Magnum Hop Bines Top Out


    Magnum hops top out (15 feet tall) May 12th – six days after the Nugget hops did (at 13 feet).  The Cascade hops reached the top (13 feet tall) May 10th.   They are,

    Left to right, Nugget, Magnum and Cascade hops.

    Nugget Magnum Cascade Hop Bines

    left to right – Nugget, Magnum and Cascade hop bines.  This is year 4 and with a mild winter and early spring, it is the earliest the hops have topped out so far.  At this rate, assuming good weather, it should be the earliest hop cone harvest yet.  My magnum hops were used in a second place entry for American IPA in the 2011 Upper Mississippi Mash-Out.

    I am about to top dress the soil with more compost to slow feed steady (organic) nutrients for this growing season.  I have been cutting back the ever appearing hop shoots as I have 5 bines of each type climbing each rope.  3 bines is plenty per rope but I like extra insurance.  I already lost one of the Cascade bines – it was bent and hanging down after a thunderstorm with high winds.  I had earlier spread bone meal, blood meal and kelp on the soil around the bines for micro and macro-nutrients.

    Magnum Hops Comeback

    Last year the Magnum hops did not reach the top due to a boron deficiency that almost killed the hop plant.  The tips of the bines died and vertical growth was stopped – other than some laterals that climbed almost to the top.  Looks like I should have a full harvest this year as they made it to the top and now just have to fill out.

    Apparently my soil needs some help as I was experiencing another deficiency this year.  The soil where these hops are planted was not much top soil.  The fall before I planted the hop rhizomes, I had dug down a foot and about 2 feet in diameter and mixed in some compost, grass clippings and leaves.  That worked for 2 years and then apparently was depleted of nutrients (at least boron).  Since then, I have been trying to stay on top of it with organically supplementing the soil (top dressing as I don’t want to injure the hop crown).

    I found this picture which illustrates the prime hop growing regions of the world – both northern and southern hemispheres.  The blue bands are 35 to 55 degrees latitude which is prime.  Hops can be grown outside of these bands, depending on micro climates, shading…

    List of hop varieties

    Magnum hops, Hop growing regions of the world
    Categories : Forth Year Hops


    1. They will keep trying to grow vertically. Mine extend up onto the roof, after they get long enough, they grow downward as they are unable to hold themselves up anymore. You could snip the tops of the bines or just let them go. Maybe clip some and see how that works out. It may cause the bines to send out even more laterals (more potential hop cones). Hops are like weeds, pretty hard to kill.

      Thanks for spreading the word.

    2. hoosier homegrown says:

      Well, I decided to take your advice and stopped extending the rope, hoping to stunt their growth. These must be some stubborn hops, because they have decided to ignore gravity and grow at least another 1-2 feet beyond the top of my rope (creeping along the underside of my porch).

      My thinking was that they would reach the underside of my porch and stop. I’m well aware of my own “green” thumb, but come on!

      So, I’m thinking about just snipping the bine off at the top of the rope. This doesn’t sound like the best way to go about stunting their growth. Any suggestions?

      Been spreadin the word about your website to my homebrew buddies, who are thinking about growing their own. Very informative. Thanks!

    3. Hoosier,
      I would let them top out at 8 feet, it will not harm them. It will make the move easier for you. Planting in the ground can be tricky at 8 feet plus bines, but doable. Once in their new location, they may take off vertically again. Good luck on your move and re-planting. Next year they will be ready to rock.

    4. hoosier homegrown says:

      I have three 1st year plants (chinook, centinnial, glacier) going strong in 5 gal. buckets. My plan is to put them in the ground once we move into our new house (less than a month away). The two C’s are already 8ft w/ 1 bine each, and the glacier is about 6ft w/ 3 bines. I put them temporarily in buckets on April 21st and totally did not expect this much growth by now for first years.

      My problem is that I am quickly running out of vertical space at my current residence for which my hops to ascend. They are each currently growing up what is about 35ft of gardening rope per bucket (I made the ropes for growth potential). In the current location they have about 8ft of vertical growth before “topping out”.

      My question is: Must I keep finding new spots to allow for vertical growth until the move?? or is it OK to let them “top out” at 8-9ft until I can permanately plant them??

      Is “topping out” a matter of limitations or plant growth?

    Leave a Reply