Purple-Leaf Grape Vine: Best Vine For Colorful Fall Foliage

Purple-Leaf Grape Vine: Best Vine For Colorful Fall Foliage

Purple-Leaf Grape VineVitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’, or purple-leaf grape vine shines as a garden ornimental from late spring until mid-autumn, making it one of the most valuable climbers for a small or medium-sized garden.

The young foliage takes on a gorgeous bronzy appearance which deepens to mauve, and then rich deep purple in autumn. This coincides with the ripening of the small bunches of grapes, almost exactly the same color as the leaves. The grapes are small and bitter, but can be eaten even though full of pips.  They are best used as garnishes, or left on the plants for decoration. When ripe, even the birds are reluctant to feed on them so you can’t count on them as a food source.  Your purple-leaf grape vine can be grown through trees and large shrubs, on a trellis, or arbor. This is a vigorous, deciduous, large leafed, tendril-climber with deeply-lobed leaves.

How To Make Your Purple-Leaf Grape Vine Thrive

Purple-leaf grape vine prefers a location with full sun, or possibly light to open shade. It prefers well-drained soil, but will tolerate sand or clay if the drainage is adequate. Once established it only needs occasional watering during dry weather. No pruning is necessary for this variety, but it can be lightly pruned in winter to control its growth.  This runs counter to your experience with grapes grown to eat or to produce wine.

General Purple-Leaf Grape Vine Information


Propagate by layering or hardwood cuttings.


Prune while dormant if this is necessary.

Pests & Disease

Purple-leaf grape vine may downy mildew, canker and dieback, gray mold, Pierce’s disease, black rot, and various leaf spots occur. grape leaf skeletonizer, Japanese beetles, scale insects, or mealybugs.

Quick Facts

  • Genus: Vitis
  • Species: vinifera
  • Cultivar: ‘Purpurea’
  • Plant Type: Spreading vine
  • Foliage Type: Vine, deciduous
  • Plant Height: 15 to 30 feet
  • Plant Width: 30 feet
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 5 to 9
  • Flower Color: Green
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Light Exposure: Full sun (don’t try to grow this in partial shade)
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Water Requirements: Moderate, regular watering to drought tolerant

Photo Search

Google – Purple-Leaf Grape Vine Photos

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  1. This is a great plant- it’s wild cousin is abundant in Ohio!
    Watching Seasons recently posted..Snow Rolls Across Ohio.My Profile

  2. I grew this is my last garden I had to leave after I got paralyzed. I wonder how stunning it would look with sweet autumn clematis weaving through it.

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