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Hop growing question

My hop vines are now at the top of the trellis, about 8 feet tall, and are now reaching for the sky. I’m wondering what to do now. Just let them grow, or put out some twine for them to be trained to? Any suggestions from you hop growers?

If you keep giving them growing room, they’ll keep going. Most of the cones will develop near the top of the plant. My trellis is 18’ high, and they regularly hit the top and then wave around in the wind, looking for something to grab. I always end up with a huge heavy snarl of bines at the top, loaded with cones. I’d keep them going if I were you, one way or another.


My trellis is about 16’ tall and several of min have been at the top for a few weeks. They just kind of dangle and keep growing out. It appears that this will be where most of the hops develop

1 of 2 things will happen. They’ll tip and wrap around themselves or snap off, which will cause shoots to develop. Not a big deal either way. Have both scenarios happen every year with mine with cones developing regardless. If these are first year plants let them go and do their thing.

8 feet is just not tall enough of a trellis for hops… I know, I’ve tried. The only plant I have that does well (I have 6-7 plants) is the one that goes about 16 feet up.

I just harvested 2 pounds of Cascades off of two first year plants… When mine hit the top of my 8 foot wire, I grew them horizontally on jute rope tied to the wire, then to the roof of my house. I had to train them every three days or so to grow horizontal, but they sure didn’t seem to mind at 18 feet long and spitting out cones like crazy.

I went to NB’s class on growing hops with Charlie Rohwer and I recall him mentioning when the bines reach the top of trellis you can snip the top growth to prevent it from growing further which will also allow the hop cones to begin to develop. This was mentioned as a way to prevent the bines from growing any taller while allowing the cones to begin to form. However, I have not tried this and maybe others will have better advice; cheers!

Mine hit the top of my trellis (12 feet) and kept going too.
They ended up either hanging on the top or growing down the lines going to where I secured them. One of them tipped down, and caught hold on one of those lines a couple feet down, then grew back up. Getting them all down this call will be interesting.

That sounds like good advice (that guy’s a genius!.. :wink: ); the plants will spend their energy on sidearms rather than looking for something else to grow up. You’ll get a bushier plant, which might be harder to handle. But if you don’t want that, make a taller trellis.

The taller you can make your trellis, the better. My hops don’t produce good cones below about 6-7 feet of height. Mine are under an old maple tree so 13 feet is as high as I could go without major snipping of the maple. Every year my hops go up the 13 feet then loop down and back up again several times, so that there is a huge bush of hops at the top. As others have said, if they bend too far and snap off, it doesn’t matter because they will send out plenty of new shoots that will produce a lot of cones. Hops are one of the easiest plants to grow on earth. All they need is sun and water and they grow like weeds and produce a lot for many years. The only other thing I do with mine is in spring time I thin out the ~100 new hop shoots down to about 6 per plant. Otherwise they still do fine but they can get out of control, and don’t get as much height.

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