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Old 04-02-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default Another 'whats wrong!?' post... but please help!

Hey all,

First, let me preface by saying that I have scoured any resources that I could find to answer it myself, but to no avail... Also, I consider myself pretty green-thumbed, and have a pretty good understanding of pH, N-P-K needs and symptoms, and general pest problems.

These are all second year hops. First year they were in 20" round plastic planters. In January they were moved to 24" ceder nursery tree boxes (about 2x the soil volume). The soil is organic potting mix, compost, and some good draining mix. I live in Orange County, California and so frost is not an issue at all anymore, if ever.

Basically they all seem to be moving sooo slowly and look stunted. Some discoloration is noted, starting at the edges of the leaves, with some turning brown and dying. It almost looks like Nitrogen burning, but I'm not sure and there really isn't that hot of a mix in there. Please lend a hand if you can!!

In order of pics: Northern Brewer, Mt. Hood, Magnum, and Nugget.

("Rasta" in last pic makes a good guardian, making sure no one messes with the hops!!! - she won't mess with or eat them either, so I'm not concerned.)











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Old 04-02-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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Oh, and they all grew very aggressively last year - which is why I'm shocked that I don't have the beginning to a forest already this year??

Am I being to worried? To me, they should be way better than this by now...



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Old 04-02-2012, 09:07 PM   #3
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Probably phytotoxicity. What is the new mix and the npk? Is there a lot of manure or other high salt medium? It shouldn't hurt to leach the hell out of them. I mean flood them slowly with a stream of water that runs for hours (overnight) and doesn't overflow the pot. Also does the water drain away fast? And where does it drain to? I see no drain on the bottom of that pot. You need to drain the water on the bottom of the pot sides not into the ground directly below the pot.

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Old 04-02-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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Thanks badbrew, I'll try that. Maybe a few times.

Anyone else?

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Old 04-02-2012, 10:38 PM   #5
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Greetings OCBrewin,
Usually yellow/brown leaves is an indication of not enough water, or lack of nutrient that the plant has. When transplanting, one ought to immerse the plant roots in a 'plant food' solution to reduce the risk of transplant shock.
"Transplanting your rhizomes during early spring or when they have started sprouting new buds may result in shock to the plant. If you must move the plants once the roots have established, be certain the rhizome is not allowed to dry out." Taken from:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5553100_transplant-iris-rhizomes.html
Rhizomes are similar in characteristic, but this quote summed up my opinion nicely.
1.) Make sure soil is well watered and not draining too much,
2.) Check the acidity level of the soil,
3.) Check for pests.
If all else has been done, the most direct option left would be to consult a hops farmer for further advice.
My educated guess would be that the rhizomes are adapting to the new soil, and placing new roots. The yellowing of the leaves is an indication that the roots are spreading, and the rhizome is trying to draw more nutrients back into the root system from the leaves. Also, with all plants that have leaves, do not water directly on the leaves because wet leaves will burn more easily in the sun.
Hope this helps.
Cheers!~
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
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Greetings OCBrewin,
Usually yellow/brown leaves is an indication of not enough water, or lack of nutrient that the plant has. When transplanting, one ought to immerse the plant roots in a 'plant food' solution to reduce the risk of transplant shock.
"Transplanting your rhizomes during early spring or when they have started sprouting new buds may result in shock to the plant. If you must move the plants once the roots have established, be certain the rhizome is not allowed to dry out." Taken from:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5553100_transplant-iris-rhizomes.html
Rhizomes are similar in characteristic, but this quote summed up my opinion nicely.
1.) Make sure soil is well watered,
2.) Check the acidity level of the soil,
3.) Check for pests.
If all else has been done, the most direct option left would be to consult a hops farmer for further advice.
My educated guess would be that the rhizomes are adapting to the new soil, and placing new roots. The yellowing of the leaves is an indication that the roots are spreading, and the rhizome is trying to draw more nutrients back into the root system from the leaves. Also, with all plants that have leaves, do not water directly on the leaves because wet leaves will burn more easily in the sun.
Hope this helps.
Cheers!~
Nerosavas

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Old 04-03-2012, 12:34 AM   #7
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What's that mulch on top? Partially burned wood chips? Wood robs the soil of N while decomposing, some species worse than others depending on the rate of decomp. Couldn't hurt to clean off the surface and replace with a more neutral weed stopper. Until they bounce back, maybe even go so far as to use some landscape fabric - completely neutral. Once they look healthy again, use a nitrogen-rich organic compost to help fuel their rapid growth.

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Old 04-03-2012, 12:42 AM   #8
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Thanks wrench, I have a feeling that they might be the main culprit now that I think of them. SWMBO thought that it would look prettier if she put the mulch over them - she put some of this stuff down in other areas of the yard and had some left over. I don't think they're burnt, but probably dyed... that has to be bad...

I'm removing them as soon as I get home and leaching the soil out. Once I get the bad out, I will worry about the high vegetative Nitrogen and nutrient demands once they get going again.

Thanks again for the insight - the more opinions the better!!

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Old 04-03-2012, 12:48 AM   #9
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Yeah, give them some time before adding anything back in. Fertilizing plants that are stressed can actually make the problem worse. And as I'm sure you know, stick with slow release and organic (fish/plant/manure based), rather than a chemical fertilizer.

Yellowing can also be a sign of over-watering, so +1 on checking the planters' drainage.

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Old 04-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #10
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unfortunately the only thought i have goes against badbrew's suggestion: over-watering can lead to yellow leaves. how much water have the plants been getting? how is drainage?

EDIT: wrench beat me to it.



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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table

Drinking: a chocolate oatmeal stout, a belgian imperial stout, a Vertical Epic 09.09.09 clone
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Aging: an oud bruin, a BDSA/Dubbel thingy, a soured Saison, my "Wild Oats" brett/sour, and some other stuff i can't think of at the moment...
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