These instructions are sent with the plant gift
Hops are surprisingly easy to grow and thrive in our UK climate and have been used for centuries to create wonderfully flavoured ales and beers. They are climbing plants and will grow best up a sunny wall or partially shaded wall or support.
Whilst your plant is in a small pot it will need regular watering. Aim to water it heavily and then allow the top of the compost to dry out before watering heavily again. Hops vines are very vigorous and can put on up to a foot of growth a week in the growing season. They like a good free draining soil but if your garden soil is not suitable they do also thrive in a pot.
We expect these young plants to put on plenty more growth this year and with a bit of luck you should get your first set of flowers or ‘cones’ by mid summer. Be patient while these cones dry out and by the middle or end of September you should have your first crop of flavoursome hops.
There are now a host of small communities and individuals growing hops for small scale production and for home brewing and these easy to grow plants will produce a heavier harvest year after year.
After harvesting cut your vine right back to ground level and expect a fresh flush of new growth again in the Spring. As your vine matures it is best to remove the very first growth and any spindly branches periodically so that all the strength is concentrated in 3 or 4 main branches.
Hops plants are not greedy feeders but if the leaves start to turn a pale or mottled in colour your plant needs more nutrients and will benefit from a good dose mulch of organic matter.
Hops plants are deciduous so don’t be alarmed when it dies back in the winter. These plants are reasonably hardy but if we do have particularly cold spells (-8C or colder) then a fleece or heavy straw mulch will give your plant a bit more protection especially in the first couple of years.