Growing Grapes in Containers: Step-by-Step Guide

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Looking to grow your own vine at home but don’t have much space? DON’T WORRY!

We know the feeling. Your house or apartment isn’t big enough to host the number of plants you want to growl. In that case, you need to look for alternatives.

That’s why growing grapes in containers is always worth a try. It is an excellent way to grow your own grapevines, regardless of whether you’re building a balcony garden or a tiny greenhouse.

Want to know how to make it happen? Read up!

Can Grape Vine Grow in a Pot?

This is the first question you will ask. And believe it or not – YES! You totally can.

Grapevines are enormous plants. They require a lot of space to reach their maximum splendor. And even the smallest varieties can grow several feet high and wide.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t grow them in a container (pot, garden bed, or similar). As long as you know how to give it support, the soil is ideal, and the environment fits the grapevine demands – then you’ll enjoy grapes within a few years.

The best of all? You can grow grapevines in a pot, EVEN if you’re a beginner gardener. There’s nothing to be scared about.

Grape Varieties to Grow in Containers

There isn’t a grapevine variety designed to grow on pots. Most of them are large or medium-sized.

Once again, that doesn’t EVERY grape species is a wrong choice. In fact, some of them can get accustomed to containers and stay small (more on this later).

Having said that, some vines will grow better in containers than others. Here are some alternatives:

1. Boskoop Glory (Vitis ‘Bokshop Glory’)

Boskoop Glory (Vitis ‘Bokshop Glory’)

Places with lots of humidity and consistently cold areas (between 40- and 0-degrees Fahrenheit) will be perfect for the Bokshop Glory. If you live in a fresh environment that may get really wet and cold, go for the Bokshop Glory.

It grows to about 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide. In a container, you can grow only a third of that.

2. Concord (Vitis labrusca hybrid)

Concord (Vitis labrusca hybrid)

The most popular red wine grapes out there come from the Concord variety. This one is a cold-hardy variety, withstanding temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can find it as small as 5 feet high and 4 feet wide with a good pruning. It may get up to 10 feet in size alone.

3. Flame Seedless (Vitis vinifera ‘Flame Seedless’)

Flame Seedless (Vitis vinifera ‘Flame Seedless’)

People who grow vines in greenhouses prefer the Flame Seedless for its seemingly small size. It often stays within 8 feet high and doesn’t spread longer than 6 feet.
You will need temperatures no lower than 10 degrees Fahrenheit for the grapevine to thrive.

4. Hope Seedless (Vitis labrusca ‘Hope Seedless)

It produces a green grape and doesn’t grow taller than 6 feet in most cases. You can find it as a great spreader, as it may get to 10 feet wide.

Places that get no lower than -5 degrees Fahrenheit may be ideal for this variety.

5. Muscat Blue (Vitis vinifera ‘Muscat Bleu’)

Muscat Blue (Vitis vinifera 'Muscat Bleu')

The name says it all: its grapes grow purple to bluish, and it grows almost anywhere. While the vine can grow to over 40 feet in size, you can keep it small without problems.

This grapevine can grow in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Pixie Grape (Vitis vinifera ‘Pixie’)

Pixie Grape (Vitis vinifera ‘Pixie’)

If you have little space to grow a vine, nothing will help you like a 2-feet variety. That’s what you get with the Pixie.

This grape grows well in grow tents as it prefers fresh environments of no less than 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Somerset Seedless (Vitis labrusca ‘Somerset’)

You may find it as tiny as 6 feet tall and no wider than 5 feet. It is an excellent choice given the strawberry-tasting grapes.

Also, it is a cold-hardy variety that withstands temperatures as low as -35 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Does a Grapevine Need to Grow?

What Does a Grapevine Need to Grow

If you want to grow those grapes in a pot, you will have to ensure the ideal conditions. And for that, nothing will help you more than these factors:

1. Pot Size

You already know most grapevines grow to no less than a few feet. And that often means they have decently large roots and may take a lot of space in the ground.

What would be a perfect container size, then?

As a start, you shouldn’t go for anything smaller than 18 inches in diameter. And even more important, it should be AT LEAST 18 inches deep.

TO CONSIDER: The vine will likely outgrow the pot within the first year or two, so you will need to repot it into a larger one later. BY THE WAY, some grapevines may have roots as large as 3 feet.

2. Support and Trellis

Once you have the ideal pot, you need to consider WHAT the vine is going to climb.

As you know, grapevines often grow in trellises. This could also be a pergola, a garden fence, or even a wall. If you’re growing in a greenhouse, its frame could also be excellent support.

Either way, you need to plant the grapevine either REALLY CLOSE or directly under the structure you want to climb.

WORTH KNOWING: You will find tons of different trellises for vines. The Four-Cane and Umbrella Kniffin are two of the most popular methods.

3. Soil and Fertilizer

Grapevines grow in different types of soils depending on what species you’re growing. But in general, they require loose, well-draining, and rich soil to thrive. Growing in a container will need a light potting mix in that case.

As for fertilizer, you can get by with manure and compost. Organic fertilizer may also help if you want to take it a step further.

KNOW THIS: Grapevines grow in all kinds of soil types, so they may not be the hungriest of plants. Fertilization is still worth it.

4. Water and Humidity

Probably the most crucial part of growing your grapevines is to ensure A LOT OF WATER. These plants thrive in high humidity.

You don’t want to overwater, though, as the plant is also likely to suffer when it’s saturated. But as long as you water every 2 days or let the soil dry before watering again – that should be enough.

DON’T IGNORE THIS: Most grapevines are surprisingly more resistant to drought than they are to saturation. Be careful when watering and with the type of soil you choose.

5. Sunlight and Air

You need to ensure at least 6 hours of consistent sun exposure. The plant only thrives in sunny environments where it can receive enough sunlight.

As for wind, you will need enough breathability. Places with little ventilation tend to promote diseases, which is something you don’t want.

CURIOUS FACT: You can grow grapevines in partial shade (less than 5 hours of sunlight a day). But it is likely to grow smaller grapes with fewer yields per season.

6. Temperature and Environment

There are many grapevine varieties to consider, and most of them have their own temperature demands. As a general rule, you’ll want to ensure no more than 50 degrees and as little as 10 degrees Fahrenheit for most grapevines.

You can still grow them either indoors or outdoors, as said before, with enough sunlight and ventilation.

THINK ABOUT THIS: Before picking a grapevine variety, make sure it is the right one for your hardiness zone. You don’t want to end up with a grape plant that doesn’t grow.

How to Grow Grapes in Containers: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Grow Grapes in Containers: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you’re aware of EVERYTHING a grapevine needs to grow – it’s time to put on the gloves and do the dirty work.

Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Start at the Right Time

An ideal moment to plant grapevines is either spring or summer. But this depends on WHERE you’re located. Two options include:

  • For cold climates (hardiness 2 to 6) require the hottest temperature possible, typically the sunniest day of summer.
  • For mild climates (hardiness zones 6 to 9), start in spring or early summer.
  • For warm climates (hardiness 7 to 11), choose the winter to plant the grapevine as it won’t be exposed to extremely hot temperatures.

Understanding how a grapevine fares depending on climate is a great way to avoid mistakes going forward.

Step 2: Choose a Place

You will need the sunniest area in your home, preferably something where it receives morning sunlight. An east-facing location would be a perfect place for the grapevine.

Also, you should consider the available space. As you know, different grapevine varieties grow to different lengths and widths, so you’ll want to make sure there’s enough space open.

And lastly, it should be a place where the vine looks excellent. Vines are likely to creep and climb around – so you better find a site that matches that behavior.

Step 3: Prepare the Soil and Pot

The preparation of the soil and pot for the grapevine doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it could be the easiest part of the job.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Grab the soil you’re using and mix it with a bit of fertilizer (manure/compost).
  • Pour the soil inside the container you’re using. Make sure it covers at least 50% of the pot.
  • Shake the pot so the soil loosens up inside and establishes.
  • Finish by placing the pot in the area where you’re growing the grapevine.

It’s nothing out of this world. Anyone can make this happen.

Step 4: Build the Trellis

This is what your grapevine will get support from. It is essential.

To make it possible, you need to first choose what type of trellis you want. A typical pergola gets the job done. But you can also go for the T-shape trellis.

If you don’t want to build a standalone trellis, you can grow it close to a column, fence, wall, or similar area where the vine can grow towards.

Either way, it is essential to ensure this support. The best one will always be a trellis, but it is not crucial.

Step 5: Plant the Grapevine

The way to plant a grapevine is to use cutting. Tiny branches and stalks make for excellent vine seeds.

Once you have the piece for planting, you need to dig a thin hole where the branch fits. Spray some rooting hormone on the portion of the vine you’re inserting into the soil, and then plant it.

Finish by patting the soil so it gets firm. This will ensure the branch doesn’t fall down later, so the root can establish.

Don’t forget to water deeply and keep the soil moist for the next couple of weeks.

Step 6: Fix the Grapevine as It Grows

You’ll see the grapevine growing within a few weeks from planting. This should take no more than 4 weeks until it is almost wholly established.

When this happens, you need to be careful not to let the vine grow too far to the sides. Shootings and tiny branches will try to creep and climb things around. But sometimes, letting those shoots without direction is worse than letting them grow, as they consume nutrients but don’t go anywhere.

As you prune, let one of the shoots grow through the trellis or support you built. This is the one you will encourage.

Step 7: Harvest the Grapes

Once the main shoot reaches the support and starts growing upwards, you can let it develop further. It should take at least 2 years until it reaches maturity and produces grapes.

You will see most of the lush foliage and woody branches growing in the first year. It won’t be until the second or third year where grapes start to appear.

Don’t worry. The more time the vine has to grow, the more likely it will produce more fruits. So prepare those baskets!

How to Take Care of Grapevines in Containers?

How to Take Care of Grapevines in Containers?

The grapevine is not the sturdiest of plants. While a solid variety, you still need to take good care of the plant (especially if you live in very cold or hot areas).

Here are some care tips to consider:

Fertilize Consistently

Your vine needs fertilizer to thrive. This typically consists of fertilizing every 6 months.

Use a general-use fertilizer if you want to take it easy. But a nitrogen fertilizer may also get the job done.

As a last resort, you can add manure or compost to the soil mix. This should add the extra nutrients necessary for the plant to grow quickly and healthily.

Keep the Soil Moist

Grapevines require moisture to survive. While they can withstand mild droughts, you better keep the soil moist to ensure it grows non-stop.

For that, water the plant at least every 2 days. This should keep the soil moist for long without causing any saturation damage.

If the soil dries up too quickly, you can opt to add mulch around the main stem. This should keep the moisture under and prevent weeds from growing. Both are excellent for the grapevine to survive.

Protect from Cold

Some grapevine varieties can withstand freezing temperatures without problems. But they won’t go through harsh winters untouched.

If you want to avoid any possible damage, especially in winters described by heavy snowfall, you’ll want to keep the vine-covered so it doesn’t get burned.

As a better alternative, just take the potted grapevine indoors. Place it alongside a heating source to help it stay healthy. You can take it outside once temperatures rise.

Prune in Winter and Spring

Grapevines tend to lose their leaves almost completely in fall. This will discover portions growing unhealthily, too thinly, or simply to the wrong side.

You can prune down all these branches and only leave the thickest or healthiest parts. You should trim the plant every fall or winter. Preferably, prune when all leaves have fallen down already.

This is something you need to do the first year as the plant grows and repeat every year until the plant dies (at least 20 years from the moment of planting).

Avoid Pests

The popular grapevine beetle tends to be a pretty damaging pest. A single beetle can quickly transform into a swarm, devouring the vine away in spring and leaving nothing for the summer (grapes won’t be there).

To prevent this, you need to cover the vines with garden fabric. Keep the potted grapevine away from pests is also an excellent idea, so move it around if you need to.

A great idea is to always keep the garden clean. Ensuring no beetles or other potentially dangerous insects can lay eggs in your garden is essential.


You don’t have to wait to have for a big house or garden to grow a vine. As long as you follow our guide on growing grapes in containers, you’ll get exactly what you need.

Consider every piece of advice and recommendation if you want to achieve the best results. Grapevines aren’t too hard to grow, but you should do it well regardless.

Anyway, what are you waiting for? That grapevine won’t grow itself!

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