Author Topic: Hop life span?  (Read 3758 times)

Offline Pinski

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Hop life span?
« on: June 09, 2011, 12:16:30 AM »
I was talking with my Dad tonight and he mentioned that the Nuggets I planted on his property circa '94 were still growing.  This was my first hop plant. Got me to thinking about pulling some rhizomes next year to bring to Portland.  I'm having a hard time finding information on the lifespan of hops. Wondering if I cut "young" rhizomes if its like starting over or if the viability of the root stock is cumulative for age of the mother plant. I have no idea how old the original cutting I purchased was. How long do hops live productive lives?
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Offline akr71

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Re: Hop life span?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2011, 05:07:30 AM »
I would guess (and that's all it is - a guess) that if you take a rhizome and transplant it, its a first year plant.  It has to rebuild its root structure and get established in its new location.  I suppose that the larger the piece you transplant, the quicker it will re-establish itself.
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Offline b-hoppy

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Re: Hop life span?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2011, 07:13:17 AM »
A rhizome is a rhizome.  It's a reproductive underground shoot that develops during the growing season and if you lop one off and stick it in the ground elsewhere, it will produce a clone of the 'mother' plant.  If the mother plant has contracted any virus/disease problems, the clone will most likely carry those problems to it's new location.

As long as the original plant material has been kept healthy I've heard reports of them being productive for up to 60 years.  I'm sure there are variables that will push this number either way but as long as it's growing in a happy, healthy environment, I don't see why they couldn't be productive for many more years.  Most of mine are around 20 yrs. old with a few that are 25. 

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Hop life span?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2011, 09:20:56 AM »
We have them growing wild around here from former hop farms.  At least one of the farms stopped growing hops sometime before 1904, but you can still find and harvest hops in the area.  We made a CAP from the hops a few years ago.  The point being that they can survive a long time, and if you take a cutting and treat it well you should get a good crop.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Hop life span?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2011, 09:31:49 AM »
Good question. I'll bet they will continue to grow as long as the conditions permit.

I recommend contacting these folks for your answer.  :)

http://www.oregonhops.org/
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Hop life span?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2011, 10:50:07 AM »
I've always assumed they were like irises, rhubarb, horseradish and the like.  These plants will produce (and reproduce) pretty much forever if they have water, food and no one sprays them with herbicide.  I've seen irises that were dug and dumped in the ditch along a road come up the next year and take over the ditch in 6 - 10 years if the ditch isn't cut and bailed.

Dig up some roots and take them along.  I think you'll be fine.

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Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Hop life span?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 02:23:13 AM »
We have them growing wild around here from former hop farms.  At least one of the farms stopped growing hops sometime before 1904, but you can still find and harvest hops in the area.  We made a CAP from the hops a few years ago.  The point being that they can survive a long time, and if you take a cutting and treat it well you should get a good crop.

I wonder if the USDA Hop Research Station in Corvallis knows about these. Is there any interest in "heirloom" hop varieties like there is for heirloom fruits and veggies?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Hop life span?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 07:48:31 AM »
We have them growing wild around here from former hop farms.  At least one of the farms stopped growing hops sometime before 1904, but you can still find and harvest hops in the area.  We made a CAP from the hops a few years ago.  The point being that they can survive a long time, and if you take a cutting and treat it well you should get a good crop.

I wonder if the USDA Hop Research Station in Corvallis knows about these. Is there any interest in "heirloom" hop varieties like there is for heirloom fruits and veggies?

there is starting to be. One of the hops I have been playing around with lately is Ivanhoe, which is an old heirloom nugget variety from Northern California that one grower up here has revived. it's really nice, lots of tropical fruit.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Hop life span?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2011, 09:59:09 AM »
We have them growing wild around here from former hop farms.  At least one of the farms stopped growing hops sometime before 1904, but you can still find and harvest hops in the area.  We made a CAP from the hops a few years ago.  The point being that they can survive a long time, and if you take a cutting and treat it well you should get a good crop.

I wonder if the USDA Hop Research Station in Corvallis knows about these. Is there any interest in "heirloom" hop varieties like there is for heirloom fruits and veggies?
I imagine they are aware that there are hops growing wild from old farms all over the NW.  I'm not sure they'd be considered heirloom in the sense that veggies are though, because of the different propagation methods (ie seeds vs. rhizomes).
Tom Schmidlin