Spring Rhizomes and Root Pruning


This spring we will be doing some root pruning on our 3 year old plants. This is important for several reasons. The process is simple but laborious. We will simply take a shovel, a rake and some hand tools and dig around the crowns. First year plants will have virtually no rhizomes and should not be root pruned. Our second year we left them alone again. This helped establish superior feeding roots. Hops plants produce two types of roots, feeders and rhizomes. Only the true roots are feeders, the rest of the root structure are for propagation and provide very little in the help of the uptake of soil nutrients.

The main reasoning for root pruning would be the control of the hops plant itself. During the off season the hops plant will put out new rhizomes. It’s sort of an invasive plant. It can spread quickly if not controlled. These underground shoots can break ground in the spring and develop plants in unwanted areas. If hops are left unattended, you could have a massive hops mess.

“If such exuberant growth is left unchecked, the plants will
soon cover the entire acreage with a solid mass of plant
material. Needless to say, for the purposes of hops production,
this is not desireable! Therefore, one of the major
spring tasks is to prune back this growth”
Rebecca Kneen
Small Scale and Organic Hops Production Guide

Secondly, you have rhizomes on these pruned roots. These can easily be transplanted and grown into quality plants. During the pruning season, we plan to harvest these rhizomes from the healthiest of our plants and have them available to you.

Our initial rhizomes that got us up and growing came from a young hops yard in NC dug from 2 year old crowns. They were small and had several buds. Once planted and roots established, they reached the tops of our 17 ft trellis in their first season. We harvested about 1/2 lb per plant of fresh un dried hops in year 2. With this being our first spring cutting the root systems, we expect a jump in growth and higher yields. There is huge upside to root pruning crowns at an early age. Regardless of age of crown, rhizomes harvested will grow and produce hops for years to come.

We plan to have our hops rhizomes available in the spring for NC and VA customers. We do not ship rhizomes and do not have any shipped in. These will be local, super fresh rhizomes.

So, remember us come rhizome season if you want to shop and buy local. If rhizomes are not your style and you prefer plants, we plan on having some available late spring as well.

We appreciate your business.

Sorry, no commercial rhizome orders.

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