Has anyone grown hops from seed

Discussion in 'Grain, Hops, Yeast & Water' started by keat64, Jun 9, 2018.

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  1. Jun 9, 2018 #1

    keat64

    keat64

    keat64

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    I bought a pack of humulus lupus seeds a while back and now have about half a dozen young plants.
    Has anyone grown these from seed.
    I'm wondering if it's possible to identify the female from young plants.

    I'd hate to wait 3 years for them all to be male.

    At this stage, most of them look like nettles, however, one of them is a distinct climber, it's wrapping it's self around it's sibling.
     
  2. Jun 9, 2018 #2

    Fil

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    they will develop male/female characteristics in yr 1


    BUT!! you cant get any established hop varieties from seed, Every beer hop comes from a cloned plant.

    the hop plants sexual reproduction involves male and female plants its the female flowering plants that we want as any seeds produced will carry traits from both the female (good known plant) and the pollen from the unknown male doner .. hence the practice of cloning the varieties known to be good for beer and how the consistency is maintained.

    your seeds even if from both male and female plants of the same variety (where did the male come from originally?? a hermaphrodite plant? perhaps not the best stock for stability?? ) will undergo some genetic variation as ol gregor mendal discovered with his pea plants 500 odd years ago ( feck me i did pay attention at school one day then..)

    If you want hops that will be good for your beer 100% grow them from a root rhizome (clone stock) your 'wild' varieties may be ok but then again may not.. of course if they are a decorative plant for your garden then its not really an issue..
     
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  3. Jun 10, 2018 #3

    keat64

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    We just got an allotment, so I thought it might be fun to try a hop down there.
    I don't mind the wait, just as long as I get a crop.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2018 at 2:46 PM #4

    Hoppy

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    Fil is right, even if the female plant is a known variety, you never know what male variety pollinated the female, therefore the outcome of the progeny.
    You should have a mix of male/female around 40/60 split. Male plant flowers do look like nettle flowers, we all know what the females look like, enough pictures on here. That said you can get some interesting varieties from this, look at the amount of hop varieties that have been 'discovered' by open pollination.
    WBR
    Hoppy
     
  5. Jun 14, 2018 at 6:09 PM #5

    keat64

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    I'm convinced that I'm growing nettle plants in my greenhouse.
    So earlier this week I bought a guaranteed female, and compared a few,.

    I wouldn't mind your thoughts if anyone is in the expert know.

    In this first pic, we can see on the left, the one I described earlier as being a distinct climber, and the one on the right looking like nettles.

    This next image is the guaranteed cloned female (left) against my nettles (right)

    And this last image is of two smaller seedlings, the upper one, already looking different to the lower one.
    The upper I believe a hop, the lower... you guessed it, another nettle.
     
  6. Jun 14, 2018 at 10:28 PM #6

    Fil

    Fil

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    way to early to tell, give em a month or two and they will develop gender characteristics, my only experience is with rhizome propagation so am only familiar with the flowers.. google should provide pics of the male pollen sproutings and i suspect they may start shooting out earlier than the females so as long as you are dilligent and keep an eye on whats going on you should be able to spot and kill off any males you have before the females flower ;)

    while you may need to wait 3 years for a full crop, you will have flowers from your females in year 1 and year2, probably enough in yr1 to judge aroma characteristics, perhaps even a full SMASH brew or 2? yr2 should give you plenty for a few brews and even some to share, and come yr 3 you will have bagsfull and will be looking at a vacuum bagger, that is if, IF.. they pass the taste test later this yr ;)

    Dont get too worried about pollination of your females tho some seeds are found in commercial hops and they only grow post pollination.. but you will get more oil laden flowers the longer you can keep them isolated from pollen, as the longer the plant goes unfertilised it will pump out more fragrance (oils) to attract pollenators
     
  7. Jun 15, 2018 at 8:07 AM #7

    keat64

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    any thoughts on the leaf pattern.
    The ones I suspect to be nettles have a much more pronounced jagged leaf, and at this stage no apparent vine like climbing features.
     
  8. Jun 18, 2018 at 8:41 AM #8

    keat64

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    The suspect nettles have now been relegated outside of the greenhouse.
     

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