Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Grape Vines for Cold Climates

 août 8In the North, where short summers and cold winters are the norm, gardeners who want to grow grapes have to choose the grape cultivars with care. The European grape (Vitis vinifera), renowned for its large sweet fruits, rarely does well there: it is slow to mature and easily damaged by cold. Various North American and Siberian grape species are much hardier, but give small, sour fruits that are essentially inedible. The usual compromise is therefore to grow hybrid grapes resulting from crosses between the two groups. The best hybrid grapes are sweet and tasty and some even approach European grapes in size.

Here are a few cultivars that will be of interest to Northern gardeners.

Green Grapes

 ‘Delisle’, zone 4

‘Edelweiss’, zone 4

‘Eona’, zone 3

‘Kay Gray’ zone 4

‘Polar Green Seedless’, zone 4

‘Quebec Muscat’, zone 4

‘Seyval’, zone 4

‘St-Pépin’, zone 4

‘Swenson White’, zone 3-4

‘Vandal-Cliche’ zone 3


Blue Grapes

‘6447’, zone 5

‘Beta’, zone 2

‘Big Blue’, zone 4

‘Concord’, zone 5

‘Early Blue’, zone 3-4

‘Fredonia’, zone 3

‘Frontenac’, zone 3-4

‘Magenta’, zone 4

‘Maréchal Foch’, zone 3

‘Mars Seedless’, zone 4

‘Minnesota 78’, zone 3

‘Montreal Blue’, zone 4

‘New York Muscat’, zone 4

‘Sovereign Coronation’, zone 4

‘Troll’, zone 5

‘Valiant’, zone 3

‘St-Croix’, zone 3


Red Grapes

‘Canadice Seedless’, zone 4

‘Pink Pearl’, zone 4

‘Petits Joyaux’, zone 4

‘Reliance’, zone 3-4

‘Somerset Seedless’ zone 4

‘Swenson Red’, zone 3-4

‘Tuscany Red’, zone 2-3

‘Vanessa Seedless’, zone 4

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

1 comment on “Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

  1. Pingback: Set Your Grapes Free! – Laidback Gardener

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!

%d bloggers like this: