I haven't planted them in pots, but I used a manure compost for my hop beds. Last year was their first year, and they seemed to love it. This year, all but the Nugget hops came up in late March, and they're growing quick. I didn't use any fertilizer either. I watered them almost daily from late June to late August, but the soil dried before next watering. Hops are pretty hard to kill once they're established, so just give them a spot in the sun, something tall to climb, and water, and they'll do fine.