Q: My husband and I planted two muscadine grape vines many years ago. One was supposed to be bronze and the other black. Both came up bronze, which was a great disappointment, but we just blamed the nursery. This year, we picked up two new grape vines from a department
store. Both were clearly marked as black, but came up bronze again. I am terribly disappointed, because I don’t really care for bronze fruit as much as black!
Is there something in the soil or care of grapes that affects the dark color, or are we just incredibly unlucky?
A: You were unlucky but it wasn’t your fault. The selection of a particular plant should not be a matter of chance.
When I visit the garden centers of some large stores, though, I see plant labels scattered on the floor. Perhaps children pulled them from their pots or the labels came with a shipment of plants but were never inserted in the pots. In any case, when I check the labels that are in the pots, it seems sometimes that someone has randomly labeled the plants. It is easy to see what you’re getting when a plant is in bloom.
If you purchase a muscadine and depend on the label for a fruit description, though, you run the chance that the label is incorrect. If you really want a certain particular plant, buy it from a knowledgeable grower, not a mass merchant. Call Bottoms Nursery in Concord, Ga (770-884-5661) or Ison’s Nursery in Griffin (770-599-6970) and ask for their muscadine catalogs. You’ll be bowled over with the selection of superior muscadines you can grow.
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