A new, and interesting, addition to my container grape collection this year was a small one, the newly marketed Pixie Grape. The Pixie, a dwarf version of the Pinot meunier, is a creation of Dr. Peter Cousins that is now being marketed in Canada by Sunrise Greenhouses.
Since it only made its debut in March at Canada Blooms, and the little plants were primed to fruit this year, I can’t say with any certainty how well this grape will do overtime or even what hardiness zone it is. However, while the standard grapes I grow, Flame (zone 4) and Interlaken (zone 5), do well in large containers, they still need space and ample trellising that Pixie doesn’t require. It’s clearly fast fruiting, and, in a six inch pot, has produced a plant .5ft x .5ft x 1.5ft in size with several full bunches of small grapes.
Despite the limited information out there on Pixie, it seems worth trying for those looking for a little viticulture in a small space, likely anywhere from a USDA zone 5 to a 9 (but don’t quote me on this). It also can be grown in greenhouses year round, and given its size, can be easily brought in for the winter.
Update June 29th, 2012: The first bunch has been picked and they were delicious and sweet.
Basic care instructions
Light: Full sun
Water: Keep moderately moist (but grapes don’t like ‘wet feet’)
Fertilizer: Three times per growing season with a low nitrogen fertilizer, stop mid summer to slow vine growth.
Support: Vines require a small trellis for support
Winter: Keep plants in a cool, protected, location
Pruning: Standard for grapes