Hops - Questions about Rhizomes

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

fotodogboy

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
This summer I got hops from 3 different plants. I have been offered to take rhizomes. Here are my questions. Thanks in advance for any help. Bill.

1) When should I cut the rhizomes now or in the spring?

2) Identifying sex. Male or Female. How? Does it matter?

3) Can I cut them now and keep them until spring?

4) How do I cut them?

5) Any other suggestions or hints?
 

Brent_in_Aurora

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Location
Denver
I have always cut them with a sharp spade or a kitchen scissors in the spring when they are growing. I waited until spring so that I could include an active shoot in the cutting. They are really hearty plants. Older rhizomes get to be over an inch thick.

If they produce cones, they are female. I know of no other way to identify.

The presence of males just causes the females to make seeds. They still produce cones and lupulin glands. I don't know if fertilizing the females causes a change in bitterness or other properties. I have picked seeds from wild hops and I will post after I have a chance to propagate. They produce lots of seeds.
 

GilaMinumBeer

Half-fast Prattlarian
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,427
Reaction score
10,766
This summer I got hops from 3 different plants. I have been offered to take rhizomes. Here are my questions. Thanks in advance for any help. Bill.

1) When should I cut the rhizomes now or in the spring?

2) Identifying sex. Male or Female. How? Does it matter?

3) Can I cut them now and keep them until spring?

4) How do I cut them?

5) Any other suggestions or hints?
1.) When the soil is warm enough to work you can root prune for rhisomes.

2.) You won't know til they flower. Males produce miniature grape clusters. Females make cones. Some may be hermaphrodites.

3.) Not if you expect them to sprout. For the health of the plant wait.

4.) Really Sharp knife. You want to slice through not crush through.

5.) Read. Homebrewers Garden, Homegrown hops, etc... There is also a pdf floating around in cyberspace regarding hop growing. Forgot the author. Regardless, anticipate a 50% loss on your first go due to "learning curve" and hope for the best.
 
OP
F

fotodogboy

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
So I need a little clarification. Thanks in advance.

When I go to cut the rhizomes...

1) How do I identify where to cut?

2) How long of a length?

3) How do I cut without killing or disrupting the growth of the existing plant.

4) Any other helpful tips. I will go to three peoples houses in the spring. I want to get what I need without screwing things up.
 

GilaMinumBeer

Half-fast Prattlarian
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,427
Reaction score
10,766
So I need a little clarification. Thanks in advance.

When I go to cut the rhizomes...

1) How do I identify where to cut?

2) How long of a length?

3) How do I cut without killing or disrupting the growth of the existing plant.

4) Any other helpful tips. I will go to three peoples houses in the spring. I want to get what I need without screwing things up.
1.) The rhisomes. Usually found within the first 6 to 8 inches of the soil surface. Sometimes deeper. Ranging anyhwre from 3/8" diameter to 3/4". May also have nodes or knuckles. Take the center of the crown as a reference, this is where the majority of the shoots come from (look for cut back stubs or follow the dead vines to the base) measure 1 to 2 foot from that center point and cut the roots (rhisomes) outside of that.

2.) 4" minimum, 6" avarage, 1 foot is best when possible. The more rhisomes you have off a single plant the better chance one will take to the new location and sprout. Plan for at least 2 per "mound" (read location) for better odds if possible.

3.) See #1 response.

4.) Wait til after the last frost to plant. Keep prunings in a plastic ziplock with a moist (not wet) towelette in the coolest part of the fridge but DO NOT FREEZE. Plant as soon as is possible.

If possible, prepare your locations now by diggin a hole and dressing with cow manure. Cover with the native soil and let the manure compost in the spot. Find locations with well draining soil. If possible "perk test" your locations by pouring a gallon of water in the hole. If the hole is still full or the water level has not changed sigificantly within a half hour find a different spot.
 
Top