Honeysuckle

Grown as a versatile vine or a colorful shrub, this classic plant is a garden favorite

Written by Molly Dean

Where Buy Flowering Honeysuckle Hedge

Most think of honeysuckle as that wild vine bearing white to gold trumpet-shaped flowers whose ncctar they sipped as children, and whose fragrance—sweet, delectable, and lemony—perfumed the air of spring and summer. As 17th-century diarist Samuel Pcpys wrote, "the bugles blow scent instead of sound." Gardeners are often surprised to learn of the great variety of honeysuckle. While some twine into vines, others form shrubs. Certain types are highly perfumed, while others have little or no fragrance. Flowers can be white, cream, yellow, orange, scarlet, purple or pink. A few flaunt variegated leaves, and most bear colorful berries. Nearly all honeysuckles attract hummingbirds, butterflies and songbirds.

Cultivars for the Garden

  • Goldflame' (L x heckrottii) Deep rosy buds open to multitoned blossoms, pale pink on the outsides and edges—and soft tangerine on the insides. The luscious scent will permeate your entire garden. 10'-20' (Zones 5-9)
  • Harlequin' (L x italica) A European honeysuckle boasting a striking color combination: pink and white flowers set off by bright red stems. Blue and white variegated leaves are flecked with occasional flushes of pink 10' (Zones 4-9)
  • Major Wheeler' (/_. sempervirens) Produces months of highly fragrant gold-tipped, ruby-red blooms. Fast-growing, drought-tolerant and resistant to mildew even in humid climates. A hummingbird favorite. 6-8' (Zones 4-8)
  • Mandarin' (/_. x brown//) A vigorous grower flaunting intensely orange flowers with yellow throats. No fragrance. Mulch to keep roots cool. 20' (Zones 3-9)
  • John Clayton' (/_ sempervirens) Fragrant, soft yellow flowers borne in large clusters are followed by orange fruits. 10-20' (Zones 4-9)

How to Grow

Plant honeysuckles in moist loam with plenty of organics. They thrive with their roots in the shade and tops in the sun. Chemical feeding will promote good foliage but you'i! get fewer flowers. Train the vining types on trellises or arbors. They also make good ground cover for sunny slopes. Shrub honeysuckles are usually grown as specimen plantings, hedges or backdrops to other plants.

Shopping Sources

Brushwood Nursery 247 E Street Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348, 610444-8083, gardenvines.com/shop

High Country Gardens 2902

925-9387, highcountrygardens.com p

Nature Hills Nursery 3334 North | 88th Plaza, Omaha, NE 68134, 402- | 934-8116, naturehills.com ±

Sunlight Gardens 174 Golden Lane, § Andersonville, TN 37705, 800-2727396, sunlightgardens.com * S

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Responses

  • sanna-leen kulmala
    Can i grow a honeysuckle from a flower to get the seed?
    8 years ago
  • minna
    How to grow major wheeler honeysuckle?
    7 years ago
  • Darcey
    When to plant yellow honeysuckle seeds?
    7 years ago
  • TYKO M
    Does major wheeler honeysuckle put out runners underground?
    5 years ago

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