Growing Muscadine Grapes in Oklahoma
Muscadine grapes (Vitis rotundifolia) are native to the Southeastern United States. They are characteristically sensitive to cold temperatures, grow well in slightly acidic soils, and flourish in hot and humid regions. Muscadines have large berries, are heavy yielding, have good disease resistance, and are very flavorful. According to the 1999 Oklahoma Biological Survey, muscadine grapes are distributed in four of the southeastern counties of Oklahoma (Atoka, LeFlore, McCurtain, and Pushmataha). Muscadines are not well adapted to the northern portion of the state, where it gets relatively cold in the winter. Vines should not be planted in areas where temperatures drop below 10 degrees. Oklahoma’s rapidly changing temperatures are detrimental to the growth and survival of muscadine grapes. In Oklahoma, the most likely area for successful muscadine plantings would be south and east of McAlester.
The number of grapevines to plant depends on your objectives and what type of grape you are planting. For example, two muscadine vines will provide almost any family with all the fresh grapes they need. Generally, muscadine grapes will produce about 35 pounds of fruit or more per vine, compared to bunch grapes that will produce about eight pounds per vine. The amount of fruit produced is dependent on cultivar and management. Some muscadines may yield more than 60 pounds per vine.