Hops Males vs Females
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Bonita Molln
Posted on: January 28, 2000

I am interested in growing hops for my dried floral business. As I would be interested in the flowers that the female plants produce it brings me to a question I can’t find in any of my current resources. Do I need male and female plants to produce the flowers on the female? or are they self pollinating? I notice on page 30 of your 2000 catalog you offer seeds containing male and female, the plants however are all female, this is what confused me?

Can I order female plants only? And which variety would produce the nicest flowers and vine for drying?

Hops plants produce only one type of flower per plant. Male plants produce only flowers that only produce pollen and these type of flowers are like tiny catkins and soon fall off. Female plants produce little cones where the scales have the function of protecting the ovules at their base and catching airborne pollen produced by male plants.

The female plants we offer all produce sterile ovules at the base of the scales on the cones. Therefore the flowers will not produce seed, but will last much longer in fresh condition on the plant- hoping to trap that miracle pollen grain that will set a seed!

The seed we offer was produced by fertile female plants and we do not know which seed will be male and which female. Therefore the seed will produce a mix of roughly equal numbers of males and females. All of these seedlings will be fertile.

You can order copies of our female (sterile) plants, but we offer no male plants.

All of the named varieties we offer produce abundant cones, but I do not know if they differ significantly in appearance.

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