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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Help with dividing rhizomes
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:02 AM   #1
slayer84
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Default Help with dividing rhizomes

Hello home brewers and hop growers,
I know that this has probably been asked several times before, but im having a little trouble with finding information about dividing rhizomes from my hop plants. I know they have done well because I have found some very long "runners" when I was mulching/composting in the fall. My question to you is: Can i completely remove the plants from the ground in the early spring, cut some of the runners off, and plant those if they have shoots? Sorry if I sound like a broken record here, I just work hard last year to get them up and running and would hate to see them die.

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Old 02-20-2010, 09:14 AM   #2
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You can dig out the whole plant, clip off some rhizomes and replant with no problem. It's pretty hard to kill hops, so don't worry about that. If you uproot everything, it may take another year before they get to producing high amounts of hops, but they won't die. And if you use lots of mulch and steer manure you will even get some good yield from the new cuttings. Then again, I'm pretty drunk right now...

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Old 02-20-2010, 09:39 AM   #3
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I just stick a spade down about 5 inches from the centre of the plant and stick whatever I get in the ground at the new location. Those things grow like weeds!

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Old 02-24-2010, 06:14 AM   #4
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Default Hop Rhizome pruning

You can completely uproot the plant and trim the rhizomes that way but I would not advise it.

Typically the way it is done (at home or commercial hop growing) starting on the 3rd or 4th year (and then every 2nd or 3rd year after that) you will want to trim out rhizomes in the Spring (as soon as the soil can be worked). Work in a circle about a foot around the hop crown in each direction, any rhizomes which have rooted horizontally past this 1 foot circumference get trimmed. To trim the rhizomes, follow the rhizome back to the crown and dig it up completely, making a clean cut at the base of the crown and dividing the rhizome into +/- 6 inch root cutting pieces each with white buds.

Here is a good quote from the "Small-Scale & Organic Hops Manual" <http://www.crannogales.com/hopsmanual.html> by Rebecca @
Left Fields Hops, Crannóg Ales:

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As soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, it is time to clean up your crowns. Over the last year, the hops have been busy not only setting cones, but increasing their root structure. Only some of those roots are dedicated to feeding the plant - the rest are for propagation. In the first year of the bine, there will be very little rhizome growth, as the plant puts most of its effort into improving its basic root structure. As the plants mature, however, they focus more on propagation. Some large mature crowns can produce 20-30 rhizomes per plant, each of which can be divided in several parts for propagation.If such exuberant growth is left unchecked, the plants will soon cover the entire acreage with a solid mass of plant material. Needless to say, for the purposes of hops production, this is not desireable! Therefore, one of the major spring tasks is to prune back this growth. Large hopyards control rhizome production throughout the season by till-ing all around the crowns. Then in the spring, a special crowning machine is used to mow the old growth from the top of the crown and stimulate new shoots. This machine is a bit like a cross between a mower and a rototiller, as itcuts off the dead old growth below the soil surface.In smaller yards, or where you would like to make use of the rhizomes, spring work is more involved. As soon as the soil can be worked, the area around each crown is carefully dug over with a fork. Rhizomes, which have an obvious fleshiness, and which grow horizontally just below the soil surface, are separated from roots and cut from the plant
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slayer84 View Post
Hello home brewers and hop growers,
I know that this has probably been asked several times before, but im having a little trouble with finding information about dividing rhizomes from my hop plants. I know they have done well because I have found some very long "runners" when I was mulching/composting in the fall. My question to you is: Can i completely remove the plants from the ground in the early spring, cut some of the runners off, and plant those if they have shoots? Sorry if I sound like a broken record here, I just work hard last year to get them up and running and would hate to see them die.
Why do you want to divide them?
Is it just to get more plants?
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy1965 View Post
Why do you want to divide them?
Is it just to get more plants?
I am wondering the same thing. My plants are plenty far apart, is there a need to trim to keep them healthy?
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:15 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks for all of the replies. Yes. I am wanting to get more plants without ordering them.

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Old 02-25-2010, 06:18 PM   #8
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If it is an established plant just wait until the spring and you can see the shoots coming through. With a sharp knife, just cut straight down. As long as youve got a shoot attached to a piece of rhizome it will grow.

Pot on into a pot of multi prupose compost and water well.

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Old 02-26-2010, 04:18 PM   #9
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You could also just plant some of the bines when you cut them back (dipped in rooting hormone or not).
Not all of them will root, so I've planted two or three in the same spot-one of them will take.

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Old 03-24-2011, 01:37 AM   #10
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So how far apart should the rhizomes be planted if cutting 1 foot around them every few years? I've read 5 feet apart, but why so far if they will be trimmed?
I'm getting ready to build a raised hop bed in my backyard and want to fit as many as possible in there. I was given 4 different large pots with Centennials, Fuggles, Mt Hood, and Cascades. Looks like I can divide the centennials and fuggles no problem.

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