The Southern Home Grape Vine is a unique and beautiful climbing plant that combines the qualities of an ornamental climber with the production of beautiful table grapes to enjoy at home. Instead of having to choose between beauty and food, now you can have it all, and grow the perfect combination. Beautify your home with an attractive climber to cover a fence, arbor or entrance, and in summer harvest magnificent black grapes with the unique and scrumptious muscadine flavor loved by all who taste it. As well, this grape is resistant to the major diseases of grape vines, so it needs no elaborate spraying and chemicals to look beautiful and crop heavily.
This plant is a hybrid between several types of muscadine grape, and the European bunch grape. Muscadine grapes, derived from the native American wild vine, Vitis rotundifolia, are famous for the richness and quality of their flavor, and the Southern Home Grape is no exception – the fruit is delicious. With just a few seeds, and a tender skin, you will enjoy real muscadine flavor from this beautiful grape variety.
Growing Southern Home Grapes
Ornamentally, the Southern Home Grape is a deciduous climbing plant that will produce climbing stems up to 40 feet long if left unpruned, with large, glossy leaves that look somewhat like maple leaves. The rich green leaves are 4 inches long and wide, and they are divided into several lobes, giving a handsome and interesting look to this plant. The stems and veins are reddish, expanding the color palette. Imagine this unique plant twining up an entrance porch, or covering an old, ugly fence – it will be beautiful.
Then we turn to the fruit. The Southern Home Grape is self-pollinating, so it doesn’t need another grape vine nearby to deliver a full crop. It is ever-bearing, and you can expect to be harvesting bunches of grapes from mid-August right through October and even into November. The grapes are large and black, gathered into clusters of about 12 grapes per cluster. Each cluster ripens uniformly, so you don’t harvest clusters with some un-ripened grapes in them, which would of course be wasted. Just five clusters weight a whole pound, so you will be harvesting pounds and pounds of grapes from a single mature plant. And what grapes they are!
The Southern Home Grape is hardy throughout the South, in zones 7, 8 and 9. It can be successfully grown from Texas to Florida, and its combination of ornamental and berry properties are totally unique. Plant it in full sun, in any well-drained soil, and grow it on a support. This could be a sturdy fence, an arbor, a strong trellis, or an archway over a path or entrance. It will easily cover a structure 6 or 7 feet tall, with beautiful foliage and clusters of black grapes. Allow 20 feet of fence or trellis to give your plant room to develop properly.
Care and Maintenance
Annual pruning is necessary to keep your vine productive, and to prevent it from becoming too large. Prune in late winter, removing all weak growth, and leaving a framework of strong young canes. Tie these onto the fence, arbor or trellis, and from them will come new stems, carrying beautiful leaves and producing bunch after bunch of delicious black grapes. This annual pruning is all the care your Southern Home Grape will need.
Pests and Diseases
As well, the Southern Home Grape is resistant to all the major grape diseases, including Pierce’s disease and downy mildew, and it is rarely attacked significantly by insects. Because of this you can grow it without needing to apply fungicides and insecticides to the plant. The berries you harvest will be all-natural, and free of harmful chemicals, yet of top quality and packed with goodness.
History and Origins of the Southern Home Grape
The Southern Home Grape is the result of a detailed and complex breeding process, designed to create new, improved varieties of grapes for Southern gardens. The breeding was done by John A. Mortensen and other plant breeders from the Central Florida Research and Education Center of the University of Florida, in Leesburg. They began with a classic muscadine grape with bronze fruit, called ‘Summit’. This plant was crossed with a complex hybrid grape created from several wild forms of the muscadine grape, plus a touch of the European bunch grape, Vitis vinifera. This plant, called ‘Fla. P9-15’, had black grapes with excellent flavor.
The cross was made in 1979, and of the 43 seedlings grown, one was selected and extensively trialed, to become ‘Southern Home’. The plant was patented in 1996, and the plants we have available are grown under license from that original stock. Complex hybrid plants of this type offer so much – beauty, high-quality fruit with magnificent flavors, disease-resistance, and overall toughness – that they cannot in any way be compared with generic plants sold simply as ‘muscadine’, or ‘black grape’. Choose quality and choose the best. Our clients do, so these rarely-available plants will soon be gone. Order now to avoid disappointment, and enjoy the unique Southern Home Grape growing right outside your door.