where can I get sick hops diagnosed?

Asked April 25, 2018, 2:16 PM EDT

I have a hops hedge surrounding my garden: one of the rootballs (Newport) sent half a dozen bines up 6 or 8 inches, where they curled, turned brown, shriveled, and died. Another bine a few plants down got 4 feet up its twine before it started to show the same symptoms. Where can I mail samples for analysis? I need to know what this disease is and how to treat it; if this is something that is going to kill all my hops if I don't remove the infected root; if I can replace that plant in the same spot with the same variety. Thanx! John O

Multnomah County Oregon

6 Responses

Hello John,

To get you help with your hops would you please send pictures of your problem hops, normal hops and the hop hedge. It will give us needed information to determine the cause of the problem. If you are a commercial grower, please let us know. We can direct you to a person with the expertise to help you. Thank you.

This article has good information on growing hops, Growing Hops in the Home Garden https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em9115.pdf.

It's not easy for me to do pics. I'd rather send hops themselves to a laboratory that can use microscopes and culture any pathogens there might be. Is there such a lab? I'm sure it won't be free....

I understand the problem with getting good images. In trying to help you solve the problem we look at many issues including, drainage, placement, etc. Plants that are in optimal conditions survive challenges much better. Even with diseases it really helps to see where the plants live and the signs your plants are displaying to nail down the probable culprit. More information would help us. Perhaps you can describe the extent of your hedge, the number of affected plants, the length of time you've had the hedge planted, any experience positive and negative you've had growing hops. Descriptions of the soil - does it drain well, is it clay are important), how you water the plants and the amount of sunlight your plants receive.

I have 8 or 10 Newports ~3 1/2' apart, strung to a wire ~8 feet overhead; half a dozen Nuggets on the same line, at the back of my garden, where they get plenty of light; four Wilamettes and one Chinook, elsewhere in the garden, where they also get enough light; and a couple of poor little Centennials that do not get adequate light. The sick plant is one of the Newports, gets plenty of light.

My soil is East Multnomah county glacial till (drains wonderfully), except that I've been adding sand and organics for 20 years, but not so much at the edge of the garden, where the hops are; they will get whatever compost I put on the garden--this year the (claimed) organic Hood River compost from Mt. Scott Fuel Co (PDX). I would wonder if that somehow burned the sick plant, which got a big shovelful, but it hasn't hurt any of the others.

The plants are two years old (from rhizomes); this year will be the third (BIG) crop. I gave them some 16-16-16 their first spring; will avoid chemicals to make them as organic as possible from then on.

It's the end of a Western Oregon winter. Water will not be an issue for at least another month.

First image is sick hops. Second is a healthy-looking (so far) bine coming out of--I think--the same root mass. Third shows my support system, and healthy hops some of which put on two feet of growth the last two 80 degree plus days.

Hello John,

Thank you for all the information on your hops. It is very helpful. I'm going to reassign this question to an Agriculture extension agent, Nick Andrews. He'll have much more expertise and be able to help you better.

Hi John,

I know that Nick may not be exactly who you need for this questions and in the mean time we do have an OSU Plant Clinic lab if you wanted to check that out and submit a sample. http://plant-clinic.bpp.oregonstate.edu/ Look in the left hand side to see how to submit a sample, and I'll work on this end to find an expert who works with hops more. I apologize for taking so much time, I was away on medical leave and our volunteers worked overtime helping us out with questions.