Know How To Grow Hops From The Seeds Rightly

The Hops plants are unique perennials that have various usages. The green blossoms and golden cones have such an appeal that many of you must want to learn how to grow hops so that you can have them in your backyard too. Although the plants can be started in various ways, we are going to tell you how to grow hops from seed.

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how to grow hops

Hops, also known as Humulus Lupulus are the perennial vines that grow very tall and a vertical dimension to the backyard gardens. The twinning bines can grow up to 20 feet every summer which grows out of a perennial crown.

These plants have a long life as they keep producing crops at the same location for years. This is because the plants die out in the winters into the ground and then re-grow when the spring arrives. Hops are hardy and resilient.

There are different unique qualities of the hops plant:

  • The hops are primarily known for being brewery staples. Around 98% of hops plants are used to produce beer and give it a significant flavor. Different hops varieties can be used for various brewing projects.
  • They are amazing garden ornaments as the vines crawl over the trellises and arbors. Hops attract a plethora of beautiful fauna like butterflies due to its pine-like aroma.
  • The flowers of hops plant contain many chemicals like linalool, tannins, myrcene, resin, etc. which make them useful for the pharmaceutical industry.

Ways to grow hops

There are three different ways you can choose from for propagating the hops plants. Let’s see what these methods are:

  • Using the hops rhizomes: This is the fastest method that is preferred by most of the gardeners.
  • Using the hops clippings: This method can be a little challenging but yields a better harvest and healthy plants.
  • Using the hops seeds: This is the last method anyone would want to try as it is slightly cumbersome.

The first two methods give sure results in less amount of time. The plants propagated through these methods are stronger and grow at a faster speed. The most important part is that these methods let you determine the sex of the new plant by ascertaining the gender of its parent hop plant.

Facts about growing hops from seeds

Before you learn how to grow hops from hop seeds, you must know certain important facts about the process:

  • Using seeds to grow hop plants is the least recommended method. This is primarily because of the time taken by the process until the harvest. It takes around one year for the seedling to develop a deep root system itself.
  • The hops are a heterogeneous plant and both the sexes produce different kinds of plants.
  • The plants that you get from the seed method are mainly male. They would produce seeds further for pollination and not the flower cones.
  • The young seedlings also differ from their parent plants in terms of gender and give harvestable crops in a very long time.

Guide to how to grow hops from seed

You must be prepared to wait for a long time since the hops plants started from the seeds will take more than two years to generate a harvest. However, it can be a fun method to try. Here are the major steps of the process.

Cold treating the seeds

This is the first step of the process which is very important and is known as Cold Stratification. The seeds are mixed with an equal proportion of moist sand and then filled into a plastic seal bag. They are then refrigerated at around 41 degrees F for 1-3 months.

Germinating the seeds

The hops seeds germinate very slowly where they take around 35 - 40 days to sprout once they have been through the process of cold stratification. The most important requirement is that you have to keep the seeds moist always until they germinate.

Take the seed bag out from the refrigerator and flatten it. Place the bag anywhere with no direct sunlight and normal room temperature.

You can also plant the seeds for about 1-2 months at around 68 degrees F. Sow them at nearly a quarter inches depth and space them at around 2 feet from each other.

Keep checking the seeds daily for any sprouts to have emerged. If the seeds fail to germinate successfully in one cycle, then you may have to cold stratify them again. Put the seeds back into the refrigerator for the same amount of time.

Planting the seedlings

There are no special requirements of the germinated seeds for getting planted in pots. You only need to have an average to good potting soil mix which should be moderately moistened before the planting. You would need to sow only one or two seeds for getting a hop plant.

When the seedlings get their true leaves, it’s time to move them out. Choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight for good 12 hours, however, a partial shade won’t do any harm. The ideal time to plant the seedlings is during the early summers around mid – April.

The soil medium must be fertile enough or a mix of sand and clay will do well. The soil must have good drainage as any water clogging will rot the roots. The ph of the soil must be from 6.0 to 7.5.

Before planting the hops seedlings, mix the soil with about 3-6 inches of peat moss and nicely rotted compost. You may also mix some slow-releasing fertilizer into the top layers of the soil. For example, you can get a 10-10-10 fertilizer and work around 2-4 tbsp of it into the soil.

Plant the young seedlings into the ground and keep them spaced at about 3 – 4 feet for proper air circulation.

Caring for the hops plants

Once the plants start growing well, you need to take some care of the hops. Here are the things that need to be taken care of:

  • Thin the seedlings at about 6-12 inches in between the plants.
  • You need to give enough amount of water to the growing hops plants. Water them every day just enough to keep the soil moist and not drenched.
  • The hops need some nutrient feeding to give a better yield. You can feed the plants with organic fertilizers or compost. Apply the fertilizers at a regular interval.
  • The hops plants grow very tall and need some support structure to spread. You can train them around trellis so that they can go taller.
  • Trimming the shoots is very important to prevent crowding and infestation. You must also prevent the vines from getting tangled.
  • The most common pests and diseases that trouble hops are powdery mildew and aphids. If you see any leaves getting affected by them, cut them off and dispose of them outside the garden to avoid any remaining contact.

Conclusion

This was all about how to grow hops from its seeds. The process is going to stretch for a long period and would require a lot of patience on your part. If you feel that you want quicker results then go for the other methods.

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