How to Plant Hops Rhizomes


The common hop (Humulus lupulus) is a hardy, perennial vine. Plants are either male or female, but the flowers of the female plants are used in brewing. You can easily grow it in a home garden, provided sufficient sun and climbing space are available. It can grow in areas that experience extreme temperatures but does require at least 120 frost-free days to produce flowers. The vines grow to 25 feet in a single season and as much as a foot a day. It is a good foliage plant for trellises or arbors, and you can use it to quickly cover an unsightly structure. When grown as a crop, growers support the vines on 20-foot poles. The flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Step 1

Choose a site in full sun with good drainage and space to support the vines. The plant grows rapidly, and support for the vines is essential. Some support choices include arbors, trellises, tall poles, a dead tre or the side of a building. It prefers moist, rich soils but will tolerate some drought. Avoid areas near electrical wires since the vines can cause problems.

Step 2

Plant the rhizomes in the spring after all danger of frost has passed but no later than May. Loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches with the shovel. Add 2 to 4 four inches of organic material (peat moss, leaf mold, manure or compost) and mix it into the soil.

Step 3

Take the trowel and plant the rhizomes vertically, with buds pointing up, 2 inches below the surface. The rhizomes should be 5 feet apart.

Step 4

Water the planting bed thoroughly and cover with a 2-inch layer of mulch.

Step 5

Check the moisture level of the soil for the next few weeks and water as needed. The soil should be moist but not wet. During first year, the small root system will need frequent watering.

Step 6

Pinch out all but two or three of the strongest vines at ground level. Wind these clockwise around the support. Once the vines reach 5 or 6 feet, strip the leaves off the bottom 3 feet to help prevent mildew.

Things You'll Need

  • Hops rhizomes
  • Shovel
  • Organic matter
  • Garden trowel
  • Garden hose
  • Mulch


  • Humulus lupulus 'Aureus'
  • Growing Hops
  • Hops in the Backyard
Keywords: common hops, Humulus lupulus, How to grow common hops

About this Author

Joan Puma is a graduate of Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts, and has worked in the film industry for many years as a script supervisor. Puma's interest in gardening lead her to write The Complete Urban Gardener, which was published by Harper & Row. Other interests include, art history, medieval history, and equitation.