Japanese Hops
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Delise Weir
Posted on: June 3, 1998

I’m growing some of your Japanese hops and would like to know if they grow as tall as other hops? Are they perennial in zone 9, coastal Santa Cruz, California? Do they flowers beautifully like other hops?

Japanese hops is a wild native climber of east China. In Chinese it is known as "Lu Cao". It is used in Chinese medicine as a diuretic and tonic for the genito-urinary system. It has proven antibiotic properties, which explains its traditional use for tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid, dysentery, cystitus, mastitus, tonsillitis and malaria.

Japanese hops is a fast growing annual climber. It reaches 6 meters (20 feet) or more, just like the regular European beer hops (Humulus lupulus), but its flowers are not as prominent as the masses of miniature cone-like flowers seen on female plants of Humulus lupulus.

It is easy to grow from seeds sown in early spring. In zone 9 it could be sown directly where it is to be grown, but in colder areas it should be sown in pots or flats and transplanted outdoors when the risk of frost is over.

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