Hops health on Windowsill
Question from: Mike Kay
Posted on: July 21, 2009

I am a beginner gardener and I recently purchased 6 hops plants from Richters. Two Cascade, 2 Hallertaur and 2 Mount Hood.

Since we are still getting frost conditions, I have been trying to keep them alive indoors under fluorescent lighting and also on the window sill (have tried both methods) and have been watering them regularly. I am still getting new green leaves emerging from the top of the vine but it appears that almost all of the leaves below the top flowering leaves are starting to turn yellow (at the edges first and then eventually the whole leaf dries out). The dried yellow leaves are not falling off, but they will come off easily with a very slight pull.

We have even tried to put the plants in a larger pot with some potting soil in the event that they did not have enough space to grow and this hasn’t seemed to help. All of my plants are exhibiting the same symptoms.

Do you think my problems are A) over watering? B) under watering? C) not enough sunlight? or D) a nutrient deficiency?

I was wondering how much water these plants require? my pots have drainage holes at the bottom as well.

Also I should point out that I am also growing alpine strawberries, catnip and genovese basil in the same area and these plants seem to be doing a lot better than the hops.

Hops like moist, rich, well-draining soil and full sun to part shade. The probable cause of the leaf drop would be the change in conditions. Since you bought the plants in early spring they would have been in our greenhouse before that- a cool greenhouse, I might add. You now try to grow them indoors, where it tends to be dry and warm with little drop in temperature at night. The other plants don’t need it as damp and like heat more than hops, so they do better. Once the hops has regrown new leaves it will be fine until it can go outside. But never let it dry out- it reacts badly to that, because the roots die.

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