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-   -   Side arms - to trim or not to trim? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/side-arms-trim-not-trim-65225/)

Danek 05-08-2008 02:10 PM

Side arms - to trim or not to trim?
I've got two hop plants growing in my greenhouse and I'm just about to transplant them outside. One plant (Target) is growing great - it's about 5' tall, has two bines growing around the same guide rope and seems very happy. However, the other (Challenger) is a little more problematic. It started great, but we had some unexpected hot weather last week, and the greenhouse got so hot the top of the vine wilted. Most of the plant is fine, but the very tip - the bit that grows upward and curls around the guide rope - sort of went like cooked spinach. Since then the plant's been sending out side-shoots like crazy. All the way up the bine there are new little side-shoots, trying to grow up and curl around the support rope. I don't know if that's normal - I assume it isn't, and I assume it's a reaction to losing the main growing bit of the plant. So my question is should I trim off all the side-arms, or let the plant get bushy? There are maybe a dozen side-shoots, so if they all grow, it's going to be a pretty damn bushy plant. But I don't know if it'd harm the plant to cut off so many shoots at once.

Any advice would be gratefully received!

david_42 05-08-2008 02:38 PM

I'd leave the sidearms alone, except for the first 2'. If the tip doesn't start growing again, those sidearms will be all you'll have for flowers. There's a small chance that if you train the top-most sidearms onto the support that they'll take over for the main bine.

Challenger sidearms normally run 12-20"

Danek 05-09-2008 10:22 AM

OK, I'll do that. Thanks! :mug:

7Enigma 05-12-2008 11:55 AM

This is a first year plant. I wouldn't trim anything off, especially since it does sound like the main bine probably won't recover (enough to produce hops that is). Depending on how much root growth is present you might see a bit of die off when you transplant, but I'd let the plant let you know if its struggling. Just try to get all the roots gently out of the container and into the ground. But it sounds like you have a healthy knowledge of planting judging by the greenhouse. :)

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