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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: brewmichigan on May 25, 2011, 07:53:16 PM

Title: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: brewmichigan on May 25, 2011, 07:53:16 PM
I am posting this hear thinking it's the best of any places.

Okay, I have one hop plant at my house (nugget), which is 3 years old this year. It came up just fine and starting growing quickly. It got to around four feet and starting looking very funny. The leaves all curled and the ends starting becoming deformed. I was wondering if anyone has ever seen this before. The only thing I can think that caused this was the mulch. My wife bought some brown colored mulch that she put down in the flower bed (my hop plant is in the flower bed). The brown colored mulch had a lot of brown coloring that came off on her gloves and pants when she was doing this. Could it have caused an issue with the hops? I decided after she put that stuff down I was not going to use the hops anyways but I still like having it grow through the summer.

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Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 25, 2011, 08:10:37 PM
I have a few that look that way (magnum, chinook).  It maybe the bad winter and cold wet spring?

Hope someone can say what is really the cause
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: bluesman on May 25, 2011, 08:53:29 PM
Looks like one of the leaves has dried up. How much water have they been getting? Are there any other plants near them? Looks like a symptom of lack of water.  :-\
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: tschmidlin on May 25, 2011, 08:59:14 PM
It sounds like a virus to me.  It may have come from the mulch, but it may not.

http://www.freshops.com/hop-growing/hop-diseases-and-pests
Quote
Viruses
Symptoms become particularly common during cool periods following a period that has been favorable for hop growth.
[snip]
The side arms are shunted and vine growth is poor. Quite often the growing tip of the vines curves downward and becomes brittle and dies. As the new shoots grow this also happens to them. The leaves are dark green and curled downward. The cones may also turn brown and fail to develop.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: bluesman on May 25, 2011, 09:04:23 PM
It sounds like a virus to me.  It may have come from the mulch, but it may not.

http://www.freshops.com/hop-growing/hop-diseases-and-pests
Quote
Viruses
Symptoms become particularly common during cool periods following a period that has been favorable for hop growth.
[snip]
The side arms are shunted and vine growth is poor. Quite often the growing tip of the vines curves downward and becomes brittle and dies. As the new shoots grow this also happens to them. The leaves are dark green and curled downward. The cones may also turn brown and fail to develop.

That sounds about right Tom.

Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: pinnah on May 25, 2011, 09:14:51 PM
I have seen some plants exhibit those symptoms, some that got some herbicide overspray.

Any chance of that?  Check out this article related to aminopyralid herbicides (http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/killer-compost-zmgz11zrog.aspx) persisting in the ground and in compost,
not sure if it could travel with mulch?

Is it still growing?
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: ibru on May 25, 2011, 09:20:44 PM
That leaf curling looks familiar. Take a look at the under side of the leaves. Any sign of bugs? We get a lot of mites and aphids on our trees and I know the hop growers out here spray for them.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: Slowbrew on May 25, 2011, 09:30:01 PM
I have seen some plants exhibit those symptoms, some that got some herbicide overspray.

Any chance of that?  Check out this article related to aminopyralid herbicides (http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/killer-compost-zmgz11zrog.aspx) persisting in the ground and in compost,
not sure if it could travel with mulch?

Is it still growing?

That was my first thought too.  Used to see that kind of damage on Mom's grape vines after the fields were sprayed.  In grapes herbicide over spray will make them not produce fruit too.

I can't say with any certainty as I am not an agronomist nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn and Suites last night.  8^)

Paul
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 25, 2011, 09:52:26 PM
I looked for bugs, as that happens.  No bugs.

Water is NOT a problem here this spring.  The 4th thunderstorm of the day just rolled through.  We are way ahead of average on precipitation.

Will have to see it the plants do better if we get more warm days.  The virus thing is not so good, hope it is not that.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: phillamb168 on May 26, 2011, 09:33:26 AM
Before looking at the pics I figured it might be aphids like I have, but no, that's some serious deformation there. If I had to guess I'd say pesticides or some kinda soil problem, possibly? Dunno about hop sicknesses, so I can't post about that.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: brewmichigan on May 26, 2011, 04:36:37 PM
Like hopfenudmalz said, rain is no issue. If anything, they've had too much water. \

The plant has seemed to stop growing. There hasn't been any growth from the tip of the plant in weeks although the leaves are growing but it's not climbing anymore.

That's the only plant I have so I can't comment on whether or not it's happening to any others. All my wifes plants look fine that are close to the hop.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 26, 2011, 05:28:22 PM
This is the 3rd or 4th wetest spring on record in Michigan, and we are just a few inches from the record, with more rain predicted.  It has been cool also.  I am about 30 miles from the OP.
 
Doing some reading on the Internet, it could be downy mildew.  Not what I wanted to find out that it is.  These are grown for fun, and the actual time and money that goes into it makes those the most expensive hops I brew with.  I don't like it, but not going to lose any sleep over it.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: gmwren on May 26, 2011, 05:31:26 PM
Similar question was posed on another forum with hops showing a distinct upward curling. It could be the result of 2,4-D or other herbicides used in weed and feed fertilizers. Even if you were careful not to over spray, hot, humid conditions cause some herbicides to volatilize and affect your hops from some distance. This is the first year mine didn't curl as I applied the weed and feed stuff much earlier this spring.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 26, 2011, 05:46:50 PM
Similar question was posed on another forum with hops showing a distinct upward curling. It could be the result of 2,4-D or other herbicides used in weed and feed fertilizers. Even if you were careful not to over spray, hot, humid conditions cause some herbicides to volatilize and affect your hops from some distance. This is the first year mine didn't curl as I applied the weed and feed stuff much earlier this spring.

That could be a cause, but it has not been hot here.  Good to know and will take care with any herbicides.  The ones with the worst signs of this are closest to the grass, so maybe the turfbuilder had some influence - but that has been used in past years.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: brewmichigan on May 26, 2011, 06:35:16 PM
Similar question was posed on another forum with hops showing a distinct upward curling. It could be the result of 2,4-D or other herbicides used in weed and feed fertilizers. Even if you were careful not to over spray, hot, humid conditions cause some herbicides to volatilize and affect your hops from some distance. This is the first year mine didn't curl as I applied the weed and feed stuff much earlier this spring.

I hadn't thought about that but my neighbor sprayed his lawn with weed killer not long before this happened. I wonder if the wind could have carried over into my lawn and near the plants. I'm only 15 feet away from his yard.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: b-hoppy on May 27, 2011, 04:01:24 AM
Herbicide damage was my first thought as the chemical can reach non-target plants not only by volatilization but also by drift.  Windy conditions or high pressure at the nozzle can create problems.  Cupping of the leaves is one sign and another would be the stunted growth.  It does not look like downy mildew as the lower leaves are usually the first to show signs of the disease.

I've had some leaf cupping occur during years of intense rainfall but couldn't really pinpoint the excess moisture as the sure cause. 

Now that the damage is done about all you can do is wait.  I have a feeling the little girl will make a come-back as their kind have a strong will to live.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: gmac on May 27, 2011, 04:25:06 AM
I'm not sold on herbicide damage although it's possible.  Rapid growth from 2,4-D or dicamba (both part of standard lawn spray) overspray causes epinastic growth which results in twisting and cupping.  These herbicides are IAA mimics (indolacetic acid) which duplicate plant hormones responsible for cell elongation which is what leads to the distortion.  Thing is, if it was a very low rate of drift I would expect more cupping of the leaves and leaf elongation.  At higher rates, the leaves become small and stunted but the stem becomes dramatically twisted.

My thoughts are that virus is the most likely.  Some of the "mosaic" viruses can cause similar growth although it is often accompanied by light and dark patterning of the leaves (in a mosaic pattern, hence the name).  Aphids were also mentioned and many viruses are vectored by aphids or other sucking pests.  Can't say for sure that this is the case but that's my guess based on the pictures. 

Just to back this up, I spent over 10 years doing formulation chemistry screening for a major agriculture herbicide company and I am a certified crop advisor and agronomist so I'm not completely guessing.  I'd say either a virus or herbicide drift.  Not sure that it came in the mulch, kind of unlikely because most of the herbicides used today have very little carry-over but it's possible I guess.

If it's herbicide damage, it should grow out of it next year.  If it's a virus, they'll likely die.  Sorry.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: brewmichigan on May 27, 2011, 04:19:44 PM
I'm not sold on herbicide damage although it's possible.  Rapid growth from 2,4-D or dicamba (both part of standard lawn spray) overspray causes epinastic growth which results in twisting and cupping.  These herbicides are IAA mimics (indolacetic acid) which duplicate plant hormones responsible for cell elongation which is what leads to the distortion.  Thing is, if it was a very low rate of drift I would expect more cupping of the leaves and leaf elongation.  At higher rates, the leaves become small and stunted but the stem becomes dramatically twisted.

gmac, I don't have any other pics right now but almost all the leaves on the plant are cupped. That was the first sign of damage. I thought they might have had either too much or too little water. I know it's not too little so I thought they were over watered but the herbicide theory fits much better.

I like the response though. Very thorough.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: gmac on May 27, 2011, 04:32:38 PM
If the leaves are more cupped, I'd go with low rate of herbicide drift injury.  Lawn sprays are almost all comprised of phenoxy herbicides like I mentioned above which causes that symptom.  I'm not that far from you (I'm in Ontario) and so I know we've both had a heck of a wet spring but I don't think that would cause it although I'm not as familiar with hops as with row crops.

It could grow out of it depending on the rate.  I've done titration trials down into the ppb range and these sorts of products are very active, even at ultra-low rates.  If it grows out of the damage and bears cones, I would use them but not everyone would.  Thing is, if the plant recovers then the herbicide has been metabolized or degraded sufficiently for the plant to over come it which means that any residue in the cones would be at an incredibly low rate but if you have concerns about using the cones, that's your choice.  If the plants survive and I think they likely will as long as the growing point is not killed (still growing even though distorted), they should be fine next year.

You could remove the mulch and replace it on the off-chance that it was a carry-over problem with the mulch but I don't think that's as likely.  More likely is drift from a neighbour or yourself applying lawn chemicals.  Some of them exhibit a phenomenon called vapour drift where the product will volatilize and move off-target even if there was absolutely no wind (dicamba is particularly notorious for this).  I burnt my hydrangea last year and I think I know what I'm doing.  It happens a lot when temps get really high.   
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: brewmichigan on May 27, 2011, 05:44:13 PM
Well 2,4-d was used so if dicamba is known for drift, I would think that is the issue. I think the plant is done for the year though. All the ends are so deformed it's not growing like it should which isn't a problem. It will be back next year and hopefully that should be a good year since it'll 4 years by then. Thanks the awesome replies.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 12, 2011, 12:03:59 PM
My plants that look bad in the spring are doing well now, but were delayed a bit by the deformed growth.  Must have been the overspray as gmac suggested.

Might even get some off of the chimook.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: brewmichigan on July 12, 2011, 01:50:56 PM
Mine are the same. Because the spraying happened so soon in the spring they shot right through that and are big and bushy now. They're so out of control they broke the stake I have them attached to.
Title: Re: Deformed Hop Plant
Post by: Slowbrew on July 12, 2011, 02:05:05 PM
I'm sure everyone know this but avoid windy days when spraying any herbicides.  Even if they aren't prone to drift the wind will drive them all over.

Some of the lawn service companies in Des Moines spray lawns whenever it fits their schedule, rain or shine or gale force winds.  Makes me shake my head.

Glad to hear the plants survived.  I hope next year is better.

Paul