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Ultimate Hop Cutting Propagation Q & (Hopefully) A

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Lacasse93

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I have tried to no avail in the past of posting questions on here and getting answers. Nobodies fault here, just I think I am going about this wrong. Though I can get rhizomes, it is actually easier for me to simply get cuttings but information online about propagating cuttings has yet to yield me any results. I am going to post a list of general questions I have about propagation of cuttings and if you can answer any of them at all it would help out. Hopefully other people have tried this growing method and had success so any help would greatly improve my current knowledge.

1. Once you get cuttings, do you put them in water or put them right into soil?
2. What type of soil would work best? Potting soil? Compost? Regular ground soil? A mix?
3. Once in the ground/pot should you treat it with fertilizers/blood or bone meal/ anything like that?
4. Do you remove dead leaves/shoots or do you let nature run its course?
5. How much sun should it get?
6. How often should you water it?
7. Should you use a rooting hormone to help it start?
8. When you get the cuttings, is it fine to put outside right away or keep inside in a sunny window for a bit?

As of now, that is all I can think of. I will make sure to edit if I think of more. If you do not have answers but questions of your own, please ask as well. Thank you!
 
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I don't think hop bines will root. You'd be better off planting rhyzomes.

As for questions 5 and 6, as much sunlight as you can give it, and they're thirsty plants, but don't like to swim. Make sure you have well drained soil, but keep it moist. I water mine pretty much daily, I have a soaker hose in each bed.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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I have tried to no avail in the past of posting questions on here and getting answers. Nobodies fault here, just I think I am going about this wrong. Though I can get rhizomes, it is actually easier for me to simply get cuttings but information online about propagating cuttings has yet to yield me any results. I am going to post a list of general questions I have about propagation of cuttings and if you can answer any of them at all it would help out. Hopefully other people have tried this growing method and had success so any help would greatly improve my current knowledge.

1. Once you get cuttings, do you put them in water or put them right into soil?
2. What type of soil would work best? Potting soil? Compost? Regular ground soil? A mix?
3. Once in the ground/pot should you treat it with fertilizers/blood or bone meal/ anything like that?
4. Do you remove dead leaves/shoots or do you let nature run its course?
5. How much sun should it get?
6. How often should you water it?
7. Should you use a rooting hormone to help it start?
8. When you get the cuttings, is it fine to put outside right away or keep inside in a sunny window for a bit?

As of now, that is all I can think of. I will make sure to edit if I think of more. If you do not have answers but questions of your own, please ask as well. Thank you!
Put them in soil. Cuttings that root in water do not develop root hairs, which draw water from soil. Some people use rooting hormones (or is it enzym?) for more consistent results.
 

nagmay

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There are many, many ways to propagate hops. I have had success with all of the following:
  • Rhizome cuttings (duh)
  • Runner cuttings - these are horizontal white bines that 'run' under the surface
  • Layering - laying bines on the surface and covering sections with soil to produce roots
  • Cuttings
Direct cuttings are going to be the most difficult, as they don't have established roots/nodes. However, they are often the most convenient. Here is what worked for me:
  1. Select, young tips in spring once they reach 1-2'. Avoid the larger bulls.
  2. Cut 12-16". Use a diagonal cut to give the most surface area for the plant to take in water.
  3. Remove all leaves except for the very tip. This reduces moisture loss.
  4. Place several of these in a clean, brown beer bottle (for uv protection).
  5. Fill with clean, dechlorinated water (no plant food, or supplements needed).
  6. Place near a window, but not in direct light.
Keep an eye on them. White roots should start to develop in a few weeks. Roots won't necessarily start at the cut - instead, they usually occur at a node (where you removed the leaves). So, be sure to keep the water topped off.
 
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Lacasse93

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So weeks is really what is to be expected? I had cuttings in water (though it was tap and in a regular glass) for 2-3 weeks and had no roots developing at all. I did my best to keep in indirect sun but maybe tried planting too soon. I have heard the beer bottle trick before but always just figured it did not matter.
 

nagmay

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I can only tell you what worked for me. That said, I have observed that fresh roots have an aversion to UV. The beer bottle works so well, that I've used it for propagating other plants, including hard-to-root apple trees. It solves 2 major issues:
  1. Evaporation
  2. UV
With fresh, spring cuttings - I usually see small roots in 2-3 weeks, but will let them go a bit longer and get to +4" before planting in well draining soil. When transplanting, they are still quite delicate. I find starting in small pots (indoor, regular potting soil) gives them time to develop real roots before moving them outside.

Last year, I took cuttings in early May and transplanted them into the hop yard in mid-June.
 
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Lacasse93

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It makes sense. Maybe the UV protection too simulates a sort of "underground" feeling for the plant? I apologize that I am no botanist
 

Kent88

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Did you see this thread? Propagation from Cuttings?

On to your questions...

1) when I have taken rootings, I put them in soil right away.
3) I would say that it depends. How much medium are you putting the cuttings in? How long will it be there? What time of year is it? I'd say if you are putting the cuttings into the ground or fairly large pots that they will stay in for a few years then add a little bonemeal. If it's early enough in the season, maybe a little bloodmeal isn't a bad idea. But you don't want to give them nitrogen/bloodmeal when they're preparing for dormancy.
4) don't be in a rush to remove dead stems or leaves. Taking a cutting really stressed the plant. In my completely unprofessional opinion, don't prune for 2 weeks after taking your cutting.
5) part sun. You don't want to have them in direct sun on the heat of the midday sun in June, July, and August (in the northern hemisphere) while they're getting established.
6) I don't have a volume of water they should get each day, but they need plenty of water.
7) I've used rooting hormone and it seems to work. I've also encouraged root growth prior to taking a cutting and then not used rooting hormone and it seems fine.
8) I've kept cuttings inside and it seems to work fine. I also just took a cutting about a month ago and it was to big to bring inside, so it was left out, and it seems to be doing pretty good. I think it depends on the environment you can put them in. I have a three seasons room on the west side of my house, and that kept my earliest cuttings in good shape this summer. After I took my late cutting it was cool and mostly overcast for about a week, so I just left it out in full sun on the south side of my yard.
 
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I stand corrected then. I didn't think cuttings above ground would root. But, I still think it would be a lot easier to just dig up a root. A shovel width hole 6 inches deep about a foot or so from the base will give you plenty of rhizome to start with.
 
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Lacasse93

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I definitely agree that getting rhizomes is easier to grow a hop plant but I have more access to people parting with cuttings than rhizomes (though I dont get why they wouldnt just dig up some roots...). I tried in the spring/early summer to plant cuttings directly in the ground and they all failed (roughly 6 of them if I remember correctly). These were planted directly in compost and in a fair amount of sun. I recently planted the aforementioned cuttings I had in water to potted compost/topsoil (80/20 respectively) and so far have one plant that may(?) still be alive. Its greenish brown at this point with no leaves but the bottom of the plant seems more vibrant green. I am really hoping to get some roots established before winter. From all your suggestions it sounds like you have had success so I am trying to figure out where I am fouling this up.
 

Kent88

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Do you think you can convince your friends to encourage root growth before actually cutting them? Just a couple weeks can make a difference.

I'd keep the cuttings out of strong sunlight until it gets established.
 
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Lacasse93

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Its possible. I apologize if this is an amateur question but what encourages root growth prior to cutting?
 

Kent88

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Hop stems are kind of like tomato stems. If you "hill up" a tomato you can encourage it to convert that stem to root. Hops will do that as well.

I tried this by putting cardboard under the base of the hop stem, putting a little dirt over it, laying the stem over it, and covering the stem with more dirt. The dirt was loose enough that it just fell away when I cut, so I could put rooting hormone on them. That seemed to work with a couple of them, at least one had visible roots growing when I cut.

I also tried this by selecting a short shoot that was far away from the main root crown, taking a clean water bottle with the top and bottom cut off, positioning it vertically on the ground so the shoot could grow up through it, and kept covering it with dirt as the shoot grew until the cut-off bottle was full. I left it for an additional week or so and cut it off at the base, carefully transplanted to a large pot, didn't use rooting hormone, and it's doing fine.
 
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Lacasse93

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I just had to move my fledgling hop plant to a different container which may be a cardinal sin without any root growth but when I checked it out it appears that just maybe (big maybe) there may be a tiny little root developing on one side of the bottom node. Fingers crossed. When you say you were layering dirt onto the stem, was this still while the shoot was attached to the main mother plant? Just by angling slightly upward and packing some dirt into it, this prompted it to start developing on its own?
 

Kent88

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When you say you were layering dirt onto the stem, was this still while the shoot was attached to the main mother plant?
Yes

Just by angling slightly upward and packing some dirt into it, this prompted it to start developing on its own?
This sounds like you are referring more to the first method I tried, where I used cardboard and rooting hormone. It seems like it worked. I would recommend the second method I described, where I placed a cut off water bottle over it (vertically, pretty much perpendicular to the ground) and added dirt as the hop shoot grew through it.

I'm no expert, and I won't feel confident about recommending one method over the other until I see what lasts over the winter, but so far the water bottle cutting looks best.
 

Mtrhdltd

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I have no experience in hop cuttings, but with various other plants. Your compost is probably too hot. Cuttings need almost no nutrient value, especially nitrogen. Bright light is also bad, as is heat. I would put the cutting in peat moss or coco fiber, inside, under fluorescent lighting. Keep substrate moist, not soggy, and be patient. It could take a couple of months to root. After there is noticable new growth of leaves then give some compost. Dont plant outside until it is a strong plant. I wouldn't expect any hop flowers the first year either, at least if you are taking a cutting in the spring.
 
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Lacasse93

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for the cut water bottle idea, I assume this only works with hop shoots towards the bottom of the plant? that way the bottle is resting on soil and youre just adding more too it?
 

Kent88

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I think it works best for shoots that are just emerging.

Although I wouldn't be surprised if one could find a shoot as long as the bottle is tall, strip the leaves, put the bottle around it, fill it with dirt, and leave it for two weeks before cutting and find that it works. I wouldn't do that, because I would rather the plant didn't waste energy with leaves and instead just put out roots as it goes.
 

verboten

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I did not read all replies, but I have been ~75% successful in propagating with cuttings. No rooting compound, no special care, I just plant a cutting and they usually take,
 
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B-Hoppy

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There's many different ways to make cuttings other than through rhizomes. One of the simplest is to layer, which basically involves throwing compost or soil or leaves or whatever on top of the first new growth in the spring (the stuff you will be cutting back anyway). By doing this, you're tricking those shoots into thinking they're still underground and they'll grow new tiny feeder roots along their length as long as they are growing 'underground'. Once they grow out past the leaves, compost or whatever you've covered them with, they will want to grow up and begin to climb. At this point, you can let them climb, you can throw some more 'stuff' over them to continue tricking them, or you can sever them from the crown with a sharp knife or shovel. The growth that was starting to peek through the outer edge of the compost will whither a little bit but usually a few days later begin to perk up - at this point they have recovered from the shock of being cut and can be transplanted.

One other option is to just leave them buried for the growing season and they'll thicken up and become rhizomes over this period and can be harvested in the fall or the following spring. A few years back I took some rhizomes to an event in a cooler and when I got home, I forgot the cooler on the back porch for about a week or so. You can see a really cool thing on the cuttings that are pictured which shows a bunch of new white root growth on the ones that have been taken out of the bags. The roots and buds were sprouting inside the bags as the temp of the cooler warmed up after the ice melted. Rhizomes are my primary method of propagation with VERY close to 100% success (over the decades, lol!).
 

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