male and female hops

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Oldtownbrew

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I just bought 11 hop rhizomes and I know they are all female but have also started 40 hop plants from seed. I bought the seeds off of Amazon... How and when can I tell the deference between male and female plants??? :mug:
 

nagmay

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First: I must congratulate you. Hops are notoriously hard to start from seed. Did you have to cold stratify the seeds?

Now... You will have to wait until the plant start to flower to tell them apart. Cones are the female flower. The male flowers appear as small clusters of round buds. Attached is a pic of both.

Starting from seed, it may take 2+ years for them to start flowering.

Also, did you get any info about the seeds from the seller? Most of the ones I have encountered are from ornamental varieties that won't necessarily be good for brewing.

_hop.jpg
 
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Oldtownbrew

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Thanks very much for the reply and great pic. Better than any info or pics i could find on the net. ya i had heard that the seeds would be hard to start with out putting them in the fridge for several months but some how it appears that i was very lucky.. There growing... I never received any info on the seeds other than they are Hinterland Trading humulus hops. i did have a couple more Questions... 1.. By the time i can identify the male plants, is it to late? Have they already pollinated my females. 2.. I heard that if the females get pollinated, it can be a good thing and i have heard it will ruin the entire crop. 3.. if the female does get pollinated, is it ruined for good or will it be OK for the next season...:mug:
 

cluckk

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What is this? Hop porn, complete with pictures. I'm not trying to hijack the thread but this conversation reminds me of a trip to the hardware store to get parts for a homebrew DIY project. I was looking for a part and my teenage daughter was helping. She asked, "Will this one work?" I said, "No, that's male and I'm looking for female." She was confused and asked why they called them that. I handed her two pieces and said, "You tell me why." She put them together a couple times, then finally blushed, "Oh, gross!"
 

nagmay

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If you keep a close eye on them, you should be able to spot the males before the flowers open. If they did open, the seeded cones wouldn't be "ruined" - they might just weigh a bit more. And if you got rid of the males, they females would be back to normal the following year.

That said, hop pollen can travel miles. If you live anywhere near other growers, please keep a very, very close eye out for males.
 

smackrabbits

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cluckk said:
What is this? Hop porn, complete with pictures. I'm not trying to hijack the thread but this conversation reminds me of a trip to the hardware store to get parts for a homebrew DIY project. I was looking for a part and my teenage daughter was helping. She asked, "Will this one work?" I said, "No, that's male and I'm looking for female." She was confused and asked why they called them that. I handed her two pieces and said, "You tell me why." She put them together a couple times, then finally blushed, "Oh, gross!"
Hahaha!
 
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I vaguely remember from my *cough* younger days, that male and female plants from a very closely related plant would differentiate by the way the leaves grew to the stem. One would have little shoots directly opposed to each other and the other was staggered.

Of course that was before the Internet so it could have been just urban legend.
 

DerCribben

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Run3minman said:
Why does male and female matter??? Just curious.
As far as I know the "hops" that you're used to are the female flowers or "cones". Males don't have them. Add to that the males ability to fertilize any females the wind can bring their pollen to and they aren't the best thing to have around unless you are trying to experiment with hop varieties. And since that actually sounds great! I have to add that a cascade male, bred to a proven cascade female wont necessarily produce a seed that would produce a plant with any decent qualities. From what I've read hop "breeders" basically go through acres of experimental crosses before they come across one with good potential which they then reproduce by natures cloning process, the rhizome.

Still sounds like fun though to me so someday I'll probably try my hand at it someday lol...

As somebody else already said though, if you try it just make sure you account for all the male flowers and pollen since one of your neighbors may have some great bines they don't want impregnated
 

B-Hoppy

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I vaguely remember from my *cough* younger days, that male and female plants from a very closely related plant would differentiate by the way the leaves grew to the stem. One would have little shoots directly opposed to each other and the other was staggered.

Of course that was before the Internet so it could have been just urban legend.
All the males I've ever seen growing look just like females (opposite leaf orientation) as opposed to being somewhat staggered so you can't really tell until the reproductive parts begin to show(as long as you know what the females look like). You generally have plenty of time, once you figure out you have a male, before they begin to release pollen so you can just make a few snips at ground level to make sure your females don't develop seeds.

Not a breeder but I did have a male in the garden for about 15 years and watched a few other males develop from seed. I'm sure someone who's heavily involved with breeding can say if there are certain morphological characteristics that can help identify males before flowering sets in. Hop On!
 
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