How to Grow Hops: planting and care tips

April 15, 2013 12:00 am

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Choosing a Site:

Hops are best planted in full sun. Plants will perform best if planted in well drained soil. Soil in the Willamette Valley can be improved by adding a compost mix to the soil prior to planting. Hops have a very large root system and should not be kept in a container too long.



Hop rhizomes should be soaked for several hours before planting. Examine the rhizome for the buds, these buds will indicate up from down. The buds should be facing up. If you are unable to tell which way is up, plant the rhizome sideways. Hops will thrive in any garden soil, but grow more vigorously with enrichment from compost or manure. As the vine begins to grow it is advisable to train it onto a trellis. In a single season the vine will grow to a length of 25 feet.


After Planting Care:

Never let the plants dry out. This is a recipe for disaster, especially for newer plantings. Water deeply at least once a week. Remove any weeds carefully. Mulching is beneficial in the winter months, but be sure to keep mulch away from the stems and crowns.



Hops have a perennial root system, but an annual top. After flowering the top will start to die back. After the entire vine has died or turned brown cut it back to ground level. There is nothing that needs to be done to the vine after that. Fertilize again in the spring with a slow release, all-purpose granular fertilizer.