We all know hops mainly from beer. Its wild representatives, on the other hand, are better known to hobby gardeners as a nuisance weed. We explain how best to fight weeds.

Cut, cut, cut

The main task in combating wild hops is a constant and at the same time recurring pruning. The regular removal of all plant parts above ground has several goals:

  • When and how often?Deprivation of energy production for the plant by eliminating the green, chlorophyll-containing parts
  • At the same time: stimulation of growth through intensive pruning
  • Increase in susceptibility to infection for fungi, bacteria and other pathogens at the interfaces

Don’t give the plant too much time to recover after losing its green parts. Therefore, make the cut as follows:

winter pruning

  • Removal of all dead plant parts to avoid returning them to the soil as nutrients (rotting)

Summer cut

  • Cut off young shoots at the latest when they are about 30 centimeters high and dispose of them
  • Ideal: Expose and cut off the shoots about two finger widths under the ground
  • Then cover again
  • Consequence: Increased susceptibility to germs in the soil, reduced yield of sunlight for new shoots in the early stages

length of time

It is important that you do not lose patience too quickly with this procedure. Despite regular pruning over several years, you will see wild hops sprout again and again from the roots remaining in the ground. In the beginning, you may find your efforts to be a real Sisyphean task. But already in the course of the first growth period you should notice a decrease in growth intensity, which slowly but steadily continues to decrease.

dig up roots

A second method of combating the hops more or less effectively is to dig up and remove them along with the roots. The problem here is that the plant forms very extensive and deep root networks. Large perennials are therefore difficult to get a grip on. Young plants, side shoots and new plants, on the other hand, can be completely removed from the soil with a spade. Where the boundary runs here depends at least in part on your own requirements. The more effort you want to put into it, the larger plants you may be able to get rid of in one fell swoop by digging up.

Tip: Water the soil thoroughly before digging. Then the roots sit less firmly in the topsoil and you can pull them out of the ground more easily in one piece.

make floors unusable

Finally, you still have the option of depriving the wild hops of their growth basis. To do this, you must make the soil unusable as a substrate for this crop. What initially seems quite cumbersome and possibly not very promising is actually quite simple:

The hop plant loves moist, nitrogen-rich soil. There is little you can do about the nitrogen content, limited to the weeds. The soil moisture, on the other hand, can be regulated quite easily only in the vicinity of the plant


If you manage to actually dry out the soil around the hop root permanently, the fine root fibers will also dry up and can no longer pass on any nutrients to the plant:

  • Cover the soil about 80 to 100 centimeters around the rootstock with waterproof foil
  • On slopes, dig a small drainage channel up the slope to channel rainwater around the plant


On the other hand, you can also ensure that the soil is permanently too wet for the wild hops. Then the “danger” of infection with root rot increases. As a result, the plant also dies due to a lack of nutrients that can no longer be supplied via the broken roots.

Tip: The success of both measures depends heavily on your individual circumstances and is generally less certain than with the other methods. Therefore, use intensive watering or the complete removal of moisture ideally in combination with regular pruning.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *