Growing Hops at Home: Benefits and Tips

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Markus Spiske

Whether you’re a beer lover or not, growing hops is a worthwhile pursuit. The climbing hops plant also works well as a natural privacy screen! We’ll look at how to grow hops at home. 

It’s not a very common plant to add to your home garden, as most people associate the hops plant with beer production. However, it’s also a wonderful food source for native insects and butterflies. By growing hops at home, you’ll be able to brew your own beer and contribute to the protection of important species! 

How to Grow Hops: Tips and Tricks 

hops plant
Hops are a beautiful and unique addition to any garden. Come late summer, misty mornings help release a wonderful spicy aroma. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Markus Spiske )

Hops are one of the main ingredients in beer, adding bitterness, flavor, and aroma to the beverage. Not only that, but the female cones are also said to have an antibacterial element. To ensure that this natural shade-giver thrives in your garden, consider the following tips when growing hops at home: 

  • Location: a sunny location is necessary for hops to grow well. Hops plants also proliferate underground and can quickly choke out neighboring plants, so give them plenty of space. 
  • Soil: these climbers thrive best in well-drained, slightly moist, humus-rich soil.
  • Support: hops can grow up to 7 feet fall, so they need plenty of space, as well as a climbing frame. You can train it up the side of your house, or use a trellis to give it more support. 
  • Garden: the best time to plant hops is in the spring, and you should apply a thin layer of mulch after planting so the soil doesn’t dry out too quickly.
  • Container: use a large container placed on a sunny patio or balcony, and keep the soil adequately fertilized with compost. 

Caring for a Hops Plant

growing hops at home
In order for your hops plant to thrive, you do need to prune it. You can use the hops to brew your own beer, or simply just add them to your compost pile. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Markus Spiske )

Hops shoots can grow up to 4 inches per day. However, in order for the plant to thrive and achieve such quick growth, it needs plenty of moisture and nutrients. Here’s how to get the most out of your hops plant: 

  • Watering: hops needs a lot of moisture, so water it generously and keep the soil moist. However, avoid waterlogging at all costs. If your hops plant grows in a container, you’ll need to water it a lot, especially on sunny days so the soil doesn’t dry out. 
  • Fertilize: these plants require plenty of nutrients, especially when planted in a container. The more the plant grows, the more food it needs.
  • Pruning: aim to prune hops twice a year, once in the summer and again in winter. In the summer months, prune wild shoots to help your plant keep its shape, and in the winter, cut the plant back to the ground so it can start again come spring. 
  • Diseases and Pests: from time to time your hops may be attacked by aphids. You can get rid of them using simple home remedies. Read more here: How to Get Rid of Aphids: Helpful Home Remedies

Tip: If you want to make your garden as insect-friendly as possible, you should seriously consider growing hops. A hedge of hops not only provides you with a natural screen but also serves as a habitat for numerous insects.

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Hopfen anpflanzen: Darauf musst du bei Standort und Pflege achten

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