Downy mildew or sun burn?

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Well-Known Member
Apr 15, 2012
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Hello all of you avid hop growers,

This is the third year in a row now my plants are getting this yellow brown curl to the end of their leaves.

My hops grow on a trellis right off my deck which means they are also very close to my house.

This time of year they are getting LOTS of sun, approximately 10 to 12 hours.

I live in the Central NY region and we've had and average to below average rainfall season. It's also been hotter than usual with a few cold days sprinkled in recently.

Any thoughts on what this is?


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Rookie hop growing here, so I'm interested in knowledgeable responses as well.

Did you by chance just fertilize? I've read that over fertilization can make the edges look burnt...
Actually yes I did, however it was a slow release variety. But I hadn't fertilized previously since beginning of May.

Curious to hear what others say.
I'm pretty sure it's over fertilization. I did some more research on it and looks like that's what I did inadvertantly.
I'm pretty sure it's over fertilization. I did some more research on it and looks like that's what I did inadvertantly.

its not required but organic fert depending is very forgiving. tends to be slow release. Blood meal, Fish Blood i like a lot for pushing growth. Bio Char is something i am experimenting with this year. so far i am impressed my hops are responding well.

honestly the picture you took the leaf looks great very healthy besides the blemish.

i am no expert but i have learned what not to do in in a lot of ways. it has taken me 3 years to have a Semi decent year with the hops and its still not over....

best of luck to you. keep posting pictures i would love to see how it goes for you. BTW i live in Utah. Its so dry and hot right now its like living in a dust cloud. 100F all next week with mild wind.
I can’t exactly tell what that is. I can tell you that I’ve seen all sorts of blemishes on otherwise healthy hop plants. I think blemishes are pretty normal and not an outright indication of a serious problem.

Take a look at this pic from earlier today:

This is my 3 year post transplant cascade. 7 year old crown. If you look very carefully at the lower leaves, you’ll see some slight browning. This happens every year to my cascade plant. The older leaves die off in midsummer and usually are replaced by new sidearms. It was very concerning to me the first two seasons. You’ll probably notice your own unique patterns and quirks with your plants. Assuming nothing is seriously wrong.
i second the above. My cascade has a few leaves that have yellow spots in the middle almost resembles over watering but are 100% fine.

its very common for plants to shed off early growth in order to push new growth. as leaves on the outside grow the older ones get less light. my first experience was with newly planted trees at my last house. thought i killed the trees but my father in law told it me its normal. The below is something i found that explains it better. I am slowly becoming a plant nerd.

"Scientists believe that a reduction in sunlight leads to the reduction of chlorophyll in the leaf due to a reduction in photosynthesis, and this may trigger the abscission of leaves. The actual process occurs when the weaker cells near the petiole are pushed off by the stronger cells beneath them."