Muscadine Grapes: The Most Well-adapted Grapes For Florida

Muscadines:

Vitis rotundifolia

Muscadine grapes are one of four classifications of grapes that are grown in the United States.  They are the hardiest grapes to grow in FL:  they love our heat, humidity and adapt well to our soils, etc.

European grapes, aka seedless bunch grapes like Thompson Seedless,  are primarily grown in California, though there are breeding programs working to develop a suitable adaptation for FL.

Muscadine varieties are either Black or Bronze, and come in shades of pinkish bronze, reddish bronze, deep purply red, or nearly black.

Scuppernongs simply refer to the bronze muscadines --  like Granny Val, Triumph, Carlos and Fry .   See below for descriptions.

All are suited to zones 7-10,  and most of North Central and Central Florida are in zone 9.

Grapes varieties are either male or female: if you buy a female, you need a male; if you buy a male, they are self fertile.   One male can pollinate up to four female plants, if planted within 50 feet.

Muscadine Grapes

Black Nesbitt & Granny Val get a 5-star rating for flavor!

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Spacing The Vines:

Plant 3-5 vines per person for a nice sized home harvest.

Vines will average 8-10' maybe 12' height, and about the same in width, maybe a little wider up to 15-18' in some cases.

Plant about 10' apart in rows with some kind of wire trellis or arbor for support for the large vines.  Vines can actually be spaced anywhere from 6' to 12' apart, so 8-10' is a nice compromise.

And remember to place the female vines within 50 feet of the male/pollinators.

Need trellis ideas?

Orchard Valley logo

Orchard Valley Supply is a wholesale to the public vineyard supply company based in NC.  They have a wealth of information on their website regarding trellis designs and worth a good read.

You'll find links to how-to articles here about everything from how to choose a trellis design, to how to build the trellis, to how to prune your grape vines.

We usually inventory these popular varieties:

muscadines

Vitis rotundifolia: Muscadines

Availability:

2.5-3yr old vines: bearing age  1g $12
10 or more: $10ea

NESBITT:
a really sweet, nice black muscadine (male)  with a long ripening season;  developed in NC;
flavor similar to a Concord; high yielding / cold hardy / disease resistant;  fruit is 20% sugar;
ripens mid to late September;

JUMBO:
extra large: size of half dollars; black (female) 
very sweet when fully ripe (approx 15% sugar) highly disease resistant; very vigorous vines; longer bearing season; 
mid-season: ripens September to October;

SUMMIT:
a tasty red-bronze muscadine (female)
ripens early to mid-September, about 20% sugar; grape is about 1" in diameter;

GRANNY VAL:
a deliciously sweet, male bronze muscadine;
mid to late season -- even Oct;
heaviest producing variety of all muscadines;
a favorite for fresh eating;

TRIUMPH:
a pinkish-bronze muscadine;  (male)
sweet with a crunchy texture:  17% sugar;
highly productive vines, quite hardy;
ripens in August;

CARLOS: 
purple-black (male) very productive, early ripening;