Growing Honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea)

Latin Name Pronunciation: lon-iss'-er-ah

A member of the Honeysuckle family, Honeyberry is a dense, sturdy shrub native to the higher altitudes of Russia and Asia. In order to produce fruit, two different varieties of Honeyberries are required.

Light: Grow in full sun.

Soil and pH: Like their Honeysuckle cousins, Honeyberries grow best in average, well-drained garden soil. They prefer a slightly acid pH of 6.5, but plants can grow in soil with a pH ranging from 5 to 8.

Watering and fertilizing: Water thoroughly after planting. Then, give plants a good soaking once a week during summer, unless rainfall is plentiful (more than 1in per week). Apply a 2ft-wide, 4in-thick layer of mulch (keep at least 2in away from the stems to avoid rot), which will keep the soil moist and keep down weeds. We recommend against fertilizing at planting time and during the first growing season in your garden. Plants need time to settle in before being pushed to grow. Most established plants grow best if fertilized with a light hand. Here at the Farm, we fertilize shrubs and trees just once -- in early spring -- with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 10-10-10 or an organic fertilizer).

Pruning: In early spring, remove branches that have suffered damage over the winter and thin interior branches if they are crowding each other.

Harvesting: Bushes begin bearing fruit one to two years from planting. The clusters of berries are easy to harvest and may be eaten fresh or frozen for later use, just like Blueberries.