Hop Strobiles / Burrs Forming on Cascade and Magnum Hops


    Hop strobiles (strobilus) are the the cone like seed pods of female humulus lupulus plants.  It is better

    hop strobiles starting to form and will soon be hop cones.

    Hop Strobiles AKA Hop Burrs

    to not allow the hops to be pollinated and form seeds in their cones.  That is why female plants are grown for hops and if further propagation is desired, hop rhizomes are cut from the females to replicate as female hops.  The rhizomes grow out from the crown just under the soil surface and hop sprouts will pop up and spread like crazy unless you keep them trimmed.

    You might notice the haze in the picture (above the roof line). it is from 100+ Canadian wildfires currently burning.  I suppose we should ban trees and lightning as they contribute to global warming – ok, enough venting on the eco-nazi’s.

    The Cascade and Magnum Hops are forming burrs or the beginning of hop cones.  They always precede the Nugget hops by 2 or so weeks (late bloomer).  All 3 bines should be loaded with hop cones over the next 2 months.

    We are finally getting some sunshine (though hazy the last couple of days).  If this keeps up, I will have a “normal” harvest – the last couple have been weak.  Late and cold springs have limited my hop harvests lately.  I have been feeding these hops: top dressed compost I make myself, Azomite minerals and foliar feeding of fish emulsion with kelp and soil

    Three Hop bines are filling out with lateral growth, setting the framework for lots of hop cones.

    Humulus Lupulus Bines – Hops

    “activators” (beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizae).  It seems to have made up for less sunshine and cooler temperatures. The soil where these hops are planted was just fill/sand. I added homemade compost and composted manure to give it some nutrition and structure. I continually top dress the ground with new compost and kelp (and recently Azomite to provide even more minerals and trace minerals that supply every mineral need.
    plant food

    Categories : 7th Year Hops


    1. Hi James,
      I have been out of town and now catching up. I don’t recommend growing hops from seeds – you end up with male and female hops – you want just female hops for the hop cones. Secondly, if you are in the northern hemisphere, it is late in the season to start hops. I recommend growing from rhizomes, planting them early spring. By sow at room temp, I am guessing letting the seeds warm up before planting.

    2. James says:

      Hi Tony,

      1st time hops grower. The seeds I ordered had very little as far as instructions go and what they had were pretty vague. The initial step was to keep the seeds in moist soil in a ziplock in the fridge for 4-6 weeks (I really hope this doesn’t sound ridiculous). Well, I’m at week 5 in the fridge. The next (and final) step simply says to “sow at room temperature”. What does that mean? Let the ziplock bag acclimate to room temp? When can it go outside? Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.


    3. Hey Dustin,
      By topped out, I mean they can’t go any further vertically. My ropes are at 13 ft, 15 ft, 13 ft – that’s the rope/roof height. They would go another 5 feet or so if I had the vertical real estate. My hops will hit the top and then the tops of the bines grow back down the rope for a ways. I don’t know if you get more lateral growth by pruning the tops or not (maybe a good experiment for next year?).

      Other plants will bush out when the tips of the vertical growth are pruned – may or may not apply to hops. Hops will send out lateral growth at some point, topped out or not – pruning may speed that up. Sorry I couldn’t give you a definitive answer. I will try pruning one of my bines next year and find out for sure.

    4. Dustin says:

      Hello there! Your hops are looking great! By pure coincidence I stumbled on your site and realized we are growing the same 3 varieties of hops. I’m in my first year growing hops in large containers on my balcony here in San Diego, Ca. Last week I noticed burrs forming on my Magnum and Cascade while my larger, fuller (“healthier looking”) nugget is now barely forming a couple burrs.

      I’m new to hops and wanted to ask…how do you know when the hops have “topped out”? And if I pre-maturely clip mine (when and if they reach the top of my home-made trellis), will it then promote more lateral growth and cones?

      I have pics if you’re interested.

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