Hops in Southern California

From hop rhizome to young vine

Several people have asked a question we were curious about: what varieties of hops are best to grow in warm climates such as Southern California? We asked around and the consensus seems to be Cascade and Nugget among others. Greg Beron, one of the co-owners of Culver City Homebrewing Supply Co., has a couple of different hops rhizomes for sale that he says grow well here in Los Angeles. The shop’s parking lot, in fact, has many small plastic barrels planted with hops vines growing up string attached to the east side of the building.

Homegrown Evolution’s own hop farming experiment ended in the spring of last year after we accidentally plopped some home built scaffolding on top of the tiny vine while undertaking the heinous task of scraping and painting the front of the house. Planting it in terrible soil doomed it to failure anyways. We’re experimenting with growing both Cascade and Nugget hops in a big self irrigating planter with the hope that we can transfer them to the ground next year or the year after. In the meantime we’ll improve our soil with another application of “craptonite“.

Some hops growing links:

Hop Gardening

A list of Hop varieties for all climates

How to build a PVC hops trellis

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11 Comments

  1. Could you continue to grow them in a SIP and never transfer to the ground? I’ve read a few blogs in which the growers only use SIPs, even if they have ground to work with. I’m new to this, so I’m full of questions.

    David

  2. David,

    I’ve heard conflicting reports on growing hops in containers. Coincidentally someone sent me photos of hops successfully grown in a very large container today. We’ll see–you would definitely have a larger plant with a bigger harvest if the hops could grow in fertile ground.

  3. There is a hops vine at the Center for Regenerative Studies that doesn’t get too much extra water and is really healthy. I unfortunately don’t know what kind it is, but I think i’ll get a cutting soon. If anyone is ever out there, it is in the amphitheater right next to the kumquats and the ornamental passiflora. it smells tasty.
    WoundedEgo. Hops(Humulus) and Cannabis are both in the Cannabaceae family (along with Celtis) so i guess you could say they are cousins.

  4. Hi there,
    I think hops will do great in a container, if they are deep enough. I’ve heard you need something like a 1/2 whiskey, at least. The roots can go as low as 9 feet below ground.

    I’m on my 2nd year of hops, cascade in nice soil, and brewers gold in what ever was in the ground. The brewers gold did better last year growing 18 feet and providing summer shade to a south facing window. The cascades only went 8 feet. I followed the same watering and feeding (never) for both.

    This year my cascades are doing better, they are about 18 inches high so far. The brewers gold only 2 inches. This is in Santa Cruz, CA.

  5. Hi! Just wondering what was the outcome of your experiment in growing hops in a big self irrigating planter? Were you able to transfer them to the ground this year?

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