Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Seeds


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Humulus Lupulus, or hops, is a perennial vine related to hemp that extends fifteen to thirty feet. Where both plants are legal, hops can actually be grafted onto hemp. Like hemp, hops has separate male and female plants. The flowers of the female plants are a well-known ingredient in beer, serving to add a bitter taste that balances out the sweetness of the malt. It has been cultivated since 736 in what is present-day Germany. In addition to being used in beer, hops is also valuable in herbal medicine. It contains volatile oils that reportedly have sedative and soporific effects. It can be taken as an infusion or smoked. Hops is said to be beneficial in improving appetite and digestion. Its sedative effects are employed for inducing sleep at bedtime and helping reduce alcohol cravings. It is also said to cleanse the blood and assist liver functions. Most commercially-grown hops is reproduced by cloning, which has negative effects on the genetic diversity and the immunity of a species against disease. Through habitual cloning, the plants lose or diminish their ability to produce seeds. While cloning offers a quicker option for commercial industry, growing from seed is important for the success of the species, and seed-grown plants may one day be called upon in the event of a mass crop devastation.

Growing Information: Since hops is usually reproduced by cloning, its seeds behave as if they are form a plant that is not domesticated (even though it has been in cultivation for over a thousand years). Like wild animals kept as pets, it still has its survival instincts. This involves dormancy and irregular germination. In nature, this prevents the plant?s seeds from germinating too easily in case unfavorable conditions should arise soon after. To break dormancy, presoak your seeds for one to two days in water. Then put them in moistened peat moss, sand or paper towels and cold stratify in the fridge for six weeks. After six weeks, keep them at room temperature and check daily for sprouts over the next four weeks. Transplant the seedlings into a loose, rich soil. Young seedlings are sensitive to over-watering, so be sure to keep the soil on the dry side. Once established, provide structure for the plant to grow on.

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