Thursday, January 10, 2008

Managing a grapevine in the humid tropics

In a mediterranean climate, grape vines are pruned back drastically after the grapes are harvested. The vines live through the winter in a leafless condition. Then in the spring, they produce new growth, in the process bearing leaves and flowers.

In the humid tropics, vines can grow throughout the year, but produce only leaves. I have found that when the vines are pruned back drastically and deleafed by hand, new buds will sprout after two or three weeks. If flowers are produced, they will be produced on inflorescences located in a very specific place: adjacent to the third leaf at the time of new growth. Nowhere else and at no other time! If the opportunity is missed, there is nothing to do except to give the plant a few months to grow and then repeat the process. Flowering is not guaranteed but you get another chance with each flush of new growth.

Unfortunately, my grapes are small and sour.


Unknown said...


There are many varieties of grapes. perhaps some varities will be better adapted to the tropics. Can recommend any. i understand in Thailand they are successful in growing the Malaga blanc and pokdum

Dr Francis Ng said...

Yes, we have to bring in new varieties to test. The ones we now have produce small sour fruits and only sparingly. People could also try from seeds.