I planted some hops last month in pots…they are about 4-5 inches tall but now are starting to grow side bines…Is it wise to top hops to produce more side branches or will this hurt growth…I know a relative of hops that benefits from topping…will hops also?
If the growing tip is eliminated/pinched early enough in the season, the sidearms on the node directly below will begin to form prematurely. The plant will use those as central leaders to grow VEGETATIVELY to take over for the missing leader. At a certain point in the season the plant channels it’s energy from vegetative growth to reproductive growth (triggered by day length). I’ve never done this, but it would seem that if you pinched the plant at the point where it was going into the reproductive growth phase, you may be able to encourage a better harvest. The 64M question is to properly determine that exact time which is supposed to be when the days begin to get shorter. Again, never done it but a little experiment may help us all out. Hoppy Sperimenting!!