Honeysuckle is a must-have among all the flowering climbing plants.
Key Honeysuckle facts
Name – Lonicera sp.
Family – Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle family)
Type – climbing vine
Height – 6 ½ to 16 feet (2 to 5 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary
Foliage – deciduous or evergreen
Flowering – May to October depending on the variety
Caring for it is easy and both foliage and blooming are extremely ornamental.
- Read also: all our pages related to honeysuckles
Planting honeysuckle is an important step because it will continuously impact the growth and blooming of your honeysuckle.
How to choose the right location for honeysuckle
Honeysuckle is a plant that grows in most climates, and it particularly appreciates sun-endowed spots that don’t get too hot.
Before planting, set up some kind of option for the plant to be able to climb: a lattice, a pergola, a wall or even simply an old tree for it to climb on, unless you’ve chosen a ground-hugging cover variety.
- At the beginning, it must wrap around something: tree, pole, wire…
- Honeysuckle easily wraps around a lattice.
- Honeysuckle loves having its head in the sun and its base in the shade, to take advantage of the cool soil.
- Part sun is also very suitable.
- The ground must stay cool, even in summer.
- Good mulch retains moisture in the soil longer.
Season for planting honeysuckle
Honeysuckle is best planted in fall, but it’s also possible to plant it up to spring.
- Apart from these two ideal periods, avoid freezing and strong heat.
- If planting in the spring, remember to water more diligently the 1st year.
How to plant honeysuckle
Once the location is chosen and the suitable period for planting honeysuckle comes about, correct planting will give it a great start for it to grow and bloom well.
- Dig a hole equivalent to 3 times the depth and width of the soil clump.
- Lightly run your fingers through the clump to aerate the roots that have gotten stuck together in the pot you’ve purchased the plant in.
- Place the clump in the hole so that the root crown (the base of the plant) is an inch (a couple centimeters) or so higher than ground level.
- Refill the hole with a mix of soil mix and garden soil.
- Water abundantly and then press it down lightly.
- During the 1st year, the honeysuckle must be watered regularly.
The 2 most commonly used techniques to propagate honeysuckle are layering and cuttings.
Spring is the best season to layer honeysuckle.
- Here is our simple page on layering techniques.
Preparing honeysuckle cuttings
Honeysuckle cuttings are prepared in summer on non-flowering stems. It is an easy way to multiply your magnificent honeysuckle easily.
- Collect the tips of the stems on about 6 inches (15 cm).
- Remove lower leaves, keeping only the 2 topmost stages.
- Plant the cutting in special cutting soil mix.
- Put the cutting near light, but not in direct sunlight.
- Keep the substrate a little moist.
Pruning and caring for honeysuckle
Although easy to care for and to grow, honeysuckle can still benefit from attention that will make it a vigorous plant that blooms a lot.
How to trim honeysuckle
It isn’t really necessary to prune it: your honeysuckle can do well without ever being pruned.
- If you wish to reshape or your honeysuckle or balance the branches somewhat, wait for blooming to be over.
When your honeysuckle starts growing a bit sparse, it is also possible to trim it back severely, it will recover with renewed growth beautifully.
- If pruning back severely, do this at the end of winter.
Honeysuckle requires cool soil, especially in summer. Even though it isn’t a plant that requires a lot of water, honeysuckle nonetheless hates extended periods of dryness, especially if it is potted.
- Regular watering is recommended to give the plant water during a dry spell or drought.
- Mulch strewn around the base of the honeysuckle helps retain soil moisture for much longer, which reduces how often you need to water.
- Potted honeysuckle has more constant water needs, and must be watered more often, as soon as the soil surface is dry.
Diseases and parasites that attack honeysuckle
Even though rather resilient when it is properly settled in, honeysuckle can fall victim to a fungus very common in the world of plants: powdery mildew.
Powdery mildew is the most common honeysuckle disease, and that is when you should avoid getting the leaves wet at all costs.
Honeysuckle and powdery mildew
Powdery mildew is diagnosed on honeysuckle when a thin whitish or grayish layer appears on the leaves.
- Here is an article explaining, step by step, how to treat against powdery mildew.
Honeysuckle and aphids
Equally important, honeysuckle is always taking in aphids.
- If its leaves curl up or fold together, it is most probably under attack by aphids.
- Green or brown-colored parasites appear on and especially under the leaves.
- Here is how to effectively stave off aphids.
All there is to know about honeysuckle
Native to Europe and Asia, honeysuckle is a climbing shrub that produces red fruits shaped like berries and its flowers are reputed for their fragrance come spring.
Some cultivars are deciduous but other have evergreen foliage. In this family, you’ll have a wide choice and range of colors, shapes and fragrances.
Honeysuckle grows just as well in pots as it does in the ground, which makes it a must-have in the garden and on a terrace or balcony, too.
Smart tip about honeysuckle
Honeysuckle is also perfectly suited to decorating any single-variety hedge.
Plant a honeysuckle flower at the foot of one of the trees and let it climb along the hedge.
- Read also: articles and tips dedicated to honeysuckles.