Cotton candy grapes are not your regular type of grape or fruit, for that matter.
They are authentic creations of the IFG (International Fruits Genetics). Could come about this unique fruit by crossing multiple varieties, among which was a Concord-like grape, known as the ingredient in Welch’s jams, juices, and jellies, and types of typical grapes (Vitis vinifera).
The fruit was released into the market in 2011 and has been in high demand ever since, resulting in a need to expand cotton farming in California and even extend it to other countries.
Are you interested in planting your cotton candy grapes? We’ll share important growing tips and details of available varieties to get you on the right path.
- Growing Guide Of Cotton Candy Grapes
- Soil Preparation Requirement
- Planting Requirements
- Light Requirements
- Watering Requirements
- Fertilizer Application
- Pruning Techniques
- Propagating Methods
- Variety Of Information On Cotton Candy Grapes
- Other Varieties Of Grapes That You Can Grow
- Where To Buy Cotton Candy Grapes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Note
Growing Guide Of Cotton Candy Grapes
To grow cotton candy grapes, you will need to purchase a grapevine. This can be readily found in reputable online stores or florists shops around you.
Place the tubs where your grapevines were purchased towards sunlight but not intense heat, as prolonged exposure to heat will negatively impact the plant’s early growth stages.
Usually, cotton candy grapes will take at least six years before they will be ready to be harvested by you. But, in the interim, there are specific care guides that you must follow to ensure that you have a bountiful harvest at the end of the day.
Find them highlighted below.
Soil Preparation Requirement
This is an essential aspect of growing cotton grapes. It can either make or mar the entire process.
The soil used should be fertile and well-drained, not too rich. You must know that the roots of cotton candy grapes are shallow; hence, the need to choose a planting area with loose soil fortified thoroughly with compost.
The best planting site for your cotton candy grapes will be one where they can be shielded from strong winds and get an abundance of full sun.
Once you have your soil in place, it is advised that you apply fertilizer all around the planting area before planting your seeds. The fertilizer should be a balanced one.
Here, we shall be looking at how best to have the cotton candy planted.
Do they need to be planted deep into the soil, and how deep should that be?
This is an essential question, as the correct planting depth would greatly determine how long it will take to attain maturation.
In the case of cotton candy grapes, 2 inches below surface level will be fine.
Cotton candy grapes need sufficient lighting to thrive and grow properly.
Many people will want to have them grow over walls or trellises since they are vine plants.
These vines naturally are expected to grow upwards and would crave sufficient light conditions as they do. However, the trick is in feeding them with enough light while shielding them from direct sun at the same time.
At least six hours of sunlight per day for outdoor plants will guarantee you tick the plants’ light needs. If you love a hot region, you must provide some afternoon shade for your plant. This is a preventive measure that will see that your grapes do not get sunburned.
When growing indoors, it would be best to keep your plants by a window where sunlight shines. If you do not live in a sunny region, you can use grow lights.
Watering cotton candy grapes is of utmost importance to their well-being.
Water is essential for plants in every stage of their growth. There is still the need to water just right to avoid overwatering, as that would result in yet another issue for the plant.
In other words, maintaining a balance between underwatering and overwatering is the key to getting it right with cotton candy grapes.
How do you know when your grapevine is deprived of sufficient water?
The leaves easily give off this information; they turn yellow and look/feel dry.
Another critical aspect of growing the cotton candy plant. It is, however, essential to use the right fertilizer for them, which is a nitrogen fertilizer that is based on a fish meal.
The essence of applying fertilizer is to provide nourishment for the plant. With cotton candy grapes, you do not have to feed them every other day; at least once every ten days will keep the plant growing just fine.
Anything more than that would amount to overfeeding the plant, which can, in turn, lead to excessive leaf growth and fewer grapes.
Your grapevine should be pruned every year. The essence of doing this is to keep the plant looking meat and healthy and foster new growth.
Another reason pruning is required to keep the size of the vine under control. You can control it better when it is pruned down to size.
Propagation of the cotton candy plant is carried out mainly through cuttings.
Propagating cotton candy grapes from the mother plant involves cutting the cane of the mother plant 5 - 6 inches above soil level, after which they are later re-sized into smaller pieces with 2 - 3 nodes of new growth present on each one.
Now that you have your cuttings, it will be nice to have them treated before going to the plant.
Treating the cuttings is nothing complicated. It entails leaving them to soak in a basin of room temperature water for about 1 - 2 hours, after which you get some warm water mixed with a bit of rooting hormone powder.
The solution should be smooth and devoid of clumps, then poured into another basin of room temperature water.
Your cuttings must be dipped inside the solution before you can finally plant.
Once the treatment process is completed, you can have them planted in the ground or containers as you desire, using moist, potting soil.
Lastly, give the newly transferred plants an intensive watering to establish the roots. This propagation process is best started during late spring/early summer.
There you have it—a comprehensive growth guide to the cotton candy plant. Endeavor to observe your plant as they grow, following up with their watering, light, and other requirements.
When your vines start growing, you will notice small, green grapes springing forth. When they do get bigger, have them tied up, as that is an effective way of shielding them from strong winds at that tender stage of growth.
Cotton candy grapes have fragile, delicate skin and must be protected and properly cared for.
When they change from being green to an orange-red color, you are to cut off all the leaves around them so they do not get destroyed when you harvest.
To harvest, all you need to do is cut off vines that surround the cotton candy grapes. You do not want to risk them sucking out the sugar from your grapes.
Then, with the help of a pair of gardening shears, slice through the grapes one by one till they ripen all by themselves.
Variety Of Information On Cotton Candy Grapes
The horticulturist; David Cain and his team at International Fruit Genetics (IFG), located in Bakersfield, California, has announced that the production of other varieties is in the works.
According to him, Strawberry, mango, and pineapple variants have already been produced and are currently undergoing a series of tests that will reveal the commercial viability of the products.
Other Varieties Of Grapes That You Can Grow
Due to the patent on cotton candy grapes, getting the cuttings to plant is almost impossible.
Although there is a possibility that you can have them grown with the vines that come with grapes from the store, the likelihood of success with this method is very slim.
Notwithstanding, there are varieties of other grapes that you can grow and comfortably handle. They do not taste like cotton candy, but they are equally delicious.
You can get these grapes at fruit stores or the farmers market, taste them and be sure you like them before planting.
Below is a list of other grape varieties that you can conveniently grow.
- Lakemont Grape (USDA Growing Zones: 5 - 8): The Lakemont grapes are green-colored and small in size. Its flavor can be likened to honey.
- Thomcord Grapes (USDA Growing Zones: 5 - 9): Thomcord grapes are purple and are very resistant to heat.
- Marquis Grapes (USDA Growing Zones: 5 - 8): You all have no trouble with cold growing the Marquis grapes, as they are freezing and hardy.
- Candace Grapes (USDA Growing Zones: 5 - 8): Candace grapes are winter hardy plants. They are red-colored grapes that taste different from other table grapes.
- Himrod Grapes ((USDA Growing Zones: Hardy to zone 5): Himrod grapes have an excitingly intense cinnamon flavor. They are green in color.
Above are examples of other great varieties of grapes that you can grow. It would help if you went for a type that fits your area zone.
Other key points to note are to ensure the vines you go for are virus free and not more than a year old, preferably.
Where To Buy Cotton Candy Grapes
Cotton Candy grapes are seasonal, just like any grape. Cotton candy grapes are usually available from mid-August to early September.
The good thing is that there are many places you can buy cotton candy grapes, such as
- Trader Joe’s
- Whole Foods Market
- Giant Foods
- Sams Club
Just walk into any supermarket and ask for cotton candy grapes, and I bet you will find them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Season Do Cotton Candy Grapes Grow?
Cotton candy grapes are seasonal and are usually in season from mid-August - early September.
Several factors must be aligned before getting these grapes at the height of sweetness. These factors include weather, air pressure, and altitude.
How High Is The Sugar Content Of Cotton Candy Grapes?
Cotton candy grapes cannot be described to be overly sweet. The standard measurement is usually 18 grams of sugar to hundred grams of cotton candy grapes.
However, compared side by side with other table grapes, cotton candy grapes is about 12% higher in sugar than they are.
Cotton candy grapes are a registered trademark of hybrid grapes produced by the Grapery of Bakersfield. They have a unique and exciting flavor that will leave you yearning for more.
We know that cotton candy grapes are not commodities that can be easily seen to purchase; you can get some of the grapes from the store when they are in season and work on propagating your own vine.
It would not be an easy feat. Patience on your part is needed as it is a venture that will take several years.
But in the end, you will find it to be worth your time and effort.