A recent addition to the fruit world is the grape that tastes like everyones’ childhood favorite – cotton candy.
This interesting grape was developed by International Fruit Genetics of Bakersfield, California where two grapes were crossed to produce the Cotton Candy Grape.
With it’s popular taste one question that many people ask is whether it is possible to grow cotton candy grapes themselves?
The reality, sadly is that you won’t be able to grow these grapes yourself, they simply are unavailable as either seeds or cuttings. The process of developing the unique taste involved many hours of laboratory work and the official cotton candy grape plants are not available for purchase or licensing. But, you can always try.
Could I produce my own cotton candy grape plants?
Well you are always welcome to try, however most grape varieties are developed through years of trial and error and testing, often involving specialist horticulturalists that have access to specialised facilities and equipment.
Many new grape varieties are produced by careful planting of seeds from cross pollinated, known grape varieties.
These are then allowed to grow into mature vines, and it is only when ( and if ) they produce fruit, which can take years, that the taste of the grape becomes known.
So although you could experiment, it would take you a long time and you’d probably need lots of space and patience.
- Ted Goldammer (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 482 Pages – Apex Publishers (Publisher)
Can I just plant the seeds from shop bought cotton candy grapes?
Good thinking, but these grapes are supposed to be seedless, so sorry you might struggle.
However, as they are now being grown more widely with producers in the United States, South America, Spain and other countries that have suitable climates, there have been instances of grapes being sold that contain seeds.
If you are lucky then you may find that some of the grapes that you buy have seeds in them, so, there is nothing to prevent you from planting these seeds to see what results you get.
How do you plant grape seeds?
So, you’ve bought some cotton candy grapes from the store and have found that some of the grapes contain seeds.
Your best option is to sow the seeds into pots of well drained compost, water well and keep them in a warm place either indoors or in a greenhouse.
Make sure that you keep the compost moist until the seeds sprout.
This will take anywhere from two weeks onwards.
Once the seedlings are a few inches tall they will need potting on into larger pots.
Harden the plants off so that they can eventually be kept outdoors and, when they reach two to three feet in height, plant them into the ground into well drained soil in a sunny position.
With care, and if you are lucky, your vines will fruit, producing your own, home grown grapes.
Could I grow cotton candy grapes from the stems of shop bought grapes?
You could try and it might be possible. It all would depend on:
The health of the bunch of grapes.
How long it had been sat since harvest.
The conditions that the grapes had been kept in following harvest.
If you are lucky enough to find a store that is selling these grapes then you will need to pick the largest and healthiest bunch available that will provide you with the maximum amount of stems.
You might get lucky with propagation of the grapes but the level of failures will probably be very high.
How can you grow grapes from a cutting
If you can find a reasonable bunch of Cotton Candy grapes that has several stems on it then you could try to grow your own vine from the stems.
It’s going to take some time and you may not be successful with your efforts but, if you plant several cuttings, look after them properly and persevere then, you could enjoy your own Cotton Candy grape vine.
To grow grapes from cuttings, you’ll need to select healthy, disease-free plant material to use as your cutting.
You’ll also need to make sure that the cutting is taken from a part of the plant that has not flowered yet, although as you’re going to be using stems from shop bought fruit this will be difficult so go ahead with the stems that you’re able to get hold of.
Using a sharp knife, remove as much stem as you are able to from the bunch of grapes and remove any grapes that may be on the stem, and eat the grapes. ( the eating is not a crucial step but it would be a shame to waste such great tasting grapes).
Once you have your cutting, you can prepare it for planting by dipping it in rooting hormone and then planting it in a pot filled with moistened potting mix.
Keep the cutting well-watered and in a warm, sunny spot, and it should root within a few weeks.
Once it has rooted, you can transplant it to its permanent home.
Caring for your Cotton Candy grapevine
Once your grapevine has been transplanted to its permanent home, you’ll need to provide it with proper care to ensure that it thrives.
Water your grapevine regularly, especially during dry spells. Make sure the soil stays moist but not waterlogged.
In addition to regular watering, your grapevine will also need to be fertilized.
Apply a balanced fertilizer to the soil around your grapevine every spring.
You can also add compost to the soil to help provide extra nutrients.
Grapevines need full sun to produce the best fruit, so make sure to plant them in a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
If you live in a warm climate, you may need to provide some afternoon shade to prevent the grapes from getting too sunburned.
Finally, make sure to prune your grapevine each year. This will encourage new growth and help keep the plant healthy.
Pruning also helps control the size of the grapevine, making it easier to manage.
Do cotton candy grapes actually taste like cotton candy?
Whenever a company claim to make something that tastes like something else there is always a risk of disappointment, so, to see if the claims are true I managed to find some cotton candy grapes in the supermarket.
It turns out that these grapes are not so easy to get hold of and tend to be very seasonal and limited in supply.
The grapes that I found were grown in Mercia, Spain and, as can be seen from the picture, they look just like normal, green grapes.
But, they do taste different.
The first few grapes have a distinct sweetness, almost like saccharin and they really do have a taste of cotton candy.
It’s actually a little weird to be eating something like a grape that has a taste of confectionary but the claims are accurate and there is definitely a cotton candy taste.
Within the pack a few of the grapes tasted just like grapes but, overall the cotton candy flavor was prevalent.
If you’re curious and would like something different then they’re worth a try.
- California Grown
- Green Seedless Grape Fruit – weight : 2 lbs
Although Cotton Candy grape vines are not available for the public to purchase, if you get creative and work with the material that you can obtain ie. grapes from the store, then, you could get lucky and propagate your own vine.
You will need to be patient and the chances of success are slim, but who knows, you might just be successful.
Otherwise unless you know someone that works for International Fruit Genetics and gets you a cutting from their lab, then it is unlikely you will ever grow your own grapes that taste like cotton candy.
Obviously the company wouldn’t want commercial growers to grow these themselves and license them so there are very few opportunities, but it never hurts to try on your own – you might make an amazing discovery.
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