Honeysuckle Dreams: Expert Tips for Growing the Perfect Vine

Team McFly Sep 15, 2023
2 People Read
Table of Contents
  1. How to Grow Honeysuckle
    1. Planting
    2. Pruning
    3. Diseases
    4. Harvesting

How to Grow Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is one of the most versatile garden plants. Its delicate tubular flowers attract bees and butterflies, while its sweet fragrance adds to your landscape's pleasure.

These plants are hardy in the southern US and can be grown from seeds or cuttings. To root a cutting, dip its stems in rooting hormone and place it in moist potting soil or a vase of water until roots develop.

planting honeysuckle


Honeysuckle is a vine that attracts hummingbirds with its sweet nectar-laden flowers and juicy berries that form after they've left.

There are approximately 180 varieties of honeysuckle, from vining and twiggy to shrub types. In North America, most are native species; however, some may be considered invasive or noxious in certain regions.

Vines can grow as a groundcover or climb, reaching up to 30 feet in ideal conditions. They're easy to grow and thrive in most garden soils; however, they prefer an acidic to an alkaline environment with excellent drainage.

Propagating vines is relatively straightforward, provided you take cuttings early in the season. However, some varieties, like Lonicera japonica, can be invasive in North America; thus, adhere to local planting regulations before planting them.



Honeysuckle is an attractive plant that requires little care and adds a distinct fragrance to the garden. Its flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies alike, and you can choose between deciduous or evergreen varieties for maximum enjoyment.

Pruning your honeysuckle correctly is essential to preserve its shape and flowering vines. The ideal time to prune is immediately after the flowers have fallen off, though this depends on which variety of honeysuckle you have planted.

Climbing honeysuckle can become an overgrown and tangled mess over time, so it is essential to prune regularly. This will keep it in good shape and encourage new growth.

Pruning also eliminates dead or wilted flowers on honeysuckle plants, which may serve as a breeding ground for pests like aphids. These can be easily eradicated with a simple deadheading technique or raked up and composted to improve the garden's aesthetic appeal.

When pruning honeysuckle, thoroughly water after each cut, as the roots can dry out quickly during dry spells, you may even mulch around the base of your climbing honeysuckle to retain moisture and prevent weeds from sprouting.


Honeysuckle is an attractive genus of ornamental shrubs and vines, many of which are climbers. It's grown primarily for its stunning flowers. Beesuckle plants may succumb to diseases like leaf blight, powdery mildew, and canker. Leaf blight, caused by Insolibasidium deformans, first appears in spring on newly emerging leaves.

Then, the yellowing of veinlets and leaf tissues adjacent to them begins, eventually turning these areas tan brown and necrotic.

Fungi may survive winter on dead leaves, turning their lower surfaces silvery white. Affected plants often wilt and drop prematurely, sometimes even leading to plant death.

Powdery mildew is not usually fatal to honeysuckles but can stress them and reduce nutrient availability. A balanced fertilizer can help with this; regular drought stress increases the likelihood of this problem, so be sure to water your plants frequently.



Honeysuckle flowers and leaves contain salicylic acid, which has been used for centuries to treat fevers, headaches, and pain. It may also help alleviate certain respiratory conditions as well as arthritis symptoms.

Honeysuckle fruit, available from midsummer to fall, nourishes birds and small mammals. Unfortunately, some species of this plant can be invasive, reducing habitat for wildlife while harming other plants in its path.

Shrub honeysuckles are not typically tolerant of shade and often colonize disturbed habitats that receive direct sunlight, such as forest openings and edges, roadsides, abandoned agricultural fields, and bogs. In addition, due to their rapid spread and contamination risk to other flora and fauna species, shrub honeysuckles have become an unwelcome nuisance for many types of wildlife.

Propagating shrub honeysuckles is typically accomplished through cuttings or layering. The ideal time to cut is in spring or summer, cutting at an angle and applying root hormones. Reduce the foliage by about one-third and place it in a rich, well-draining soil mix.

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Table of Contents
  1. How to Grow Honeysuckle
    1. Planting
    2. Pruning
    3. Diseases
    4. Harvesting