Hop shoots from the old garden
Hop shoots from the old garden

Back in October, I was sent some hop (Humulus lupus) seeds. It was the beginning of November before I got around to sowing them, and I sowed them in a lidded container and popped them on my office windowsill. I probably wasn’t that great at watering them, and when they didn’t spring into life I got bored of looking after them.

At some point after I planted my discount hostas, in February, I had a bit of a clear out indoors. I tossed the hop seeds into a gap in the hosta pot. I did remember to transfer the label, which is a minor miracle. I wasn’t expecting too much, but there was a chance the seeds would germinate of their own accord outside.

And, eventually, they did.


Hop seedlings, Humulus lupus

When I took this blurry photograph, on June 10th, it wasn’t clear whether this was the hop seeds germinating, or weeds. I thought it could well be the hops – the dispersal pattern looked like they’d been tipped out of a container.


Hop seedlings, Humulus lupus

A month later, and they are indisputably hop seedlings. They have the characteristic leaf shape, they’re developing tendrils, and they have the bristly velcro stems.

I’ll give them some time to grow, and then they will need to be transplanted to a new home. In fact, the hostas can’t stay in the tub indefinitely, either. After 10+ years of stalwart service, the plastic has perished and the tub is falling apart.

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