Herbs

Hops: Detect and combat diseases and pests

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The hops usually grow very quickly. Unless a disease or pests are bothering him. Then act quickly to save the plant.

Hops are not immune to diseases Whoever hears hops is probably the first to think of beer. The versatile climbing plant can do much more. It is often used for fence and facade greening. Because hops are not only inexpensive, they also grow very quickly and are extremely easy to care for compared to other plants such as ivy.

But even if the plant is so easy to care for, it is still not immune to diseases and pests. There are a few malefactors here who can seriously affect hops. However, if you know the diseases or pests and fight infestation at an early stage, you do not have to be afraid for your hop plants.

Overview of hop diseases and pests

The following overview lists the most common diseases and pests. You will also learn how to identify an infestation and how to address it.

Hop aphid

Signs of an infestation:

The hop aphid usually feeds on the hops from mid-May through to harvest. The excretions of the animals (honeydew) make the leaves sticky and shiny. In addition, the infected plant parts can also turn black. The cause of this is sooty mildew.

Fighting:

Spray the hops regularly with nettle slurry or a water-rinse mixture. A splash of detergent is enough.

Common spider mite (red spider)

Signs of an infestation:

An attack with the common spider mite usually begins on the lower leaves of the plant. Initially, the leaves only get light spots, later they change color and the umbels turn copper-red.

Fighting:

In order to control the common spider mite, it is important to check your hop plants regularly from mid-June, as the pest loves dry, hot weather. If an infestation is recognizable, you must remove the ground shoots and carefully defoliate the hop vines.

Botrytis

Signs of an infestation:

This is a fungal infection that often occurs in years with frequent rainfall. Both flowers and umbels, which turn reddish brown, are affected.

Fighting:

In order to get the fungal infection under control, you have to remove the infected plant parts and, if necessary, cut the hops completely back to the shoots. A fungicide such as Ortiva (e.g. available here) can also help with this disease.

Hop wilt

Signs of an infestation:

Hop wilting is a fungus that often affects young and injured roots. It penetrates the water pipes, which then clog. The result: the hop plant wilts and dies over time.

Fighting:

An infestation with the wilting hops can basically not be fought directly. You can cut the infected plant parts at most deeply. Otherwise, it is advisable to prevent planting only tolerant varieties.

Powdery mildew

Signs of an infestation:

Powdery mildew usually spreads from mid-May and especially in dense stands and in warm weather in the garden. An infestation is recognizable by the pustular elevations on the leaf surface, from which flour-like white spots develop.

Fighting:

In order to cope with mildew, you have to remove all affected areas and renew the floor. It can also help if you spray the hops with a water-milk mixture (9: 1).

Wrong mildew

Signs of an infestation:

The fungal disease can occur to different degrees every year. All parts of the plant can be affected. A basic distinction is made between primary and secondary infection.

➜ primary infection:

In the case of a primary infection, the fungus hibernates in the underground parts of the plant and penetrates the young sprouts in the spring when it shoots. The diseased soil shoots are then compressed, colored yellow-green and have leaves curled down. In addition, a gray-black mushroom coating can be seen on the underside of the leaf.

➜ secondary infection:

A secondary infection is an infection by spores that get to the plant through wind and rain. They form yellowish spots on the top of the leaf, which later turn brown. In addition, the flowers usually die.

Fighting:

To combat downy mildew, you must first completely remove all the infected leaves and plant parts. Then it helps if you e.g. use a fungicide like Ortiva (e.g. available here). You can also spray the hops with a garlic or onion stock.

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