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Identifying mystery hop I planted

Last year, I planted both Fuggles and Sterling hops in my backyard. One rhizome did well, one apparently died.

Here is my problem…I didn’t label these hops, and I can’t recall which i planted where. Is there any feasible way to identify if the hops that are growing are Fuggles or Sterling? Do they have different leaves, or would I have to wait until cones appear?


Good question, and I would think someone out there will have the answer for you. The leaves will indeed probably look different, and definitely the hop cones. Now it is a matter of tracking someone down who has a lot of experience with at least one of these varieties.

Guess I’m a lot of help today, eh?!

it should be fairly easy to figure out once the hops are mature and ready for harvest. if some one gave me two sets of pellets and said which is fuggle and which is sterling i am pretty sure i could tell the difference by aroma. (to me fuggles have a very distinctive aroma)

buy an ounce of each at harvest time and do a triangle aroma thing and match your hops to their commercial counterpart. sounds like that would work in theory just in case no one can steer you the right way with plant characteristics.

You should be able to tell once you have cones by the aroma and cone shape. Check out this PDF of different varieties to help narrow it down. ... ieties.pdf


I forgot to mention:
I live in the Northeast and my fuggles are already 2’ tall. I remember hearing they are a earlier season hop… which is kind of true because my northern brewers are barely out of the ground and the cascades are about 4". And take this with a grain of salt but everyone that I know that has fuggles had a terrible last year.

Thanks for the info everyone. The fuggles (or sterling) were first planted last year, so I didn’t expect anything out of them, just to get established. The previous year I planted some centennials, and they went nuts last year and they were the very first hop cones i ever harvested.

THis year, the centennials appear agian to be going crazy because some vines are already 2’ long. The fuggles (or sterling) are just showing their first leaves. It should be interesting to watch.

Now, I just got my chinook and Mt Hood rhizomes and need to plant them. Yes, I will label them!

I slapped together a map of my hop beds just in case. :wink:

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