Grapeless grape vine

This is my first post on the forum and thanks in advance for any advice I might receive.

I found a grapevine (Cabernet) back in 2012 when I lived in the Napa Valley. It was at the edge of a vineyard and after receiving permission from the owner, I dug it up and put it in a grow container. Had a decent size root ball and it is fairly easy to take out. I estimate that it was probably 20 years old at the time I dug it out. It has been a bonsai pot for approximately six years now but I have never been able to get a single grape to grow. The base is approximately 6 inches around.

Any thoughts or advice about what I can do to help it produce fruit?

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On top of my head… You’re possibly giving it too much nitrogen, it doesn’t get enough sunshine or it needs another vine to pollinate its flowers. It may also have something to do with pruning.

Grapevines are mostly wind-pollinated, the pollen doesn’t travel far and it doesn’t get very high. Grapevines also need a lot of sunshine for the flower buds to develop properly.

If it produce flowers but they fail to set fruits, I’d try placing a second grapevine close to it on the bench.
If it doesn’t produce flowers at all but produces a lot of growth, I would try reducing the nitrogen feed and/or increasing the amount of sun it gets in the day.

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The thing I think of that to of mutt head is pruning practices. Grapes will only fruit on this years shoots that grow from 2 year old wood (AKA last year’s growth.) Also they tend to form fruit from every 3rd or 4th internode, so you need to let them elongate without pruning. This means out will grow very shaggy, WAIT and be PATIENT, after you see the clusters forming you can then prune it to desired shape. I’ll post pictures soon for you to reference.


The cluster is forming on the 4th internode

On this shoot it is the 3rd internode

The grape just started growing last week so I’ll get more photos later this week or next week.


Thank you for your advice. I really appreciate the pictures.

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Thank you Michael. I live in North Central Washington where there are increasingly huge vineyards but unfortunately I don’t live next to any. I’ll adjust the nitrogen though. Thanks.

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Don’t go too high on the nitrogen, or the plant will elongate without forming the fruiting bodies that you are wanting to develop. Ive had great success with frape formation using the following 6-4-4, 5-7-6, 7-9-5, 5-5-5. Basically, I would keep a well balanced fertilizer regimen.

Man, you can’t describe this dope grape with a cool story without posting pics! I need to see this.

You can see it in this forum thread Grape Vine Bonsai