Has anyone grown hops (Humulus lupulus)? Is it very invasive, could it be grown in a large pot? Hops are used in making beer, and sometimes people eat the shoots. I am more interested in the latter. Do different varieties taste different or are they all reasonably similar?
We’ve thought about it. I’m reading Laura Ten Eyck and Dietrich Gehring’s book “The Hop Growers Handbook” from Chelsea Green Publishing. I really like the book and her writing style. She does make a statement to the effect that you don’t just decide to stop growing hops because the root mass is so large. I haven’t gotten the impression they’re aggressive spreaders, but likely too large to container grow. Chelsea Green has a sale a couple times a year and you can save a few bucks on the book.
I have some planted for three years. There’s a few of the more aggressive plants starting to spread but nothing I would call invasive.
I can’t comment on the taste of the shoots, I’ve never tried them.
Yes , I would call them aggressive .
Can grow a foot a day in the spring, a twining vine.
So you need a support, very tall pole , 15 + feet
Also the vine is kind of scratchy on bare skin, such that if you walk by with out a shirt on and brush against it, it is irritating.
I use them for a soothing tea. Good … Relaxing at bed time.
Never ate the shoots, but there are a lot of them !
Can you tel me more about the tea please? Did you use leaves or the cones? Does it taste nice?
Yes , the cones , hops, it’s a sedative.
Slighty bitter, as is a really hoppy beer.
Some may not appreciate it. As the same with hoppy beer.
I like it. Soothing .
This might explain that sedative quality:
Not a bad article- easy enough for the layman to understand but thorough enough, I expect, for the more specialized. And quite well written.
That’s really interesting, thanks for posting!
I have Hops in pots. Ill take pictures in the morning. I am sure they are not doing as well as they could in the ground. This is there second year and I got cones for the first time. I planted 3 and 2 of them have been stolen by wild life. I assumed I just accidently dumped a pot with hops last year but this year a second just went missing pot and all I know something had to have taken it.
We have hops in ground, they’re about four years old, planted by previous owners before we moved in. Don’t know what variety. They climb a big trellis, and do get away from it a bit during the growing season, but they’re not really invasive (at least in our Zone 5/6 location). Just big - probably too big to be happy in a container.
I can’t speak to eating them, my husband uses the flowers in homebrewing. Our flower production isn’t great. We get lots of vegetative growth, not a lot of cones… Not sure if hops just don’t yield a lot, or if our conditions aren’t good for them? They’re in partial sun on moderately acidic soil. And we haven’t bothered with fertilizer, so… Probably doing a few things wrong, there (though anyone with advice on getting more hop flowers, please chime in! ).
And, @TurtleWax - different varieties definitely taste (and smell) different. Some are piney, some are citrusy or earthy. That’s the flowers, though. I don’t know about the shoots!
Just wanted to revive this thread as my hops shoots are currently comming up. I look forward to eating the shoots every year. I would say I get 500 or so shoots comming up and leave about 8 or so to mature and produce hops which I use for beer. The remaining shoots I break off when they are less than a foot tall and still tender and prepare like asparagus. I personally think the shoots have a better flavor than asparagus.
I’ve grown them both in a pot and in the ground. The flowers don’t develop until six feet off the ground. I never got any flowers out of the pot both because the pot was on the ground level, north facing patio of a two story condo building and I only used a 8 ft dowel set in the bottom of a very large pot. I’ve had better success in the ground at my house since I have them running up to the roof line. Generally they are planted in slight mound 3-4 feet across. Never tried the shoots but have been tempted.
I suspect the non-bitter cultivar ‘Teamaker’ could be a desirable vegetable cultivar (in addition to its tea use). I have seen it for sale online, but not shippable to my state so I don’t have it yet personally.