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Honeysuckle

May 14, 2016

Question

This spring I have found a bush growing in a fence row here in Berryville I am unfamiliar with.  Actually, there are two in different locations, but both are in shaded areas.  It has multiple stalks, is approximately five feet high and has blooms very much like a honeysuckle.  Can you tell me what it is, how large it might get and how it should be used in the landscape.

 

Answer

My guess is you have either the white/yellow flowering Amur honeysuckle Lonicera maackii or the pink flowering Tatarian Honeysuckle Lonicera tatarica.  Both of these plants are highly invasive in NW Arkansas, even though they do have pretty flowers.  I would try to get rid of it, not spread it. 


 

 

December 12, 2015

QuestionI have a hedge of winter honeysuckle which I love. It has such fragrant blooms and needs no care. I need help to know when to prune it. I would like a little more of a formal look rather than the natural look it has now.  I don’t know why more people don’t plant this. It grows with almost no care and is so fragrant in the late winter

 

Answer

Ok, I am probably going to make some readers upset, because I agree.  I like this plant.  It has made its way onto some invasive plant lists and there are a few spots in Little Rock where the plant has escaped and reseeded.  It is NOT one of the two invasive species of NW Arkansas which are Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) and Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii).  Tatarian has pink flowers and Amur has white to yellow blooms.  Both bloom profusely after the plants have leafed out in the spring and smell great in bloom but set an abundance of seeds which the birds eat and drop and thus they spread.  I would not encourage planting either one of these.  Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)  is usually better-behaved with small white blooms before the foliage comes on.  There is some seed set, which can lead to problems.  To prevent berry spread, prune your winter honeysuckle in the spring after flowering. This will give you the shape you want, and prevent the seeds from maturing.  In most gardens, this has not been a problem, but we do need to use caution.  If your plant begins to get too woody, thin out some of the older woodier canes as well.  


 

October 2008

QuestionWe have so many vines in our backyard including poison ivy, honeysuckle and briars and I don’t know where to start in getting rid of them. Is there a commercially available product on the market that helps to kill pesky vines? Or can you recommend any other options?

 AnswerPerennial woody vines are not easy to kill, and it will take time and diligence to completely eradicate them from your yard. Fall is actually a good time to do the work, because they will store more of the chemical in their root system as they prepare for winter. Cut back as much of the top growth as possible and dispose of it. Then treat what is left with either a glyphosate product (Round-up) or a brush killer containing Triclopyr. Make sure you direct the spray on the vines, and try to avoid getting either product on desirable plants. Make sure the plants are healthy and not overly stressed before you spray to kill them, so that they will absorb as much of the chemical as possible. Pay attention next spring and try to get a handle on any that begin to grow again. If you are covered in vines, one year’s treatment won’t be enough.


October 2006

QuestionI planted a gold flame honeysuckle vine in May 2006. It is not getting enough sunlight, and I would like to move it to a sunnier location. When should I move it and should I cut back the vine before moving it?

 

AnswerMove it this fall as it is getting ready to go dormant. Actually, any time from now through February would be fine. Cut back only if needed to make the move easier. By moving it in the fall, you allow the root system to get established before it has to supply energy for flowers and foliage.