Most people know that hops are used to make beer, but did you know that the hop plant is a fast-climbing vine? Hops (Humulus lupulus) has a perennial crown that lives many years, but the stems–sometimes called bines–shoot up fast, then die back to the soil each winter. If you decide to grow hops, give a thought to hops plant spacing. Read on for information on spacing requirements for hops.
Plant Spacing for Hops
Hops plants are no shrinking violets. Although the bines die back at summer’s end, they begin all over again the following spring. In one growing season, they can get 25 feet (8 m.) in length, with each plant up to 12 inches (31 cm.) in diameter.
It’s necessary to allow the plants to shoot up like this. If you try to keep the bines under 10 feet (3 m.) high, you’ll get bunched shoots vulnerable to mildew. That’s why spacing for hop plants is so important. You don’t want the vines to overlap. Adequate spacing for hop plants also prevents confusion between different species of hops.
Proper plant spacing for hops is critical to plant vitality too. Even like species grow better when they are spaced apart.
Hops Spacing Requirements
Taking care of spacing requirements for hops ensures that each plant will grow separately. The idea is to keep the plant from tangling its long vines with those of other plants.
Some growers say that leaving 3 feet (1 m.) between same variety plants is sufficient for hops plant spacing if the plants are the same species. However, your life may be easier if you plant like variety hops at least 7 feet (2 m.) apart.
When you are growing different varieties of hops, spacing requirements for hops are even more important. The part of the plant that is used to make beer is the cone produced by the female plants. If the hops plant spacing is tight, the vines will tangle, and you might mistake one type of cone for another.
Plan on hops spacing requirements of at least 10 feet (3 m.) between different variety plants. Generous hops plant spacing also encourages strong plants, since the long root section of the plants does not impede each other’s growth if properly spaced.