Saving a Scuppernong Vine

Q: I have a scuppernong vine that I got from my Grandad. I noticed when pruning that some of the vines were half black, half green, on the inside and others weren’t bright green like they should be.

A: Since the plant is so sentimental, I’d try to propagate it to have a backup. When green shoots appear in spring, look for and protect the ones closest to the ground. In mid-summer, stretch a couple of them along the soil surface. Select a spot twelve inches back from the tip and scrape it gently with a dull knife to expose the green cambium layer. Dig a shallow trench beneath the wound and anchor the stem in place with a handful of dirt. Put a brick on top to hold it in place. During the next several months roots will form at the wound site. When leaves appear at the tip next spring, clip the rooted section between it and the mother plant. Place it in another part of your garden or give it to a family member for safe planting.

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