male hop flowers

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saltyhops

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I'm new to this site and I read about some male hop flowers that were growing on someones cascade plants. I think the user name was cuinrearview. I was wondering what happened to these plants? Did you leave the plants in the ground or dig them up? Did they end up producing seeds in your cones or were they sterile?

I planted three different varieties, cascade, galena and columbus (ctz's).
We had a very cool and rainy June then it got very hot and I think the plants got stressed and decided to produce these male flowers.

If anyone has seen these male flowers on plants that have cones and knows what to do with them let me know.
 

david_42

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Female hop plants will produce male flowers under stress. They have not changed into male plants, however, and next year will produce female flowers. Seeds are only an annoyance, as they add weight without increasing AA or hop oils. Not really a problem for homegrown.
 

cuinrearview

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Sent a PM salty, my new CTZ made males this year as well. Maybe it's a varietal thing? And the Cascade had a few boys this year as well with only the stress of splitting the crown as it's been a phenomonal growing season here in SW lower MI. If I were farming I'd do what the big boys do and pull the root, but on my scale I'll just pluck off the males and move on.
 

uechikid

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Soooooo hops are like marijuana when it comes to the survival of the species.
 
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saltyhops

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I was talking to a gal from colorado state U who has done alot of research on hop plants and she said they are spontaneous monoecous hermaphadites. Everything suggests that they formed due to stress, which in our case was lack of water during a spell of 100+ temps. She suggested pulling the male flowers off and harvesting the cones. Seeds are very round and blackish- purple in color. The seeds would already be in the cones so she didn't think it was too much to worry about now, which is good because I didn't want to harvest 90 plants any earlier than needed. I think that the sex between the male and female actually takes place during the burr stage, not once the cones form. This is a difficult time waiting for the plants to mature and trying not to pick them. I have 1700 twines to pull down and get dried and vac sealed and then frozen. What did I get myself into?/ When to pull, they are getting papery but still have a plump moist feel to them, I think I have to wait? Good luck all
 

HALIFAXHOPS

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I have had some males mixed in a few years ago when i started a few plants from seed. What a waste of time. They seemed to change the sex of the plant next to it. I pull them immediately when I notice them. Wow SALTYHOPS, 1700 bines? I feel sorry for you when it comes time to harvest unless you have help and machinery. I have about 500 and di it alone or a few frinds. I had to build a picker due to the time it took to pick the cones. Good luck.
 

DrJerryrigger

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The fact that this often happens with Cascades goes back to sloppy breading.

Hops have many sex genes, if I recall correctly 36. If a plant is happy it will go to the gender it has more of in it's DNA. If under stress (or a female not getting pollinated) it will be apt to pop out some flowers of the other sex.
If the 36 number is correct (I'm starting to think it's 32, or is it 46...) than there are some plants that are purely female, BUT that only happens in 1 out of 2^36 plants (that works out about one in 68,000,000,000).
Though that is unreasonable; if you were to allow 4 male genes or less the numbers get more resealable, but the math gets tedious so you'll just have to take my word for it.

One could do the DNA testing to determent the gender which will be the cheaper way some day soon. But for now the most feasible way is by growing the seedlings out, and then stressing them in as many ways (that wont kill them) as possible.

Another fun fact about hop sex; if you use pollen from a male flower on a female plant, the resulting seeds will be almost all female.

This is a rather complicated aspect of breading hops, which it seems has been ignored by the breeders of many of the newer types. Breeding is not easy; even if you do the testing for gender, you also have to look at flavor, AA's, yield, and hardiness.

Anyway, I've done far too much research on this topic. I need to get some male plants, or at least some pollen. Any one have any?
 

Andy-W

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I'm not into brewing, I happened onto this topic due to a search for hop vine seeds. In a nutshell, I need to grow a privacy barrier on a chain link fence that presents little or no maintenance. Maybe a little pruning a couple of times a summer.

I had been advised to consider hops.

Where can you get male seeds? I have no desire to harvest hops or get flowers or any such. Just want a good wall of vegetation. I assume that male seeds would produce all male plants without any hanky panky to complicate things for me. ;^)
 

GVH_Dan

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Any time you buy seeds (e bay or wherever), you get a mixture. No one can sell just male. Hops are propagated by the rhizome (root) cuttings. But those are all female. A pollinated cone is not desirable for brewing. If you did plant males, the pollen could travel for miles and screw up all hop growers in the path.

How tall is the fence? Hops grow tall but most of the vegetative growth is above 12 feet and it dies back every year. There are other plants that would probably suit you needs better.
 

rniles

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If you want privacy but don't want hops themselves, try growing ornamental hops ...they produce females that don't provide you with anything, are prolific growers and you don't end up growing males which may run around pollinating all the girls in the country.
 

JRems

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Yes , that's a good idea ^^. They sell humulus japonicus, which is an ornamental hop.
 
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