Author Topic: Homegrown hops not flowering  (Read 2108 times)

Online dolecek21

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Homegrown hops not flowering
« on: September 17, 2011, 10:41:03 AM »
So this is my first post here.  I've been lurking for a bit and have gotten a lot of good information.  Thanks for all who post this stuff!

I have grown hops for the first time this summer.  Two Centennials and two Cascades.  One of the Centennials has not flowered at all.  I think I read somewhere that any extended light source might have an effect on production.  This particular plant is by a motion sensor light, so it probably sees light from this throughout the night.  Could this light be the cause for the lack of flowering?  Has anyone else had an issue like this?  What else might cause a hop plant not to flower?

Also, in general how big is the window for harvesting?  I'm brewing with those that seem ready today, but there are others that are just starting to flower.

Thanks in advance!

Offline b-hoppy

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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2011, 06:55:35 AM »
When grown from rhizomes, the first year can be quite variable.  I've seen 25 feet of growth with tons of hops and sometimes you have the exact opposite.  As long as the plant without the cones looks to be healthy you should be fine for next year.  Any cones that are forming right now will probably not have enough time to develop fully before the weather turns for the worse.  I kinda doubt if the motion activated light had anything to do with the issue at hand - unless it's a really REALLY bright one that stays on for a long time.  Now it's time for a beer.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 08:04:38 AM »
there are some plants that will not flower if a significant amount of light interupts the dark cycle. I don't know if hops is one of them.
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 08:16:13 AM »
Where are you?  What kind of weather have you had?
My hops are anywhere from 3-7 years old and I didn't get squat this year because of the heat and drought.  Ansd since your plants are really very young you won't normally get many cones.  Plus the ones you do get won't really have much flavor or aroma, not for at least another year at best.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline Kit B

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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 01:58:24 PM »
I have some either Sterling or Liberty (can't recall) that just refuse to flower.
They grow upwards of 16 feet tall, but will not flower.
I've basically given up on them, after 4 years of no yield.
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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 09:22:10 PM »
Do you live in a rural or urban area?  Either way this is what I would do, but I don't live in a neighborhood and poop is something I can find without too much difficulty.  When the bines have died back for the year cover the area with an inch of manure and cover that with straw and just let it sit for the winter (assuming you have one).  In the spring your hop plants will be nice and happy and the bines will have no difficulty growing through the straw.  I realize this method isn't really applicable to everyone’s situation.  cheers, j

Online dolecek21

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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 10:34:22 PM »
I'm in Denver.  It's been pretty hot this summer, but not as extreme as a large portion of the county.  I have watered regularly all summer, so I don't think that is an issue.

I have 4 plants going, 2 Cascade and 2 Centennial, all first year.  The plant of issue is one of my Centennials.  It has grown very well, it just has not flowered at all and isn't showing any signs that it will.  One of my Cascades got a late start, and is now just starting to flower.  Probably too late, but oh well.  The other two plants have produced about half an ounce each (ok I guess for first year?).  The cones were of pretty good size (especially the cascade) and smelled pretty good.  I brewed with them this weekend.   

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 11:44:40 AM »
So this got me thinking about hops and photoperiods and...other plants...

I did a little digging and indeed hops are senstitive to the length of the dark period in terms of flowering. I don't know for specific strains what this photoperiod is but I know that with other plants that are photoperiod sensitive even a little light at the wrong time of year can really mess with the flowering. As I understand the process a particular light sensitive chemical builds up during darkness which is destroyed by light. When that chemical reaches a critical level it causes the plant to switch from vegetative growth to flowering growth. After the switch it is less important that the plants be protected from light, although too much light at anytime during the flowering period can cause issues (cross tie to the no aroma thread here) with the cones reaching maturity.

So it may be time to get some heavy black plastic and bodge together a black box for those hops!!!


some good info here it looks like http://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/wp-content/uploads/jason-perrault-transcript.pdf
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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2011, 11:46:22 AM »
Interesting article.  I knew the whole latitude dependent hop growth thing had to do with day length, but its nice to know a little more about why.  I'd imagine the sporadic nature of my motion sensor light would have little effect, especially since it is not uv, but interesting nevertheless.   

On a side note, since location came up in the thread, how do you set your profile to show your location.  I included location in my preferences, but it doesn't seem to show up.

Thanks!

Offline hokerer

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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 12:14:10 PM »
On a side note, since location came up in the thread, how do you set your profile to show your location.  I included location in my preferences, but it doesn't seem to show up.

Go to your profile and click "Forum Profile Information".  Enter your location in the "Personal Text" box under your avatar
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Online dolecek21

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Re: Homegrown hops not flowering
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 05:42:56 PM »
Ah, thanks!