it's alive. No green = dead.
These plants were bare root. They came bundled in groups of 20, wrapped in plastic and packed in water retention gel. I soaked them in water for 4 hours before planting. It was raining very hard the day I planted and continued raining for two more weeks. Yesterday it was 80 degrees.
 

Dennis Griffith

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It can be unsettling waiting for something to happened. Some varieties take a long time to come out of dormancy. I have some green table grape vines that seem to be dead every year as they trail all the other varieties. Just about the time I start to get nervous, something pops out. Like I said, you can do a scratch test to look for green. Knowing your area, it's hard to believe they have had time to dry out. Too much rain for me...
 
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crushday

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It and be unsettling waiting for something to happened. Some varieties take a long time to come out of dormancy. I have some green table grape vines that seem to be dead every year as they trail all the other varieties. Just about the time I start to get nervous, something pops out. Like I said, you can do a scratch test to look for green. Knowing your area, it's hard to believe they have had time to dry out. Too much rain for me...
Good enough, Dennis. I'll let you know what comes of the scratch test.
 

crushday

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What have your soil temperatures been ?
Not sure of the soil temp. We've had highs in the 70's and lows in the 40s. Yesterday was 80 and the overnight was 48 low. So, 18" down, I'm thinking stays pretty cool this time of year.

Should I get a 18" thermometer?

As much as Seattle area has a reputation for being rainy, that's true in the winter. The last two summers, I did not rain (to speak of) May until October. In short, summers are stunning here.
 
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