Hop Plant Help

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Aboutsik

New Member
Joined
May 14, 2024
Messages
3
Reaction score
3
Location
Chicago
Hi Folks,

I'm hoping someone could lend some insight on troubleshooting an issue I'm having with a first year Mt. Hood Hop plant. The rhizome arrived about a month ago, and the first 2-3 weeks I had it in a container, it quickly shot up and when it reached about 5-6" I transplanted it into my garden. At first, it did great, it continued to grow the first few days, but then out of nowhere, the tip of the plant turned brown and stopped growing up the twine I had strung up for it. The garden gets full sun, and I have a second year Chinook plant in the same garden that did phenomenal last year and is continuing to do great this year as well, so I don't think sun or soil is the issue. My only guess is that we had some heavy rains recently in Chicago and I thought maybe it was oversaturated, but it was followed by several days of full sun and the plant has not bounced back.

I'm looking for troubleshooting recommendations, because at this point I don't think it will bounce back, I haven't seen any growth for about a week now. Do you think if I trim it back other shoots will come up? Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20240513_203404295.jpg
    PXL_20240513_203404295.jpg
    6.5 MB · Views: 0
  • PXL_20240513_203356125.jpg
    PXL_20240513_203356125.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
Last edited:
Greetings, @Aboutsik. Welcome to the forums at Homebrew Talk :mug:

You likely can't see this from your end but this is what I see viewing your post. Looks like you need to open the access rights to have those images appear to "us"...

1715736367470.png


As to your problem, I never ran into anything similar. I had rhizomes that flat out did not produce emergent sprouts but none that sprouted then died...

Cheers!
 
Hops are resilient and I think your intuition may be correct about rain effecting it. Doing a quick Google search pointed back to hbt :) Hoping for sunny days may be best cure. I always find babying is not the answer but nutrient help seems an option. Not quite the answer but learning is half the fun when things work out

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/members/joemarsh88.193872/
 
Greetings, @Aboutsik. Welcome to the forums at Homebrew Talk :mug:

You likely can't see this from your end but this is what I see viewing your post. Looks like you need to open the access rights to have those images appear to "us"...

View attachment 848691

As to your problem, I never ran into anything similar. I had rhizomes that flat out did not produce emergent sprouts but none that sprouted then died...

Cheers!
Whoopsie! Thank you for the heads up, I just adjusted that
 
Hops are resilient and I think your intuition may be correct about rain effecting it. Doing a quick Google search pointed back to hbt :) Hoping for sunny days may be best cure. I always find babying is not the answer but nutrient help seems an option. Not quite the answer but learning is half the fun when things work out

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/members/joemarsh88.193872/
I appreciate the insight, and I agree I don't want to baby it too much, especially because the leaves and stem all still look healthy, just going to add some hop fertilizer and hope for prolonged sun for now
 
Aaaah. Plenty of green there. Searching Chicago and Mt hood on this forum shows that Mt Hood likes your zone. Rhizomes like a little bit of mound to grow up for sun and down for water. I still believe it will probably fight to find what it likes
 
Hop growing is 90% maximizing direct sunlight. They do not like shade at all. The rest is keeping predators (mites and aphids) at bay until harvest is done...

Cheers!
 
Hop growing is 90% maximizing direct sunlight. They do not like shade at all. The rest is keeping predators (mites and aphids) at bay until harvest is done...

Cheers!
Weeeelllll it's all based about zones and sun. My yard grows nothing due to its shade. However a English/German type noble hop like Northern Brewer loved my cool shady area. Didn't expect it to grow but it was like a weed within a year. I did see on this forum that a couple of people in Chicago grew mt hood in a sunny area. So it seems he has the right growing conditions except a bunch of rain. I do think the majority of hops do like sunny locations. Kind of based on its breed
 
My only guess is that we had some heavy rains recently in Chicago and I thought maybe it was oversaturated, but it was followed by several days of full sun and the plant has not bounced back.

I'm looking for troubleshooting recommendations, because at this point I don't think it will bounce back,
A hop plant is never going to freak out over some rain, they're thirsty things. Whereas the first thing I see is some holes in the topmost full leaves. So it looks like something is eating them, but it's not something we get here, so it's over to the US contingent...

But I'd look carefully on the underside of the leaves to see if you can find the culprit.

1715743790037.png
 
No pics, but general growth question--I cut all the bines about the third week of May.
It's Cascade, but gets mostly sun, but a bit of shade from the pines and a now-felled small walnut tree.
I have not put up strings because I was waiting to see if they came in strong.
They've only grown about a foot in 2 weeks now.

Did I cut back too late?
Do they not grow rapidly unless they have something to climb?
 
I'm thinking we've had a wet couple of weeks lately, maybe it's just that?
How many shoots are you growing per crown now? If it's more than 4 I'd cut back to that.

Cheers!
 
I'm thinking we've had a wet couple of weeks lately, maybe it's just that?
How many shoots are you growing per crown now? If it's more than 4 I'd cut back to that.

Cheers!
I think I've only got one crown really. I planted Tettnang, Liberty and Cascade, much too close together, years ago, and the Cascade was the only one that would come back. And the last 2-3 years have been desultory at best. Hence the hacking of the nearby walnut.
1717953543685.png

That's today.
And yeah, wet.
 
No pics, but general growth question--I cut all the bines about the third week of May.
You don't say where you are, which is kinda critical for gardening questions, but in general - yes that's too late. Certainly varieties with a lot of European ancestry are very strongly driven by day length - broadly they grow upwards from the spring equinox until the summer solstice, then once the days start getting shorter they switch from growing up to growing the side shoots that carry flowers/cones and the cones are ripe by the autumn equinox.

So if you think that 21 June is the most important day in the hopgrowing calendar - then you need to give your plants time to grow before then. At times they can do ~3ft/1m per week on their way to a total height (for non-dwarf varieties) of ~20ft/6m, but that still means you need to leave them to get growing for at least the whole of May and June without major pruning, and ideally not after Easter.

At least, that's how it works in the traditional European hopgrowing areas which are roughly the same latitude as the US/Canada border - things may work differently at lower latitudes.
 
You don't say where you are, which is kinda critical for gardening questions, but in general - yes that's too late. Certainly varieties with a lot of European ancestry are very strongly driven by day length - broadly they grow upwards from the spring equinox until the summer solstice, then once the days start getting shorter they switch from growing up to growing the side shoots that carry flowers/cones and the cones are ripe by the autumn equinox.

So if you think that 21 June is the most important day in the hopgrowing calendar - then you need to give your plants time to grow before then. At times they can do ~3ft/1m per week on their way to a total height (for non-dwarf varieties) of ~20ft/6m, but that still means you need to leave them to get growing for at least the whole of May and June without major pruning, and ideally not after Easter.

At least, that's how it works in the traditional European hopgrowing areas which are roughly the same latitude as the US/Canada border - things may work differently at lower latitudes.
42.12 latitude. Western Mass, US.
 
42.12 latitude. Western Mass, US.
So Rome/Barcelona kind of level, it's still well above the 35N limit so I imagine they should behave relatively "normally" in my terms, although I bow to anyone with more experience at those latitudes.
 
No pics, but general growth question--I cut all the bines about the third week of May.
It's Cascade, but gets mostly sun, but a bit of shade from the pines and a now-felled small walnut tree.
I have not put up strings because I was waiting to see if they came in strong.
They've only grown about a foot in 2 weeks now.

Did I cut back too late?
Do they not grow rapidly unless they have something to climb?
I trim mine back before the first snow but any time after harvest i think is ok (leaving a couple feet). I'm in North Idaho and by May Cascades are 6 to 8 feet up the strings. So yes cut to late. They will still grow without strings but they will be a mess and difficult to harvest the hops. Thet are super hardy plants though. I've transplanted them in June thinking I wouldn't get anything that year or possibly even loose it completely. Still did pretty good.
 
I’ve cut mine back as late as May 18 and been okay, although that’s not ideal timing I’ll admit. You may find adding some nutrients/fertilizer to the soil will give them a boost.
 
I’ve cut mine back as late as May 18 and been okay, although that’s not ideal timing I’ll admit. You may find adding some nutrients/fertilizer to the soil will give them a boost.
Might help. I have a gardener wizard friend who gave me some...
 
Back
Top