Plant Hop Rhizomes Right (Side Up!)
One of the questions I get asked often is how to plant hop rhizomes in the ground. My answer is always – buds pointing up!
When you receive your hop rhizome, store it in a slightly moistened plastic bag in the fridge until you’re ready to plant. As part of your prep, read the “Hop Gardening” section.
When you take your rhizome to the garden, look at it, holding it vertically. Is it obvious which way the buds are pointing? Skyward or towards the earth? Those will become your plant shoots. The roots will grow down from the opposite end. To give your hops the best chance, don’t challenge them in their natural growing pattern! Roots down, buds up!
Sometimes the buds are so small that you can’t tell which direction they are popping out. In this case, you can lay the rhizome horizontally (instead of the usual way, vertically). While not the best, it will still allow the roots to more easily spread downward and the buds upward.
There are lots of things to know about growing your hops, which I cover in other posts. However, here are a few top items to keep in mind:
– In the first year, the hop rhizome is concentrating on growing its root system, so you may not see the rapid plant bines up your lines until the second year.
– Hops like to spread out. Give at least 3′ between similar types and up to 5′ between different varieties. In my opinion, hops are not the happiest in containers.
– Dig holes about 12″ deep and 5″ wide. Plant them low enough to cover them in about 1″ of earth. Make sure they have drainage so that puddles don’t gather when it rains, or when you water them.
– Sometimes the hop rhizomes do really well, and sometimes, they don’t. They are like any other seed that way! If it turns out one isn’t growing, dig it up. Make sure you planted it the right way (buds up!), and if it has white buds, it’s alive. But if it’s black, it could be rotten. If you think this is the case, and you bought the rhizome from Freshops, contact me, and we’ll see if we can replace it.
QUIZ ANSWER: C (we hope by you get to this part of the blog, you know the answer!)
When To Plant Hop Rhizomes
The best time to plant hop rhizomes is in the Spring. We start selling rhizomes from the Pacific Northwest region (the best!) in March. Check out our Hop Rhizome Information page for products to order yours!
Hop 2 it!