How to Grow Humulus Plants

Guide to Growing Hop

Although the Humulus plant is a hardy perennial climber it is normally treated as if it is a half hardy annual inn the garden.

It has lobed foliage and produces hops in the autumn. Some common names for Humulus are Hop, Yunnan and Japanese Hop.

Humulus lupulus
Humulus lupulus – Hops by Amandabhslater; creative commons.

Humulus japonica
Humulus japonica variegata by SuperFantastic; creative commons.

Quick Humulus Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Hop: Common, Japanese, Asian, Yunnan.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 24 to 600 inches (60 to 1250 cm).
Native: Europe, Asia, North America.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.
Flowers: Late spring, summer and/or autumn.
Flower Details: Yellow, red, white, blue, pink, orange. Daisy-like ray and disc florets. Bell-shaped. Tubular. Inconspicuous pale green; plants are grown for their attractive silvery or bronze spearheads.
Foliage: Bine: stiff hairs on stout stems. Heart shaped leaves (Cordate). Variegated. Lobed.
Sow Outside: 1/4 inch. Before last frost (summer flowers); early summer (autumn flowers); or in autumn (spring flowers). Spacing 30 to 40 inches (75 to 100 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one month. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors after the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Most soil types and conditions but best results in rich and moist soil. Provide trellis. Regular watering.
Propagate: dividing or cuttings from tips in spring.
Miscellaneous: Plants are dioecious. Female hop flowers are called cones. The female plants are used for making beer. During the growing season hop bines can grow up to 20 inches (50cm) per week. Has very long roots making it an ideal plant to grow in dry areas.

How to Grow Hop (Humulus) Plants

It depends upon when you want the hops to flower as to when you sow the seed. For Autumn flowers sow in the summer. If you want the hops to flower in late spring, then sow the prior autumn. Sowing at the beginning of spring will result in summer flowers. In all cases sow the seeds at a depth of about 6 mm into either a sunny or lightly shaded area of the garden that has good drainage. Hops like to grow in a rich and moist soil. It usually takes just under a month for hop seeds to germinate at a temperature of 21 to 24 degrees Centigrade. If you want to start Humulus plants off indoors then plant seeds about two months before you put them out.

Caring for Hops in the Garden

Once growing hops will require regular watering and as Humulus plant species are climbers they will require a trellis or similar support to grow upon.

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