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Info about honeysuckle




Honeysuckle (Lonicera) vines are easy to grow, vigorous, heat-tolerant, and nearly indestructible. The flashy and fragrant flowers will attract hummingbirds and butterflies all summer long. The resulting fruit of the Honeysuckle flower will provide a fall treat for your local songbirds as well. Bush honeysuckles are easily separated from native honeysuckle species by their stout, erect shrub growth. All native species are “woody twiners” that are vine-like in nature. Native honeysuckle species are grape honeysuckle (Lonicera prolifera), yellow honeysuckle (Lonicera flava), and red honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica). There are about 180 species of honeysuckle, with by far the greatest diversity in China, where over 100 species occur; by comparison, Europe and North America have only about 20 native species each. Widely known species include Lonicera periclymenum (European Honeysuckle or Woodbine), Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle, White Honeysuckle, or Chinese Honeysuckle) and Lonicera sempervirens (Coral Honeysuckle, Trumpet Honeysuckle, or Woodbine Honeysuckle).
Honeysuckle can be used in three different ways in the garden: as a colourful climber, as a richly scented climber and as a stocky, shrubby plant. Summer-scented climbing honeysuckle plants are a big attraction. Like all climbing honeysuckles, they’re vigorous – reaching 6m to 9m (20ft to 30ft) in height – and thornless, so they’re easy to train on trellis and walls. Alternatively, leave them to sprawl into floppy shrubby shapes. Climbing honeysuckles also make fine companions with clematis, early-flowering chaenomeles and sprawling low-growing plants. The most common use is to allow it to grow along a trellis, fence, or other framework, but it can also be grown as a ground cover or used for erosion control. The vines will bloom heavily in spring and to some extent throughout the summer. Many honeysuckles will thrive in containers as well.
Honeysuckles grow best in partial sun to partial shade. Most honeysuckles tolerate a wide range of conditions, making them easy to cultivate. The soil should be rich and leafy with plenty of added moisture-retaining organic matter. Once established, Honeysuckle needs only moderate watering, unless the summer is very dry. If the planting area is properly prepared and mulched, your Honeysuckle will be satisfied with a light annual applicaton of a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) at the beginning of the growing season, and then once again in the middle of the blooming season.
Rooting honeysuckle is easy. The best time is when new growth starts to appear in the spring, although if there is green growth, you can do it indoors most anytime of the year. Cut a length of green “soft wood” growth from the end of one (or several) of the vines, making sure to get several sets of leaves. Strip the leaves from the end of the cutting nearest the cut end. You should have one or two leaf nodes bare and one or two sets of leaves left on the vine. At this point you have a couple of options. One is to dip the plant in rooting hormone and place in damp potting or rooting soil. The other is to place the cutting in a vase of water and allow the roots to develope that way.
After it has grown a few feet, cut it back about 6 inches to make it bush out. By the end of the summer it will be full and pretty. Do not cut back after August or it will not bloom the next year.
Honeysuckles are also eaten by some people, who remove the blossom by hand to suck at the sweet nectar in the center. They pull the inside out and suck on the blossom.
Honeysuckle can be controlled by cutting, flaming, or burning the plant to root level and repeating on two-week increments until nutrient reserves in the roots are depleted. Honeysuckle can also be controlled through annual applications of glyphosate, or thorough grubbing if high labor and soil destruction are not of concern. Cutting back hard helps restrict their spread but you can also leave them to scale a tree or high wall.





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