Importance of Training hops in a commercial or home orchard.

Why tutoring hops upwards is important

Training is one important management practice growers should not neglect. Without it, there would be no harvest. The meaning of this is that crops that require support from a tender age will not yield well if the right support is not provided. That is why trained crops tend to do better than those untrained.

Training hops (lupulum) are very important for a number of reasons. The first reason is that it gives the crop opportunity to receive a great amount of sunlight throughout the planting season. Sunlight is required by plants for photosynthesis to take place. When plants don’t receive proper sunlight, they tend to wither and die or become diseased as humidity attacks fungal attacks and insects that bring bacteria or viruses.

training hop vines on a trellising system
Training hops on a pole and cable system allows better air ventilation and keeps leaves drier and healthier.

What are hops?

They are flowers of the plant Humulus lupulus and are used for various purposes in herbal medicine and beverages. Their primary use in beer is to act as a flavoring and stability agent. They are climbing and trained to grow on strings for better yield. They are also different varieties of the crop which are used for different styles of beer. Coupled with the fact that they add flavor to the beer, they are also used in the brewery industry for their antibacterial effect.

Lupulum plant training vertically on cable systems and poles
Lupulum plant training vertically on cable systems and poles.

Do hop vines grow on strings naturally or does one need to tutor them?

The thing is not all of them will grow and locate the strings naturally. So, to have an even distribution, it is better to train them. The hops´vines have to be given a head start by the grower. The process is very simple. The grower needs to select the best among 3 – 4 bines then wrap them around the strings and tie them properly. They are wrapped in the clockwise direction so that the bines can have proper exposure to the sun throughout the day and growing season.

Training plants is an important agronomic practice involved in hops production but should be done at the right time. During spring time, the crops emerge from dormancy and can also be pruned chemically to encourage succulent and stronger secondary shoot growth. It will also help to lower the incidence of diseases. The time for pruning is also crucial because bines normally take between 3-4 weeks to grow back after being pruned before they are ready to be trained. Most growers train in June but the training date can vary. The reason to tutor and prune is to encourage higher yield in hops. That is why the timing is also very crucial.

Training hops on a trellis
Hops are trained and tutored vertically to increase the quality of the cones or strobiles, as they will be better exposed to the sun and pollinating agents.


Hops should be trained at the right time that is conducive to the geographic area where they are grown. Hols should not be trained too early or too late as this can affect yield too. However, crops trained at the right time usually perform well. They produce higher yield and make the garden uniform. Harvesting is also done easily too thanks to the vertical training of hops.

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