Botany

Hops (Humulus lupulus) belong botanically to the nettle order of the hemp family

Tettnanger Hopfendolden

1. Hops are dioecian i.e. plants only develop either male or female flowers. Only female hops are cultivated; the umbels develop from their flowers.

2. Fertilised umbels do not meet the quality criteria. Male hops growing wild in the area are systematically eradicated to prevent fertilisation.

3. Hops are generally pruned approx. 10 - 15 cm under ground level from the end of March to the end of April, depending on type. The resulting cuttings can be used as propagation material for new plantings.

4. The rootstock is long lived, frost hardy, partly woody and has strong roots which serve to store nutrition. The hop rootstock can live 50 years or more.

5. Hops need a support to climb. In the wild they grow mostly on the fringes of woods and river leas and climb through trees and shrubs. In cultivation in Germany hot annealed steel wire (1,1 to 1,3 mm diameter) is generally used; in other regions coir and paper ties are used.

6. With warm nights and favourable conditions hops can grow up to 30 cm per day and 8 m in approx. 2 months and are regarded as world champion climbers.

7. Hops are short day plants. The long growths develop during increasing day length (long days); the flowers begin to develop around the 21sr. of June during increasing day length (short days).

8. On each plant 3 selected tendrils of equal vigour are twined clockwise around the wire. Surplus shoots are removed with a hop knife.

9. Up to 4.000 hop rootstocks per hectare can be trained in the Tettnang estate. The shoots (tendrils) are hexagonal and have climbing bristles.

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