Vitis Coignetiae

It looks very like the closely related grape vine (Grape Vine is Vitis vinifera) but there is one really important difference. It’s healthy. It’s always healthy. It looks healthy and it is healthy. Grape vines have been interbred with one another for so long (in order to produce the perfect grape) that they (like most fruit trees) are the horticultural equivalent of the village idiot. They get every disease known to plant and have to be propped up with sprays, just to keep them alive. These don’t.

Deciduous, large leafed, vigorous, amazing autumn colour and bunches of things that – from a distance – look a bit like bunches of grapes. Any soil, sun or shade. Despite its vigour, it’s easy to control and it needs a minimum of wires and wood to cling on to as its tendrils are tremendously vigorous and effective. As with any climber, keep cutting it back with shears and it’ll reward you by being denser. A nice effect.

Propagated by us from cuttings.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

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