Growing Lonicera (Honeysuckle)

Latin Name Pronunciation: lon-iss'er-uh    

There are many Honeysuckle species; some are shrubs and others are twining climbers. All are fast growing, vigorous, and adaptable, generally with sweetly fragrant flowers. Climbers can be grown on a fence or other support, or trained into small trees. Utilize the shrubs in borders, as hedges or as ground covers.

Light: Full sun or partial shade.

Soil: Average garden soil.

Watering: The key to getting your new shrub or tree off to a good start is moisture. Water thoroughly after planting, and keep a close eye on the plant over the following week. Then, give it a good soaking once a week during summer, unless rainfall is plentiful (more than 1in per week). Established plants can generally get by on less water, but most grow best if the soil remains evenly moist. Water Honeysuckles sparingly in winter.

Fertilizer: 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 our specimen trees and shrubs just once -- in early spring -- with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 5-10-10, 10-10-10, or an organic fertilizer). If a concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer is used, please follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.

Continuing Care: Easy to grow. Prevent mildew with good air circulation. Climbers that flower on the previous year's growth (such as L. periclymenum) should be pruned right after they flower. Trim hedges twice during summer. For established shrubs, cut 1/5 to 1/3 of the old canes to the base after flowering to promote new growth and keep shrub in bounds. Rarely troubled by insects or diseases.

Email Sign Up

Subscribe to enjoy gardening advice, email offers & more