What are the Best Grapes to Grow in Illinois?
Finding the best grapes to grow in Illinois was not as easy as I thought. Some require extensive care, others are prone to pests, and lots are just not simple & quick enough to grow.
That’s why I created a list of the 10 Best Grapes to Grow in Illinois!
This ultimate guide will give you the best grapes to grow, why you should grow them, and even how to grow them.
- Related: BEST Fruit Trees to Grow
Read THIS Before Growing Grapes in Illinois
Knowing what hardiness zone Illinois is in is critical to understanding the best grapes that can be grown.
It can be the difference between your grapes thriving and providing a bountiful yield or producing nothing and maybe even dying.
Illinois is mostly considered Hardiness Zone 5, while some of the lower-level regions are Hardiness Zone 6.
10 Best Grapes to Grow in Illinois
#1. Concord Grape
Why Grow Concord Grapes in Illinois?
- Concord Grapes are some of the best grapes to grow in Illinois and for beginners! What separates this plant from others is how fast of a grower it is! Expect grapes in your first or even second year during the month of September!
- The Concord Grape Vine is a great producer of grapes! Expect more grapes than you can eat throughout fall!
- One of the best things about concord grapes is that it is self-pollinating. This means you only need one grapevine to produce hundreds of grapes a year. If you do plant it with other types of grapes expect an even larger yield.
#2. Neptune Grape
Why Grow Neptune Grapes in Illinois?
- A lot of time when gardeners grow grapes they can become prone to diseases and fungus. This can stunt growth, result in no fruit, or even result in the death of the plant. The Neptune Grape though is one of the most disease-resistant grapes that can be grown in Illinois!
- The Neptune Grape is a seedless grape that is perfect for beginner grape growers. This beautiful, yellow grape is not only tasty but easy to pick for adults and children alike.
- There are not many organic grapes that can be grown in Illinois! The Neptune Grape is one of the few that is not only organic but easy to grow. This tasty treat is perfect for anyone who wants an organic fruit garden.
#3. Hope Grape
Why Grow Hope Grapes in Illinois?
- Most grapes and their flowers can withstand cold weather, but do not thrive in it. Not Hope Grapes. This plant is cold-hardy making it perfect for Illinois or any state.
Perfect for Jams:
- While the Hope Grape is an excellent vine for edible grapes, it makes even better jams and jellies. The sweet, smooth texture of grapes makes them perfect for long-term storage.
- The Hope Grape Vine produces one of, if not the largest yield out of all grapes. This grapevine will produce over 50 pounds worth of delicious, sweet grapes!
#4. Mars Grape
Why Grow Rutgers Mars Grapes in Illinois?
- One of the best things about mars grapes is that it is self-pollinating. This means you only need one grapevine to produce hundreds of grapes a year. If you do plant it with other types of grapes expect an even larger yield.
- The Mars Grape has one of the best flavors out of all the grape plants out there. Expect a taste that is sweet, but gentle.
Perfect For Vertical Gardens:
- The Mars Grape is one of the few grapes that was made especially with the needs of vertical grape growers in mind. You should plant these vines 8 to 10 feet apart on strong, tall trellises in your yard.
#5. Somerset Grape
Why Grow Somerset Grapes in Illinois?
- One of the biggest threats to grapes is disease. The Somerset Grape was specifically created to grow well in wet areas that are more prone to diseases.
- Most grapes and their flowers can withstand cold weather, but do not thrive in it. Somerset Grapes are perfect for cold weather, thriving in weather as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant is cold-hardy making it perfect for Illinois or any state.
Easy to Grow:
- The Somerset Grape Vine is also incredibly easy to grow. Plant them in a well-draining part of your yard that gets full sun and provides a little fertilizer and watch your plant grow!
#6. Everest Grape
Why Grow Everest Grapes in Illinois?
Perfect for Beginners:
- The Everest Grape produces large, easy-to-pick grapes that make it perfect for beginners. Not only this, but it is easy to plant them, requires little to no maintenance, and was made with home gardeners in mind!
- The Everest grape is another type of grape plant that is disease resistant. This makes it perfect for planting in the spring when most diseases will affect or kill your plants.
- If you are looking for a seedless grapevine that provides a large harvest then plant an Everest. This plant will produce 30 – 35 pounds of grapes every harvest.
#7. Pink Reliance Grape
Why Grow Pink Reliance Grapes in Illinois?
- Sometimes with Grapevines, you may get a large harvest one year and a small one the next. Sometimes the grapevine you plant may never yield any type of harvest. The Pink Reliance though is known for producing a large, reliable harvest every single year.
- Out of all the grapevines on this list, the pink reliance is the perfect grape. It is cold hardy, disease hardy, works in any type of soil, and is delicious making it the perfect grape for beginner home grape growers.
- The Pink Reliance Grapevine is also perfect for beginners because of how fast it grows. Depending on where, when, and how you plant this bush, you may even get grapes your first year!
#8. Thompson Grape
Why Grow Thompson Grapes in Illinois?
- When you find green or white grapes at the local grocery store it is usually Thompson Grapes. If you want to save money, eat a delicious grape you normally have to buy, and not have to worry about seeds then plant the Thompson grapevine.
- Not all grapes are good for heat. Some actually will become stunted and others will die in too much heat. The Thompson Grape is one of the few that will not only tolerate heat but thrive. This makes it perfect for almost any place in Illinois or any other place.
#9. Marquette Grape
Why Grow Marquette Grapes in Illinois?
- Most grapes are harvested late in the summer or early in the fall. If you want to harvest a grape early in summer then plant Marquette Grapes. This grapevine will produce a large, early summer yield that the whole family will enjoy.
- Most grapes are either too large or too small for most people. The Marquette grape though is mid-size making it just sweet enough and easy to eat by the handfuls.
- If you want to make your own raisins then there is one grape you should use. The Marquette Grape. This beautiful, tasty green grape makes perfect raisins that can be eaten all year.
#10. Saint Theresa Grape
Why Grow Saint Theresa Grapes in Illinois?
Early Season Harvest:
- Most grapes are harvested late in the summer or early in the fall. If you want to harvest a grape early in summer then plant Saint Theresa. This grapevine will produce a large, early summer yield that the whole family will enjoy.
- Most grapes and their flowers can withstand cold weather, but do not thrive in it. Saint Theresa Grapes are perfect for cold weather, thriving in weather as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Common Growing Factors of Illinois’s Best Grapes
As a reminder, the below factors are common for the Best Grapes to Grow in Illinois:
- Thrives in Heat & Drought
- Disease and Pest Resistant
- Can Grow Anywhere in your yard
- Bears Lots of Grapes
- Require little maintenance