Basic Care for Honeysuckle Vines

Plants & Flowers
Honeysuckle Vine Care

Honeysuckle vines are gorgeous and they can make any garden or a patio look better. These vines are known for their vigorous growth. They are also heat-tolerant and very hardy so they make a good choice for gardeners who live in unfavorable climates or those who want to grow low-maintenance plants.

Another good thing about these vines is that their beautiful, fragrant flowers will attract butterflies and hummingbirds, which will make your garden look so much better. In the fall, the fruit of this vine will be a nice treat for the local birds.

Most of the time, people choose to grow their Honeysuckle vine along a trellis, arbor, fence or another supportive structure. However, keep in mind that these vines can be grown even without a framework: they make a great ground cover. You may also use them for erosion control!

These vines bloom heavily in spring and to the summer so they look extra nice in your garden. However, this doesn't mean that you have to grow your Honeysuckle vine outdoors: in fact, they make excellent potted plants so you can also grow them in your home.

Honeysuckle Varieties

There are many different varieties of Lonicera vines. It is important to know what you want and what kind of a vine you wish to grow in your home or a garden. This is the only way to choose the best Honeysuckle vine variety for your home.

It is estimated that there are around 180 different species of Lonicera. Some of these are evergreen while others are deciduous. This is probably one of the first things you wish to consider when choosing a Honeysuckle vine for your home.

Another important distinction is the shape of the vine itself. Some of these species are not vines at all: they actually grow as shrubs. This is something you need to pay attention to when choosing a vine to grow in your home or garden.

Finally, don't forget about your climate and growing conditions. Loniceras vary greatly when it comes to hardiness zones. While general growing requirements are similar for all Honeysuckles keep in mind that some are hardy while others are more sensitive to colder climates. There are also various hybrid varieties that have their own growing and climate requirements.

All of these are important to know about even before you choose your Honeysuckle variety to grow. It is important to be informed and choose wisely because that is the only way to make the right choice for your garden.

Planting Honeysuckle Vines

It is best to plant Honeysuckle vines in early spring. Wait until the danger from frost has passed and plant them in your garden. The sooner after the frost has passed the better. When planting, make sure to prepare the area in a similar way that you would prepare it for any other perennial plant.

When planting your Honeysuckle vines, make sure to set the plants about 6 to 12 inches away from any supporting structures. Also, make sure to space them out so they don't get overcrowded when they start to grow. It is best to plant your vines 2 feet apart if you want to use them as ground cover plants.

Once they are planted, make sure to water them thoroughly. Follow up with soakings until the vines show signs of new growth. It is also very helpful to mulch your vines with a heavy cover of leaves. This will protect their roots from freezing and it will help conserving the moisture during summer.

Basic Honeysuckle Care

Here is some basic care you need to provide to your Honeysuckle vines:

  • You will probably find Honeysuckle vines sold in 1 gallon containers in early spring. You can then re-plant them in your garden. This may be the easiest way to start your Honeysuckle vine.
  • These vines prefer full sun. However, they can tolerate partial sun or even some light afternoon shade so there are many spaces where you can grow them.
  • These plants should never be over-watered. Once they are established they will need only moderate watering. The only exception are dry, extremely hot summers.
  • Once your Honeysuckle vines are planted and established they will need some light annual fertilizer. It is best to use a 10-10-10 fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season and once in the middle of their blooming season.

How to Support Honeysuckle Vines

If you want to grow your Honeysuckle vine on an arbor or a trellis, it is important to prepare the support system well in advance. Mounting a trellis or another support when the vine is already grown can severely damage your plant so you should avoid this at all costs. To prevent this issue, make sure to put any trellis, arbor or another support system you wish to use before you even plant your Honeysuckle vine.

Once the support system is in place, plant your vine about 6 to 12 inches away from the support. This should allow the developing stems enough space to grow properly.

Once they grow enough to reach the trellis (or any support system that you use) make sure to tie the vines properly. You should do this by using strong, stretchy materials that will keep the vine properly tied up but without damaging the branches. A good choice are strips of old nylon hosiery or a similar material.

When tying the vines to the support system, loop each tie into a figure 8 and make sure that the crossed part is between the stem and the support system. This will prevent the stem from being rubbed or choked.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips to follow if you want to grow Honeysuckle vines in your home or garden:

  • Make sure to cut and prune your vine for shape to improve its looks. However, keep in mind that you should prune only when your vine has finished blooming! Never prune before that.
  • It is best to prune your vine back in the winter. This will increase flowering in the next season.
  • Do not over-prune! This is particularly important for new plants that are still not well established. Plants that are not well established should only be pruned lightly.
  • Never over-fertilize your vine! Honeysuckle plants do not do well if you use too much fertilizer.
  • One of the most common pests for Honeysuckle vines are aphids. Monitor your plant closely to notice any pest infestation as soon as it appears. This is the only way to react quickly and to control the pests before they become a huge problem.

Photo credit: Xynalia

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