Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hops
Humulus lupulus

Family: Cannabaceae
Genus: Humulus (HUM-uh-lus) (Info)
Species: lupulus (lup-OO-lus) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

52 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Vines and Climbers

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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6 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive francisca On Feb 3, 2013, francisca from san vicente
Chile wrote:

I got a few stems from an old german man down south, planted them in my garden three months ago. They are steadily growing, eagerly creeping up the ropes we set for them. But we do not know what variety they are......anyone know how can I find out?

Negative micheflowers On May 15, 2011, micheflowers from Peoria, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant has been very invasive in my yard. It has crawled all over the ground and up and over the fence to cover the
mock orange. I thought I had removed most of it last year but it's up stronger than ever this year. It is a beautiful vine but I would only recommend it if you have a farm or acreage. I was unaware that it can cause skin irritants and after trying to remove it last year I had a swollen arm that broke out and was full of itchy scratchy lesions for almost 6 weeks!

I also have a client that has the hops vine planted on a very large fence and it is completely out of control and growing all over her beds. Her landscaper has repeatedly tried to dig it out but cannot get all of it. Her vine is in 100 percent sun and mine is in the shade and it has thrived equally well in both settings.

Positive NTOLERANCE On Aug 4, 2009, NTOLERANCE from Cottage Grove, WI wrote:

I currently have 4 Humulus Lupus varieties growing in my yard: Bianca, Golden, Cascade and Nugget. As a homwe brewer, I planned to use these in my brews, but as statd above, the properties of each hops vary greatly depending on a number of factors regarding soil, climate, ect. This can affect the flavor and characteristic of your beer. I use them now for aroma in my beer, by dry hopping them in the kegs or secondary fermentation. They will not add to the bitterness of the brew in this use, only in aroma. I would suggest that the location of your hops be thought out thoroughly. Most hops desire full sun, but some require partial sun/shade. Planting them near trees isnt something I would recommend if youre planning to harvest the hops, as the vines will wrap themselves around any tree/plants that they can. Harvesting cones out of a evergreen tree isnt fun. Mildew is a problem when it comes to hops, expecially in humid climates. Most professional hop growers use drip irrigation to help keep the crown from being too moist, thereby keeping mildew at bay. I used a slightly different method as seen in my pic, by the use of silt fencing as a weed blocker, underlayment. Keeps the soil dry on the surface. No mildew for three years now.

Positive giftgas On May 5, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I grabbed a clone from user "JamesCO"...let me tell you, this is an amazing's growing almost 1/4" a day under a kitchen light, and it's only just now sprouting roots from the rhizome.

Neutral Robubba On Dec 30, 2008, Robubba from Moulton, IA wrote:

I read this plant doesn't do very well with companions because it sucks tons of nutrients. Clover would probably be the best nitrogen replacing companion I could think of.

Positive ineedacupoftea On Aug 4, 2005, ineedacupoftea from Denver, CO wrote:

I love this leafy thing. I also happen to like the feel of the bristly twining stems. A supurb plant for the novice. Even in a very hot, very dry climate, it thrives. I will add some unsaid notes about it:

The roots ( not runners) point out at angles from the root ball, some running parallel to the soil surface, others strait down. These can be more than nine feet long after the plant's second year. (I love to dig) This characteristic makes it excellent for drought-plagued areas or xeriscaping, being able to tap water sources lower than even most trees go.

Another note as to an invasive nature: Not naturally. An interesting thing I found with two plants, both moved in February to a new site; was that the plant whose root ball was buried at soil-level carried on as usual and grew from that center.

But the other plant, whom I buried an inch or two underground, made runners of it's stems that had been buried. In other words, those branches grew out horizontally, regardless of the fact that they were underground, and sprouted up a few feet away, rooting where they were.

Simply, planting it too deep will make it a running plant when it does not seem to otherwise.

Both plants have grown 25 feet this season in their new home, and are covered with young buds. I will be experamenting with growing the species and H. lupulus 'Aureus' next to each other next year for comparison and contrast. I'll have to dig up one of the originals, so if anyone wants starts of it this late fall...


Positive Pameladragon On Mar 10, 2004, Pameladragon from Appomattox, VA wrote:

Hops is a plant that has been grown in kitchen gardens for centuries. We brew our own beer but don't used the hops we grow because it is too difficult to control the quality of the active substances.

However, it is a wonderful vine for covering fences or unsightly mounds in your yard and will return every year from the roots. It grows on our pasture fences and the horses leave it alone because of the stem spines.

The female flowers are the source of lupulin, the essential oil that makes beer both bitter and fragrant, depending of the variety grown. I find the scent very pleasant and it does have a mild soporific affect, making it an excellent ingredient for filling Dream Pillows.

Grow from seed or buy roots in the spring of established cultivars (recommended). Divide by splitting well established clumps in the early spring, before the last frost.

While a strong grower, this plant is not invasive in the mint/bamboo sense of the word. It is easy to cut back the vines and it does die back to the ground every fall.

Harvest the female flowers for craft use while they still have lots of gobs of lupulin on them. You can see this as little golden dots that are sticky to the touch. Let dry in the shade and store in airtight containers or in the freezer.

It is not necessary to grow male plants to get flowers, in fact they take up a lot of room and are not as attractive. If you are limited in space, buy a few female cultivar root cuttings and don't bother with seed. Seedlings seem to have a disproportionate number of males.

I have seen this plant growing on tall pyramidal supports in colonial gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia and Old Salem, North Carolina. If you are doing a period kitchen garden or herb garden, this plant should be included if you can give it the space. It is very ornamantal.

Positive Lilith On May 2, 2002, Lilith from Durham
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

A rather coarse, tough vine climbing by tendril-like tips to the twining stems. The backward-pointing, stiff hairs provide extra anchorage but can give a painful scratch. Cultivated plants are trained up strings supported by tall poles in fields. Tough fibres from the stems have been used in the manufacture of cloth and a form of paper has also been made from the stems.

Tips of young shoots are edible and can be used fresh in salads or cooked like Asparagus, the latter method being favoured by the Romans. Hops produce the characteristic bitter taste of beer, a use extending at least back to the Middle Ages. Extracts from the female flowers have a mild sedative action and have been used for insomnia and nervous ailments.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Concord, California
Yosemite Lakes, California
Clifton, Colorado
Walsenburg, Colorado
Peoria, Illinois
Lisbon, Maine
Mesick, Michigan
Milford, Michigan
Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Farmington, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Stover, Missouri
Missoula, Montana
Plainfield, New Jersey
Buffalo, New York
Polkton, North Carolina
Bend, Oregon
Chiloquin, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Terrebonne, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Appomattox, Virginia
Seattle, Washington
Falling Waters, West Virginia
Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
Dubois, Wyoming

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