DSC02134My Cascade hop plant has finally emerged.

In just a couple short weeks, it’s gone from a 3 inch prickly stem peeking out of my mulch bed, to a 16 inch bine climbing to the sky. It’s pretty cool to check on it each day and see noticeable changes taking place. Hop plants come from the Cannabaceae family, so it’s no coincidence that they resemble their slightly less legal cousin, the marijuana plant. Hopefully the neighbors don’t freak when the bine gets tall and call the cops thinking I’m cultivating a pot operation. 

I’m planning to get the trellis system set up this weekend so the plant has somewhere to latch onto, otherwise the weight of the leaves, cones and thick bine will eventually destroy it. Giving the bine something to attach itself to also frees up the plant to focus its energy primarily on producing cones, and not maintaining a solid support structure.

My other two hop varieties, Fuggle and Horizon, have not fared as well. Planted them in a different spot in the back yard, and have yet to see any signs of life. From what I’ve read they’re not as hearty as Cascade, and may be a bit temperamental given our widely varying weather conditions day to day here in Minnesota. So I’m thinking about digging up the rhizomes and either replanting in an area that receives a little more sunlight, or possibly dropping them into a couple large flower pots and bringing them inside to keep them a little more protected until they can gain a foothold.

Can’t wait for the actual cones to start developing!