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Wine is usually very easy to care for, so you can easily propagate it from cuttings. When choosing the varieties you have to consider a few points, especially with regard to the dreaded phylloxera.

In a nutshell

  • only multiply varieties that are resistant to phylloxera
  • Wine is increased in frost-free spring
  • Cutting tools should be clean
  • it takes about a year before the cuttings can be transplanted

Legal regulations

You cannot propagate vines without hesitation in every region. There are legal regulations that state that you can only graft vines in wine-growing areas on documents that are resistant to phylloxera. Hobby gardeners in these areas should refrain from propagating cuttings or propagating via offshoots.
In regions that are not among the wine-growing regions, you can also propagate wine varieties using cuttings or offshoots. However, you should also choose varieties that are not susceptible to phylloxera, otherwise an infestation can cause your new vineyard to be destroyed within a very short time.

Notice: If vines are propagated in wine-growing regions that are not resistant to phylloxera, and if a large-scale infestation is assumed, there is a risk of high fines.

tool for propagation

To take wood for propagation, you should always have a sharp knife handy. Even when propagating offshoots, you will need one as scratching the bark in one spot will encourage rooting.
Suitable tools are:

  • grafting knife
  • scalpel
  • Possibly razor blade (only for scratching)

Notice: You can use pruning shears to cut off sticks. However, you will crush the ends in the process, which slows down root formation, so you should always trim the end with a sharp blade.


The ideal time for propagating grapevines is early spring. The vines must not yet be in the juice, otherwise they may bleed dry. This means that on the one hand the mother plant is severely weakened and on the other hand the probability that the cuttings will take root is very low.
The time window is often very small and you should look out for the following signs:

  • several weeks without frost
  • Buds should be visible
  • no sheet formation

In the best case, there is damp weather, which prevents the sticks or sinkers in the ground from drying out.

Instructions for the propagation of cuttings

The easiest way to propagate vines using sticks is to simply stick the branches into the garden soil. Alternatively, you can use a substrate made from a mixture of peat and sand, or you can use commercial potting soil. If you use pots, you have the advantage that you can choose the location flexibly. Put the sticks in the garden, choose a semi-shady location. The soil stays wetter there and there is less risk of the cuttings dying because they don't have enough moisture.

plant cuttings

  • choose annual strong shoots
  • Cut off sticks with 3 - 4 eyes
  • Plant cuttings at least 2 eyes deep
  • Press the substrate firmly
  • possibly put a cover over it to keep evaporation to a minimum

Instead of cutting off the sticks, you can also tear off young shoots. So-called cracklings usually form roots more easily than sticks with a smooth cutting edge. However, you should also shorten the Risslings to a maximum of four eyes.

Instructions for offshoot propagation

Wine can also be propagated via so-called offshoots. This has the advantage that until the roots form, the sinker is still being supplied by the mother plant. The prerequisite for this, however, is that you can bend a branch down far enough that it touches the ground.
Once you have found a suitable branch, proceed as follows:

  • Dig a trough about 10 cm deep
  • lower branch
  • carve the part that will later be underground with a blade
  • cover at least two eyes with soil
  • Fix the shoot tip to an upright stick

Make sure you keep the offshoot constantly moist. You can separate the shoot from the mother plant in autumn at the earliest. To do this, it is cut off with sharp pruning shears just above the ground.

Use dummy wood

An alternative to cutting cuttings is the so-called blind wood. These are shoots that sprout directly from the knotty area. Remove the shoots because they weaken the plant, but they are very good for making cuttings.

However, if you want to propagate over dummy wood, cut this off in the fall. Put the branches in a bucket with sand over the winter to overwinter them frost-free. Only in the following year do you put the dummy wood in the ground. In the frost-free spring, plant the blind wood like normal cuttings and proceed in the same way when caring for them.

frequently asked Questions

Does the tool for propagation need to be cleaned?

Yes, make sure cutting tools are clean to avoid disease transmission.

How long does it take for sticks to take root?

Rooting takes several weeks. In order for a good root ball to form, the cuttings should be transplanted no later than the following year.

Do cuttings need to be protected from frost in winter?

Sticks or sinkers that are directly in the garden soil do not have to be protected from frost. You should protect wine in the pot from frost and make sure that the temperature does not drop below 12°C.

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