The Veg Plot

How to take hop cuttings (note: it’s easy)

How to take hop cuttings

Want to multiple your hop harvest with minimal effort and expense? Keen to spread the love of hops with a beer-giving gardening gift? Then take cuttings of your hop plants. It’s easy, and here’s how…

Take a cutting of a hop plant

1. Select a shoot with at least three pairs of leaves

Wander up to your hop plant and ask it kindly if it would mind sparing one of its shoots (or more if you’re going cutting crazy). It won’t be painful. And it doesn’t even need to say goodbye to the shoot for quite some time yet. Permission granted, select a shoot with at least three pairs of leaves.

Take cutting from old hop plant

2. Snip out the middle leaves

Snip out a pair of leaves from the middle of the shoot. You can use a fancy gardening knife or a thumb nail. And apologise profusely for any pain this may have caused (you lying sod).

Growing a hop plant rhizome

3. Bury the shoot in compost

Fill a decent sized pot with compost and bury the leafless segment of shoot about 30-40mm deep. You need to keep this in place throughout the growing season so pin it in place with a peg or bent coat hanger.

New hop plant from old hop plant growth

4. Set aside and let it grow

Then all you have to do is wait… As the hop plant grows, so will your staked shoot. If it gets dry, water  it, and over time the nude area of shoot below the compost will start to develop roots. When it comes to the post-harvest cutting down of your hop plant a new rhizome will be fully formed within the pot, so simply sever the growth either side and, next year, a spanking new plant will emerge.

5. Brew some beer

Even more than the previous year.


    • Hi Thomas
      My horticultural science knowledge isn’t the best but I believe you’re right in it being referred to as a ‘vegetative section’. And as hops grow from rhizomes I assume the roots from this method of propagation form a rhizome as they grow.

    • Good question. They should be taken during their vigorous growing phase – you can start anytime the shoots are long enough (ie. with at least three pairs of leaves). I don’t know when the latest you can take them is as I always do mine earlier in the season but I would guess at least a few weeks before the flowers start to fill out.
      However, there’s no harm in trying towards the end of the season as a few cuttings won’t harm the plant and, if it fails, you can try again earlier next year.
      Let me know how you get on…

    • Yes, you can propagate hops like many other plants by cutting off a length of stem, trimming away the lower leaves and placing them in compost (better to use an end rather than the middle for this method). However, we’ve found the approach described where propagation occurs while the parent plant is still growing to be much more successful.

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