Growing my own hops

This is a Zeus hop ((Humulus lupulus var. whotheheckknowsii)part of the CTZ–Columbus, Tomahawk, Zeus–hops triad). I have planted approximately 20 hop rhizomes inside containers around the house. I have hung wire from my decks down to the containers, a drop of ten to twelve feet. The few that have popped up seem to migrate to the wires pretty readily.

Zeus hops beginning to trellis on a wire.

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2 thoughts on “Growing my own hops

    • Probably your wisest course of action.

      Hops do indeed contain a canine toxin. According to the Wikipedia reference they can cause “malignant hyperthermia in dogs, usually with fatal results. Certain breeds, such as Greyhounds, seem particularly sensitive to hop toxicity, but hops should be kept away from all dogs. Even small amounts of hops can trigger a potentially deadly reaction, even if the hops are “spent” after use in brewing.[citation needed]”

      As Paracelsus noted, “Dose makes the poison.” I’m not sure what a “small amount” is, one gram? one ounce? five ounces? Usually toxicity is given as LD50, that is at a certain dosage (g/kg) 50% of the sample would die. According to Northern Brewer symptoms include: “restlessness, panting, vomiting, abdominal pain, seizures, rapid heart rate, and high temperature. If a dog has possibly ingested hops and exhibits symptoms, they should be taken to an emergency pet hospital immediately for treatment.”

      Apparently there’s a lot of stuff that can hurt our cats and dogs: http://www.scribd.com/doc/51779235/A-Guide-to-Poisonous-House-and-Garden-Plants. The writer, a veterinarian, points to the phenolics in hops as the culprit.

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