Golden hops are prized for their yellow-green leaves, and used as an ornamental vine that grows up fences or trellises, providing privacy and background greenery. Hops are also an ingredient in beer, making them a prized plant for home brewers. As a perennial, plant hops continue to grow and produce every year, though they die back in the winter and the old vines need removed. Plant golden hops in spring after the last expected frost date has passed.
Choose an area with full sun and well-draining soil. Place a 3 to 6 inch layer of compost over the planting area and add 2 tablespoons of general-purpose fertilizer per plant. Till the compost into the soil to aid drainage and soil nutrition.
Install a trellis behind the planting area, or plant hops along a fence. Vines require a support structure to climb.
Dig a 12-inch deep trench that is 1 inch longer than the hops rhizome, or root section that the plant grows from. Set the rhizome in the trench with the buds facing up and cover with 1 inch of soil. Space rhizomes 3 feet apart.
Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch over the planting. Mulching preserves soil moisture and prevents weed growth. Water the planting area after sowing until the soil is moist, then continue to water as necessary to maintain moisture.
Prune off all the shoots from each rhizome except the three strongest ones when they are 1 foot long. Guide the remaining shoots onto the trellis and wind them on clockwise until they begin climbing it on their own.
Cut back the vines to 2 feet in fall once they begin to die back. Bury the vines in the trench if you wish to propagate more hops, as the buried vines will produce buds.
Fertilize the following spring with additional compost and general purpose fertilizer. Add a ½ teaspoon of nitrogen fertilizer in mid-summer.
Things You Will Need
- Pruning shears
- Harvest the flower cones in early autumn when they dry and feel papery. Dry them for a week before using them in beer-making.
- Mature vines may reach up to 12 feet in height.
- Hops are prone to some mildews and insect infestations. Provide good air circulation and prevent weeds from growing around the plants to prevent these issues.
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