How to Look After Your Own Honeysuckle Plants

Lonicera, commonly called honeysuckle, is a perennial native of the North Hemisphere, including North America, India, Europe and China. It is a part of the flowering Caprifoliaceae family. This plant, which may be deciduous or evergreen, woody or semi-woody, bush or vine, typically grows over pergolas and arbors in backyard gardens. Preferring U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9, and slightly acidic, loose dirt, honeysuckle is heat-tolerant, growing rapidly in full to partial sun with adequate root shade. Honeysuckle plants require little care; most varieties react to light pruning with renewed growth and secondary blossoms.

Supply honeysuckle with partial to full sun, with plant roots getting shade conditions. Keep the soil moist and well-drained by watering in the summer only if rainfall is low. Constantly keep the soil slightly moist, but never soaking wet.

Regulate nutrient levels in the soil by composting the base of the plant in the spring, supplying lots of nitrogen. Add a couple of inches of mulch over the compost.

Prune honeysuckle regularly to control growth, cutting deciduous shrubs and vines in the late spring, after flowering, and evergreen shrubs in the summer season.

Cut back overgrowth on plants, removing dead or diseased stems and thinning out crowded areas. For plants that have grown out of control, hard prune to 2 feet tall in the early spring and keep the new development thinned out.

Treat disease and insects as they look. Powdery mildew results from drought conditions, and may be prevented by mulching. Treat infected plants immediately with fungicide. Prune shoots with aphid infestations, and spray the plant with soapy water to avoid recurrence.

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