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What's wrong with my hops?

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Kaz

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I have 3 hops plants, this is about year 3 or 4 for them, 3 Cascade and 1 Nugget. They are all growing nicely, but about a week ago I noticed the leaves on the bottoms turning brown. Now, more leaves farther up a browning and parts are just gone. I don't see any insects, mildew or fungus on them. I think the same thing happened last year. We've been getting decent rain here, and usually give them each a pile of compost/manure early in the spring and I gave them a dose of organic fertilizer about 2 weeks ago. I'll attach some pics for reference.

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dwoods

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Looks like aphids are eating your leaves. They are very small insects and tend to be on the underside of the leaves.
 
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Kaz

Kaz

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I haven't seen any aphids, but I will double check. I'm leaning more towards some kind of nutrient deficiency, but what? Here is the fertilizer I've been feeding...

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tgmartin000

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I've had something similar with my cascades. I just trimmed off the bottom 12" of leaves, and so far, it doesn't appear to have spread. Lots of times, from what I've read, the bottom leaves will brown.
 

neomantra

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I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think you can see aphids with the naked eye can you? You might need a magnifying glass of some sort to be able to tell for sure. I'm actually seeing some of the same results with my plants and was wondering what the issue was. If it is indeed aphids then I guess the solution is to spray them with a soapy water solution?



I'm also seeing some discoloration on some leaves like the one below. Is that some kind of mildew?

 

cheezydemon3

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There are all sorts of bugs in different areas, but nutrient deficciencies don't eat holes in otherwise healthy leaves.

Tobacco juice, etc.......
 

neomantra

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Quick update. I went digging in a book I had called The Homebrewer's Garden. Buy this book. It's pretty awesome and I'm relying on it heavily for the rest of the info in this post. I'm a newby grower myself.

I don't think it's an aphid issue for either of us. Aphids suck the plant dry causing the leaves to curl and also leave a black fungus behind.

In both of our first pictures with the big chewed out holes I'm thinking that could be either japanese or spotted cucumber beetles. Both are described as chewing huge holes in the leaves. You might try looking them up to see what they look like so you can attempt to spot them if you see them.

For our second pictures where there is the whitish/corky/brown coloration I am thinking it may be verticillium and/or fusarium wilt or possibly a molybdenum nutrient deficiency. The nutrient deficiency might be the best place to start. It's symptoms include white speckling on leaves later turning yellow with upward curling leaves which seems to fit the description from what I can see. The fix is to add azomite or wood ashes to the soil and spray some liquid seaweed on them.

If that doesn't help then maybe it's one of the wilts. The wilt symptoms include leaves turning yellow and developing corky brown patches. They can then whither and fall off. Apparently this won't usually kill your plant but it can reduce cone harvests. There is no real cure for this if that's what it going on. It can be slowed some by spraying with a compost tea or baking soda solution.

We've had some problems with tomato plants dying from what I think is the same thing. Apparently if you compost your tomato plants and then use the compost on your hops it can spread that way. It can also survive in the soil for a long time after removing plants that had it as well.
 

BradleyBrew

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The bottom leaves will brown (slightly) as the hops push nutrients to the top part of the plant that is growing. Happens to all hop plants every year in my experience regardless of nutrient levels. Not say that you dont have a problem but light browning around the base I dont believe is a cause for concern.
 

dobberson24

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Yes. It's a wilt or other soil issue. I had the same problem. Spraying every couple weeks with a sulphur spray did the trick.
 
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Kaz

Kaz

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Well, one month later and the plants are still growing like crazy and are covered in cones. I didn't really do anything about the browning leaves that started this thread other than pull some off and give the plants a good dose of fertilizer. Now its on to fighting the Japanese beetles and other critters that come out this time of year in PA.
 

whitehause

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Good to hear. I had the typical bottom leaf browning, but I just cut the bottom 3ft of foliage off anyway, so no more brown leaf. :D

I haven't seen to much J beetle activity where I'm at, and I'm hoping it stays that way.
 

jglazer

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I got a real nasty Japanese Beetle problem right now in NC...hate those buggers
 
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