Monday, 22 May 2017

Grapevine flowering in Singapore

I have three grapevines that I bought from World Farm last year. They had grown a lot and as they were new growths, I know that they would not flower last year.

However, I didn't understand or know the method to make them flower. I know that in places whether the grapevines will go through a dormant stage (in winter), they will bud and flower in spring after pruning.

I wasn't sure about how to make them flower in Singapore. We don't have winter here and wonder how to make the grapevine goes through the dormant stage. I just leave the grapevine alone and one day in April, I was pretty annoyed at the way the grapevines had grown. There were few leaves and mostly brown leaves on the vine. Armed with a pruning tool, I cut the vines down to a couple feets tall. I added some compost on the top of the soil and just left it alone. I thought I had killed the grapevines.

In late April, I noticed some buds appearing from the end of the pruned vines. I realised I didn't kill them. After a week, the vines had extended and leaves appeared. I didn't notice the tiny little "flowers" actually were developing inflorescences that came out from the branches. I thought what those things were.

Suddenly, I realised that they were the flowers of the grapevines. I was very excited and continued to research on this. I believed that my grapevines belong to the northern hemisphere type where the bud break at around May. For southern hemisphere type, the bud break will be in September. I have another grapevine which I do not prune. I think I can try it during August to see the effect.

Developing inflorescences
Developing inflorescences
The flowers are very tiny and they are self-pollinating. However, I wanted to make sure that all of the flowers will be pollinated so I took a twiser to pick up one stamen and dusted on all the stigma. I certainly hoped this helped.

Calyptra is shed, liberating pollen
Calyptra is shed, liberating pollen

I think my pruning didn't yield many flowers. Only about 20 flowers appeared. So, in the end, I ended up with only 10 grapes. Well, it is better than none! At least I know that the grapevine will flower in Singapore and I just need to make sure I do the pruning currently to leave a couple of buds of the one year old growth.

I will update the progress of the grape maturing and hopefully the birds will not beat me to it.

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