Muscadine Field Day Presentation — How to Fertilize Muscadine Grape Vines

Dr. Eric Stafne spoke at the 2012 Muscadine Field Day on the topic of how to fertilize muscadine vines.  See photo below:

Dr. Stafne discussing how to fertilize muscadine vines. Photo courtesy of Dr. Gary Bachman.

Dr. Stafne discussing how to fertilize muscadine vines. Photo courtesy of Dr. Gary Bachman.

Below are some easy steps for fertilizing muscadine vines throughout their lifetime.

How to Fertilize Muscadine Grapes                                                                       

Eric T. Stafne, Assistant Extension Professor – Fruit Crops, Mississippi State University


Do a soil test and amend soil based on recommendations.  For more information on soil testing visit your local county extension office. Soil pH should be around 6.5.

Non-bearing vines, 1-2 years old

Apply fertilizer soon right at beginning of growth each spring, with subsequent applications following every six weeks (but not past end of July).

In year one, apply 3 ounces of 10-10-10 (or similar) around the vine, but not within 6 inches of the trunk.  In year two, apply 6 ounces.

Bearing vines, 3-5 years old

Apply 2 pounds of 10-10-10 (or similar) per vine in March and 1 additional pound per vine in May.  Broadcast in a circle around vine under the canopy area.

Mature vines, 5+ years old

Mature vines require 50 to 60 pounds of nitrogen per acre (~0.3 pounds of nitrogen per vine) at bud break followed by another 30 to 40 pounds of nitrogen after fruit set (0.17 pounds of nitrogen per vine).

Check soil pH every 2 years and amend as necessary.

Potential problems to look for:

Magnesium deficiency may cause premature shatter.  Symptom is yellowing between veins of older leaves that progress up the shoot as the other leaves mature.

Boron deficiency may lead to poor fruit set.

Tissue Analysis

Take petioles from 100 fully expanded, basal leaves on fruiting shoots in June/July.  The best leaves are those opposite fruit clusters.  Sample each cultivar separately. For more information on tissue analysis visit your local county extension office.

For more information see Establishment and Production of Muscadine Grapes MSU-ES Publication 2290.  Available at your local county extension office or online at


2 responses

  1. I have muscadine grapes all along my fence and they produce fruit but not like I would like. I have read that epsom salts is good for ferterlizing but don’t know the amount to use. Can you help me with this? Thank you.

    • Epsom salts are used to correct Magnesium deficiencies, often created by low pH soils. You can evenly broadcast about 4 to 6 ounces of it under the plant in an area of about 6 feet.

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