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General Category => Ingredients => Hop Growing => Topic started by: SecondRow_Sean on June 17, 2013, 05:57:00 PM

Title: Wilting Hops
Post by: SecondRow_Sean on June 17, 2013, 05:57:00 PM
I've noticed that the leaves on my hop plants are starting to wilt and I was hoping someone could give me advice. They were planted about two months ago, in mid-late April. Each pot has about 2 cubic feet of miracle gro potting soil. I live in Northern Virginia, the temp hasn't gotten above the low 90s, they're in the sun early in the day until about 1pm. It's been raining a bit lately, so I haven't needed to water them. I've noticed a bug or two on them, little fly looking things, but not all the time and never a huge amount. Pics are below:

(http://i.imgur.com/EW1DT3hh.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/HOpsIech.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/HWmpOtWh.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/Lxlowv6h.jpg)
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 17, 2013, 06:05:21 PM
Hops can be very thirsty, I just came in from watering mine. Those might be stressed.

Good information on these links.
http://www.freshops.com/hop-growing/hop-gardening

Look in the newsletter archive.
http://www.gorstvalleyhops.com/

There are other good pages you can find searching the net.

Hope this helps.

Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: morticaixavier on June 17, 2013, 06:50:56 PM
you might also have some deficiencies going on. the pale green between the veins is, IIRC sign of a nitrogen deficiency. Try some fish emulsion used in the next watering and also as a spray on the leaves.
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: Jimmy K on June 17, 2013, 07:17:22 PM
This might help. Definately looks like a nutrient deficiency.
http://customers.hbci.com/~wenonah/min-def/hops.htm (http://customers.hbci.com/~wenonah/min-def/hops.htm)
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: SecondRow_Sean on June 17, 2013, 07:40:11 PM
Thanks for the advice, looks like I'll try some nitrogen!
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: piszkiewiczp on June 17, 2013, 07:41:23 PM
I'd agree with the nutrient deficiency, except that you said you used miracle gro potting soil. That usually has fertilizer added into the mix.

It looks like you may have planted in a plastic bucket. Do you have enough drainage holes in the bottom so that the roots aren't sitting in water? Most roots need air and won't do well if constantly submerged.
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: SecondRow_Sean on June 17, 2013, 07:54:44 PM
I'd agree with the nutrient deficiency, except that you said you used miracle gro potting soil. That usually has fertilizer added into the mix.

It looks like you may have planted in a plastic bucket. Do you have enough drainage holes in the bottom so that the roots aren't sitting in water? Most roots need air and won't do well if constantly submerged.

There are drainage holes in the bottom, but it seems that the "plate" (ignorance of a better term) that the pot is sitting on normally has water on it. Maybe I should drill a few more holes? We've had a few days of absolute down pouring here.
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: morticaixavier on June 17, 2013, 07:56:29 PM
I'd agree with the nutrient deficiency, except that you said you used miracle gro potting soil. That usually has fertilizer added into the mix.

It looks like you may have planted in a plastic bucket. Do you have enough drainage holes in the bottom so that the roots aren't sitting in water? Most roots need air and won't do well if constantly submerged.

this would be my second guess... given your response, maybe my first now. take it off the plate and let it drain. Hops like lots of water but they don't like having wet feet.
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 17, 2013, 08:22:57 PM
Hops need a lot of water, but it is said that they like dry "feet".
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: Slowbrew on June 17, 2013, 09:29:52 PM
Too much water was my first thought.  You may have more than one issue going on though too. 

As Mort said, get rid of the drain plate and I would start giving the plant some regular light doses of nitrogen.  Probably half the recommended dose on the box about half as often as the manufacturer recommends.  That way if the plant gets better but not dramatically, you have room to increase the fertilizer.  Once you burn off a plant with nitrogen you really have no place go back to.

Paul
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: SecondRow_Sean on June 18, 2013, 12:44:32 AM
I took the drain plate off, drilled a few more holes along the base of the pot and...wow, there was a lot of water in there. I'll let them drain and then hit them with a little nitrogen. Being incredibly new at attempting to grow living things, I thought the drain plate helped it drain more. Whoops.
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: davidgzach on June 18, 2013, 04:00:25 PM
IIRC it's not recommended to plant hops in a pot.  That the roots grow as long as the vines.  Is there a place you can transplant them in the ground?

Dave
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: morticaixavier on June 18, 2013, 04:27:18 PM
IIRC it's not recommended to plant hops in a pot.  That the roots grow as long as the vines.  Is there a place you can transplant them in the ground?

Dave

this may be something of an exaggeration. Hops do have extensive root systems but I don't think they grow 20 feet+ deep. very very few plants have root systems that deep.
Title: Wilting Hops
Post by: duboman on June 18, 2013, 05:09:20 PM
As you discovered hops will not tolerate being constantly saturated:)

Elevate the pot and do not use the dish on the bottom any more. It looks like the pots are large enough but the ground and all day sun are preferable.

Allow the plants to come rely dry out before doing any fertilizing or additional watering. The roots need to breath a bit for air exchange.

If there is no gravel at the bottom of the pot inside that should be something to consider in the future if you continue to use pots. At least 2-4" of pea gravel to facilitate good drainage. This is actually a good practice for any potted plants.

The first few fertilizings should be done at half rate until the plants begin to show a healthier color and new growth shoots and they should recover nicely although they may look worse before they begin looking better.
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: b-hoppy on June 18, 2013, 05:23:42 PM
I took the drain plate off, drilled a few more holes along the base of the pot and...wow, there was a lot of water in there. I'll let them drain and then hit them with a little nitrogen. Being incredibly new at attempting to grow living things, I thought the drain plate helped it drain more. Whoops.

I'd let the plant recover a bit before feeding it.  Once it has a chance to breathe again, it may take a week or two before it begins to look somewhat normal and resumes active growth. 

And as was suggested earlier, you'll never experience the enjoyment of what these plants can do if you keep them confined to a container.  Sure they'll grow and look awesome in big pots, but had they been in the ground they'd look awesome x 2.  The roots can become massive especially if they're growing in an region with deep, well drained soils.  A few years ago I had to excavate a crown that was 10 or so years old.  At about 3.5 feet down, one of the biggest roots was about as thick around as my wrist and growing through some very heavy clay hardpan(ish) soil.  The majority didn't bother to grow through it and decided to take the path of least resistance and grow horizontally. 

If you can't grow in the ground just realize they'll most likely never hit their potential.  Hop On!

Oops, sorry duboman, must have hit the button right after you did.  Great minds think alike, ha!
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: SecondRow_Sean on June 18, 2013, 05:31:57 PM
Yeah, I knew about the roots not liking to stay wet but I naively thought the pot was draining well.

Unfortunately, I can't put them in the ground right now nor do I have a spot where they can get sun all day. I realize this will limit their yield, but it's either this or not grow them at all.

Thanks for tall the advice, looks like I found out where I went wrong.
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: ccfoo242 on June 21, 2013, 02:21:28 AM
I had a similar problem last year. The Miracle Grow potting soil only lasted about 2 months. After that I started adding Miracle Grow every 3 weeks or so. This year I have bought some of the timed released miracle grow so hopefully I won't have to deal with it as often.
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: SecondRow_Sean on July 05, 2013, 02:26:14 PM
Boys, your advice was spot on. I allowed the pots to drain, things got worse before they got better, and once they started improving I added a little fertilizer. Thanks again for the help.

(http://imgur.com/qsEnZLm.jpg)

(http://imgur.com/vR9Db9g.jpg)
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: klickitat jim on July 05, 2013, 02:37:42 PM
Looks good.
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: ccfoo242 on July 05, 2013, 11:11:20 PM
Well done!
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: rustabust on June 02, 2016, 01:04:23 PM
I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to report that the exact same thing happened to me. My plant is in its second year in the same pot, growing on my balcony in DC. It had been rainey and damp through April and May and even though my balcony is covered, the soil remained damp all of the time so I hesitated to even water it, like ever. Oh yea, and the leaves were withering big time.

I managed to lean the pot on its side and drill a bunch of new holes and out came all the water. I had checked the bottom of the pot before and it looked like there were enough holes but I guess not. Maybe the original holes became clogged as this pot/soil sat on the balcony all winter.

Anyway glad I found this post with all the good advice. I'm hoping to be able to transplant this root into the ground next off season.

Cheers
Title: Re: Wilting Hops
Post by: txbrewingbm on November 06, 2018, 07:28:41 AM
There's lot of new things to learn from all of you.