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Muscadine Grape 'Cowart'

Grow Your Own Fresh Fruit! Very Winter Hardy!

Great for Southern climates! This is a large and succulent blue-black grape. The vines are self-pollinating, making ‘Cowart’ an excellent choice to pollinate other muscadine varieties. Just add sunshine to this native Southern plant to produce sweet grapes. Muscadine grapes are valued for fruit to make artisan wines, juice, and jelly. They are rich sources of polyphenols. They are also useful for fall color; they’re among the few ornamental vines with bold, textured foliage, colorful edible fruit, and a dominant trunk and branch pattern for winter interest.

Vitis rotundifolia, or muscadine, is a grapevine species native to the southeastern and south-central United States from Florida to Delaware, west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. It has been extensively cultivated since the 16th century. The plants are well adapted to their native warm and humid climate; they need fewer chilling hours than better known varieties and they thrive on summer heat. In a natural setting, muscadines are important plants for improving wildlife habitat by providing cover, browse, and fruit for a wide variety of animals.

The vines are allowed to run as they will the first year and the posting or staking is done the second or third year when you will prune heavily, leaving only 2 or 3 buds on the strongest stem. As it grows you'll keep only the most vigorous sprout to form the main stem. Shallow cultivation and mulching are beneficial. It is best grown in deep, loamy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. This grape tolerates a wide range of soil conditions but must have good drainage.

Plant Details +

Botanical Vitis rotundifolia 'Cowart'
Common Name Muscadine Grape 'Cowart'
Height Varies
Spacing 8-10' at planting time, 15-20' at maturity
Hardiness Zones 6-10
Exposure Full sun
Foliage Large, green
Fruit Dark-purple/blue almost black at maturity
Harvest Fall

General Information +

General Characteristics: Muscadine berries range from bronze to dark purple to black in color when ripe. However, many wild varieties stay green through maturity. Muscadines have skin sufficiently thick and tough that eating the raw fruit is similar to eating a plum and may be an acquired taste. Muscadines grow best in fertile sandy loam and loose soils. They can be found growing wild in well-drained bottom lands that are not subject to extended drought or waterlogging. Grapes are primarily grown for fruit production in home fruit gardens where ornamental interest is not a concern. However, grapes do in fact have good ornamental value: bold summer foliage, some fall color, showy fruit and shaggy, twisted trunking and branching often best seen in winter. When grown on fences, walls, trellises, arbors or other structures, grapes can be quite attractive year-round and can provide good cover, screening, or shade to areas around the home.

Planting/Care Instructions +

Planting Instructions: May be planted in any well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant 1-2" deep, make sure 4-5" of the top show above the soil surface and water thoroughly. Fertilize when planting. Best grown in deep, loamy, medium wet, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including average garden soils, but must have good drainage. Best sited in a location sheltered from winter winds (preferably a southern facing slope) and well removed from frost pockets. Self-pollinating. Grapes need a support system, training, regular spraying and regular pruning to maximize fruit production.

Pests or Diseases: Muscadine grapes are also resistant to pests and diseases, including Pierce's disease, which can destroy other grape species. Muscadine is one of the grape species most resistant to Phylloxera, an insect that can kill the roots of grapevines. Grape plants require a fair amount of maintenance and pruning. If given the proper amount of care, these wonderful fruits will provide you and your family with years of pleasure.