Growing Lonicera


Common name: Honeysuckle

Family: Caprifoliaceae

One of our most fragrant plants, the common honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) is often seen in hedgerows, and is a popular garden plant. Honeysuckles are divided into two groups: the better-known climbers, and those with a shrubby habit.


Popular species and varieties

loniceraThere are many from which to choose. Lonicera nitida is grown for its small, round and dense foliage — ideal for low hedging. The flowers are insignificant ‘Baggesen’s Gold’ has golden-yellow leaves, and ‘Ernest Wilson’ is noted for its slightly arching habit.

One species that has been in cultivation for over 250 years is Lonicera tatarica. This is a vigorous deciduous shrub that can grow to 3m (10ft) or more in height. The masses of pink flowers are produced in mid to late spring, and are followed by red berries. ‘Arnold’s Red’ has deep purple-red blooms with larger berries; it often has a second flush of flowers in the autumn.

The climbing honeysuckles include Lonicera periclymenum ‘Graham Thomas’ (AGM) with heavily scented cream flowers, and Lonicera x brownii ‘Dropmore Scarlet’, a deciduous plant with a long period of flower.



Soil type Honeysuckles require moist, humus-rich soil.

Planting All forms can be planted in autumn or spring, but the evergreen climbers are best planted in the spring. Honeysuckles are happy in full sun or light shade.

Pruning It is advisable to thin out old wood from time to time after flowering, which will encourage new growth.

Propagation Semi-ripe cuttings taken in early to mid-summer Honeysuckles can also be layered, severing from the parent plant a year later.

Pests and diseases Aphids might attack new growth and flowers; as soon as they are seen, spray with a suitable insecticide. Powdery mildew can attack; spray with a fungicide immediately.

18. May 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Ornamental Shrubs | Tags: | Comments Off on Growing Lonicera


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