2nd Year Hops Sprouts


    Here in Minnesota the general date for frost safe planting is May 15th.  I kept my hop plants buried under leaves to try and keep the ground cold and the hop crowns dormant as long as possible.  I checked on them today (April 8th) and the hop sprouts were pushing up the leaves so I had to un-bury them.  Hopefully they won’t freeze (down to 32 degrees last night).

    Cascade hop sprouts

    Cascade Sprouts

    These are second year hops so I am expecting a much better yield than last year (about 3 pounds between the 3 hop plants – a good first year harvest).  I guess we’ll see if they freeze or not.  Even if they do, there will be new shoots to replace them.  Second year hops with an established crown / root stock and stored energy from last year.

    Nugget Hop Sprouts

    Early Sprouts

    I am still contemplating a new hop trellis rigging.  If nothing else, I will go with 2 ropes per plant instead of the one rope per hop hill used last year.  That in itself should at least double my harvest.  The established hop plants will have plenty of energy to support 6 bines per plant (3 per rope).

    Magnum Hop Sprouts

    Magnum Hops

    The sprouts look albino and growing sideways from being weighed down and have not been exposed to sunlight yet.  I will also have to trim the rhizomes to keep the plants from spreading in all directions.  I will cut a circle with a shovel about 8 inch radius from the center of the plant and pull out the hop rhizomes on the outside of the circle.

    Categories : Second Year Hops


    1. Geo,
      Generally, the sunnier, the better. It is possible the soil is not as fertile as where the hops came from. You did not state when you moved them – before any shoots or bines were growing or after they started growing. Usually you want to move them before sprouts or bines appear. Like any plant, transplanting stresses them. They could still take off this year. Try some liquid Miracle-Gro in case of a fertility or trace mineral deficiency (see my posts on boron deficiency this year – my first hop challenge).

      Best of luck with your hops!

    2. Geo says:

      Hi, I live in upstate NY and have a few Cascade Hops I moved to a sunnier location this spring.
      Last year was their first year and they did better last year.

      Although they survived the transplant, they are not growing like their sisters that remained in their original location.
      I suspect with a little TLC they’ll be producing well next year.

      In response to Jan’s Q? about the old bines, I left the bines up from last year and as far as I can tell, it did not seem to be a problem, the new ones just grew over the old.

    3. Jan says:

      Thanks for your responce and help. So I need to get out there and cut it down to the ground about now.

      Hops is a host plant for the Eastern Comma butterfly. The butterfly will lay eggs on the plant, the eggs of course hatch and the caterpillars eat the hop leaves. They are beautiful butterflies and overwinter in the adult stage and you may see them in early spring on a warm day – over 65 degrees.

    4. Yes, you want to cut down the old hop bine growth. You can do this late fall through early spring. Cut them off at ground level.

      I never heard of hops attracting butterflies (at least the eastern Comma butterfly) – thanks for that bit of info.

    5. Jan says:

      Do I cut down last year’s growth in the spring? If so, how far
      down should I cut. I grow hops as a host plant for the eastern comma butterfly. They grow up a trellis and are now actually beautiful with the light stems catching the light.

      Thank you to anyone who can help.

    6. Sir Hops-a-lot,

      Q – can i safely move a rhizome location in year 2?
      – I would think you could though I have not done it myself. You might be surprised by the size of the root stock / crown! I would do it sooner than later. If anyone else that is reading this has experience moving hop plants after year one, chime in.

      Q – some shoots took off and are above ground… I fear more freezing, should I clip them and cover? or leave them?
      – Some people cut the first shoots every year – I don’t. I have had shoots survive below freezing temps unfazed ( Hop Sprouts Survive Freezing ). Worst case the shoots die and the plant will send up new ones – hops are hardy plants.

      Q – does the freezer preserve hops well?
      – To preserve hop freshness, you need to keep them out of light, freeze them and remove as much air as you can from the packaging. Vacuum sealed is best but not mandatory. I would not keep them more than a year unless vacuum sealed. Besides, you will have new hops this fall!

      I am not an expert but these generalities should hold true.

      PS – It friggen snowed 6 inches here today where I am in Minnesota. I am anxiously waiting for growing weather.

    7. Sir Hops-a-lot says:

      Planted 12 rhizomes last year…. all did better than expected their first year. A few questions for anyone who may know:

      * can i safely move a rhizome location in year 2?
      * there was a teaser week … warmer than usual and now cooling down… some shoots took off and are above ground… I fear more freezing, should I clip them and cover? or leave them?
      * does the freezer preserve hops well?

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