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Dumb/crazy grape propagation idea -- has anyone tried rooting stems/tendrils inside a fruit bunch?

 
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I've had pretty good luck rooting grape cuttings in the traditional way -- buying or trading for cuttings from people trimming their vines, dipping them in rooting hormone, putting them in potting soil, waiting for a new plant.  It's not 100% but it's pretty good.  Putting them in a jar of water on the windowsill also works pretty well.

So, today I was in the fancy market, and I did a taste sample (one grape, nobody was looking) on a package of one of those schmancy patented "designer" grapes that is finger-shaped and sooper-sweet and crazy-expensive (like, seven dollars a pound, at least at this time of year) and has a twee name like "cotton candy" (although this one was red and had some other poodle-name that I've already forgotten).  

And the crazy notion that struck me later as I was shivering across the January parking lot was: if I had bought and ate them yuppie grapes, is there any chance on this-here green earth that the stems and tendrils inside the bunch, properly treated, could have been rooted?

I mean, I know it's not an ideal cutting for striking new roots and leaves.  It's not the right part of the vine, at all.  But is it impossible? Or merely unlikely?

I figure I'll do the experiment the next time I buy .99-cent-a-pound green grapes at my local discount grocers.  Because if it's crazy and it works, it's not crazy.  And this is the kind of guerilla-accessioning of designer genetics that really appeals to me.  (I hasten to add: it's my belief that these things are the product of selective breeding and hybridization, not GMO.  I could be wrong, but that's my belief.)

So, how about it.  Has anybody tried this?  Anybody got any wild opinions?
 
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You crazy out of control freak! Go go grow that there grape and to hell with that low down mayor and his crooked brother in law. Its sure time you took back control of that there farmers market!
Or , in English...
I think that would be an awefully good idea and I would be so interested in the results. I wish you luck.
I have been saving date stones all season to try for some palm trrees. My hubby thinks Im mad.....
 
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Yes, It is crazy and it won´t work. You must have shoot with one bud at least to get a seedling with roots. There are no sleeping buds on the bunch, so it will not root. Sorry, bad idea.
 
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Go for it, that’d be very interesting. If you want an out of this world, “first time I ever tried grape soda at 5yrs old” flavor in an organic grape, the varietal Mars is just that. Muscat fresh tastes like fruit loops, and produces well in soils that wouldn’t produce great wine with most varietals. I am sure you could get rooted cuttings for less than 5$ a piece in bulk, probably no more than 20$ for an individual established 2-3yr old plant. Or you could make friends with a vintner, and be inundated in all the grapes, cuttings and wine you could ever want. I did that unknowingly at 8yrs old and have been reaping benefits I can never repay.
 
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Tissue culture cloning is possible. This is just the first thing that came up with a search, but explains the basic idea.

https://www.growingproduce.com/fruits/grapes/tissue-culture-helps-nurseries-produce-virus-free-grape-vines/
 
Dan Boone
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Jan Hrbek wrote:Yes, It is crazy and it won´t work. You must have shoot with one bud at least to get a seedling with roots. There are no sleeping buds on the bunch, so it will not root. Sorry, bad idea.



Thanks for sharing this opinion, which -- crazily enough -- is pretty close to my own.  The funny thing about it is that it's a curiously fact-shaped opinion, but you haven't shared anything about the circumstances that helped you form it.  So I still have the same zillion questions I had before, of which just a few would be:

How do we know this? Is it based on experience? Trial? Education? Observation? My eyes aren't good enough to see sleeping buds on most rootable wood that has them... Did we learn it in a botany class somewhere?  From a textbook?  Is it a truth universal, or might it vary? Might, for instance, some grape cultivars be more or less prone to having buds on their tendrils?  If such buds are unlikely (which I suspect) is the unlikelihood merely passably rare, like twin yolks in a chicken egg, or is it lightning-on-a-sunny-day rare, like a two-headed goat?  (Tell me it's less likely than that -- tell me it's flatly impossible -- and I'll suspect you of an unwarranted certainty that nature rarely supports.)  
 
Dan Boone
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Chris Wang wrote:Tissue culture cloning is possible.



Well, yeah... but not for me.  I don't precisely have a sterile university laboratory in my back bedroom, or the STEM degree to run it. Besides, at that point it would probably just be cheaper just to order some vines, which is the step I was trying to avoid with my crazy wild-eyed redneck propagation notion.
 
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Ehhh... why not just plant the seeds?
 
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Dan,

In my modest experience, most of the new varieties of grape are really prone to mildew. Sulfur continues to be considered organic, so it may not bother you. I am far too lazy.

I root them the same way, I have no idea which ones I have growing since I forgot even where I got the cuttings. Only the strong survive my abuse. If they don't make grapes the third year they get killed.
 
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Never rooted grapes, but it would be worth a shot.  Id trim it to get to good green tissue, scratch the outer bark at a node/joint dip it in the rooting powder and give it a go.  It might not take off as it really needs a terminal bud, but a good experiment regardless.
 
Dan Boone
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Carla Burke wrote:Ehhh... why not just plant the seeds?



It's extremely rare to see a seeded variety in the grocery store.  The only one I've encountered in my area is a huge red globe grape, and I do save and plant those seeds.  Germination has not been good, though.  
 
Dan Boone
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Tj Jefferson wrote:Dan,

In my modest experience, most of the new varieties of grape are really prone to mildew. Sulfur continues to be considered organic, so it may not bother you. I am far too lazy.



I'm much the same -- and fairly new at this.  So far most of my grapes haven't survived their first or second winter in the ground.  I don't really expect the new ones to do any better, but my whole philosophy rotates around scrounging free or cheap genetic material, planting it profusely, and taking advantage of stuff that happens to thrive.  What's more, I'm not tight on space, so I'm willing to tolerate plants that don't produce well a lot of years due to prevailing weather but might explode with produce in a drier, wetter, warmer, or colder year than normal.  So I don't cull quickly.
 
Ben Zumeta
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The vast majority of grape seeds will not produce fruit at all, let alone something tasty or true to type. My best friend , a professional vintner, said he has read in several sources from viticulture classes that there is about a 1/20000 chance of any given seed producing a cane that will even produce fruit, let alone better fruit than the parent, because it requires a mutation that apparently happens independently in each  genetic individual that is capable of producing grapes. Edit:[I asked specifically about if I was misunderstanding and he meant it was similar to an apple seed having a 1/10000 chance of being commercially valuable, it was not what he meant, and he grows apples as well and knows enough about the subject for me to trust] This does sound baffling to me given that thousands of different grape varietals exist and had to come from somewhere, but he’s not one to bullshit about grapes. I guess this is correlated with how grapes produce so much fruit and live so long. It can take a lot of rolls to hit that yatze. I ought to read up on UC Davis publications on the subject for more information.

 
Dan Boone
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Much the same thing is said about growing apples from seed, but it’s been debunked ... the statistic is more to do with the odds of getting a commercially valuable fruit from seed.

Wild grapes reproduce from seeds all the time ... there are several small but tasty varieties where I live.

I am going to assume that a vintner is talking about the likelihood of planting seeds and getting wine grapes.
 
Ben Zumeta
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Talk about something I could probably look up again before talking about it from memory...I know of that fallacy I in tree fruit from seed and am in favor of the Sepp Holzer strategy, and I actually asked for specification on that exact point. Forrest, my buddy, grows apples as well, and he said grapes have a very different reproductive strategy than most other common temperate fruit groups like pome, stone, vaccinia, or rosa/rubus. They are taxanomically not closely related to those common temperate fruit families, and are very different in pollination. I understand that they are monoecious (non m/f individual plants) and can self pollenate, by wind, but the vast majority of seeds are not viable to grow and even fewer can then reproduce. Grapes are so vigorous, hardy and easily  propagated vegetatively, they are apparently able to afford producing millions of seeds before one succeeds in passing on their genes by mutating in such a way that they can self pollenate. Viticulturists over millenia and vast amounts of space have then vegetatively propagated those grape producing mutants. We have mulched millions of seeds on his 10 acre vineyard and very, very few have come up, and none that we know of have been impressive, while suckers from his canes would ubiquitous if unmanaged. Of course seedlings have produced unique fruit that becomes a new varietal, but that happens very rarely and generally on large vineyards that have the space, time and inclination to test it over a decade or more. This is my main point, if without more land than you know what to do with, utilize the ability for grapes to live for centuries, and the land and time investment of previous viticulturists who know a thing or two, and get a cutting you have some idea that you will like. If dry farmed, it will still express a unique character on your unique site and under your unique care. While technically that same genetic plant, individual canes and roots can also mutate significantly over a grape's century+ potential lifetime, and this is actually apparently necessary for any single individual to reproduce. While genetically distant and not perfect analogues, we can find a similar reproductive cycle to other long lived, hard to kill plants, like Redwoods. Only the strong, prolifically successful and perfectly placed offspring survive to reproduce. It is amazing and hard to believe, but explains why viticultural progress has correlated with extensive breeding projects like those by royal estates, stable communities devoted to it like in France, Italy, or Spain, or academically with massive investment like at University of California Davis, and Washington State University.

My main advice having grown grapes and spent a lot of time on vineyards, but appreciating the Sepp Holzer seed propagation strategy, is if you really want to come up with a grape better than 6000yrs of breeding, and care beyond what possibly any other plant has been provided, appreciate the extraordinary failure rate of any given seed and time (10yrs to know if it’s decent for wine, and five to seven for decent fruit). I'd use as much mash or wine must as I could for seed stock from a wine, juice or table varietal you like, and devote some substantial space to it. I'd ask a vineyard or fruit processor as close to me as possible for their spent seeds and skins and fill my vehicle. Otherwise I'd get some cutting that I know makes great fruit in my area and has likely had billions of dollars put into its breeding, if you appreciate the thousands of years interest that would accrue on investments made by Egyptian, Greek, Persian and Roman, renaissance and many other viticulturalists. Of course I'd have a better likelihood of finding something valuable in root stock that is resistant to phylloxera or other soil problems. Even then, a wild native grape would probably be better for the purpose and easier to find and propagate vegetatively than breeding one from seed.

I agree with propagating diversity in every way we can, and I am constantly catching myself trying to reinvent the wheel, so I can't criticize.  However grapes are something that has had immense time, energy and expertise put into its cultivation and we can get many thousands of varietals of incredible diversity. It takes a long time to understand each varietal or individual cutting, let alone your site's relationship to it and its preferred microclimate. I know this is just a fun experiment, and I am mainly referring to the suggestion to plant the seeds, but breeding anything successfully in a way that values your time, space and energy seems to require understanding these aspects of the plant. Sometimes you can just get lucky though I guess, and I hope you all do.
 
Dan Boone
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Ben Zumeta wrote:My main advice is if you really want to come up with a grape better than 6000yrs of breeding and care...



I hope this will be advantageous to someone who reads this thread, but of course my own goals as stated repeatedly are nothing of the sort.  
 
Ben Zumeta
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I am interested in your results. Native American rootstock seems to be the best solution to phylloxera. I would also hypothesize that wild grapes are mostly vegetatively perpetuated, maybe even to a similar degree to the plant I keep seeing more parallels to, Sequoia Sempervirens (coast redwood). They have 98% of mature forest trunks coming from reiterations, and grow very much like vines that can form trunks from any vertical growth, even after falling. I wouldn’t be surprised if kiwi in the wild are the same way, being long lived, prolific seed producers, and very easy to root from any tissue touching soil. If only some searchable network of information sources existed around the globe...
 
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