Honeysuckle Plant

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a particularly vigorous perennial vine that’s deciduous in northern climates but often evergreen in warmer areas. it’s prized for its long bloom period and fragrant flowers that bloom all summer and into fall, but it’s also sometimes despised because its “vigorous” growth habit only too easily strays over into invasiveness. In certain regions, this is often a species you ought to not plant.1

Japanese honeysuckle may be a climber that twines thickly around any vertical structure, whether it’s a trellis or a tree. The vines bear fragrant white flowers, tinged with pink, that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds from late spring into fall. The flowers gradually fade to yellow, and it’s not uncommon to ascertain white, pink, and yellow colors all at an equivalent time. The flowers subside to blackberries that are mildly poisonous to humans.2 The vine is usually planted because it does well in shady locations and in dry soils.

How to Grow Japanese honeysuckle

Although Japanese honeysuckle prefers moist, loamy soils, these ideal conditions can cause the plant to grow too vigorously. It does well in dry conditions, which may also help check its rampant growth. Plant it fully sun to part shade; shadier locations will both reduce the quantity of flowering and also stunt the plant’s growth somewhat.

When trained on a trellis, one plant is generally used. When planted as a ground cover, use two or three plants for every sq yd of ground. Ground cover plants should be sheared back with a mower in later winter to regulate growth and take away any dead undergrowth.


This is an adaptable plant that does well fully sun to part shade, but a shadier location is usually preferred so as to stay its growth in restraint.


Japanese honeysuckle does well in any average soil, provided it’s well-drained. Dryer soils may limit the rampant growth habit of the vine.


For best growth, keep Japanese honeysuckle well-watered (1 inch per week) and protect the soil with a layer of bark mulch. If the plant becomes too dry, leaves will turn brown and fall off, though the vine itself rarely dies. Withholding water may help keep the vine in restraint.

Temperature and Humidity

Japanese honeysuckle thrives in diverse conditions throughout its hardiness zone range. it’s deciduous in colder climates; evergreen in warmer zones, but extremely vigorous wherever it grows.


The only feeding required may be a layer of compost plus organic within the spring. Withhold even this spring feeding if the vine becomes too vigorous.

Propagating Japanese honeysuckle

This plant is never propagated deliberately thanks to its aggressive growth habit, but where desired, it’s easily propagated by planting seeds from the berries, or by splitting off sections of its spreading rhizomatous roots.

Varieties of Japanese honeysuckle

The variety of Japanese honeysuckle most frequently planted for landscape purposes is ‘Halliana’, commonly called Hall’s honeysuckle. it’s said to be less invasive than the native species; however, gardeners are strongly discouraged from planting any sort of Japanese honeysuckle in many regions, especially the lower Midwest and Southeast.

Toxicity of Japanese honeysuckle

Many species of honeysuckle are toxic to at least one degree or another, and this includes Japanese honeysuckle . This plant contains carotenoids within the berries and glycosides within the stems and vines. These are considered mildly toxic, and symptoms can include stomach pain, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, and vomiting. But the consequences are usually mild, and occur only large quantities are ingested.2 you ought to not plant this vine where children are around, but the plant does attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and lots of birds enjoy eating the berries.


Major pruning should be wiped out the first winter after the flowers have dropped off. Pruning usually aims at shortening the plant and keeping its size in restraint. Plants grown as ground cover should be mowed down within the early spring with a mower set at maximum height.

Alternative Vines

There are many other sorts of honeysuckle that provide a number of an equivalent benefits but without the dangerously rampant growth habit of Japanese honeysuckle . Some options include:

  • Goldflame honeysuckle (Lonicera heckrottii) may be a deciduous vining plant that’s hardy in zones 5 to 9. Growing to fifteen to twenty feet, it’s fragrant flowers that are hot pink with yellow throats, blooming from late spring through mid-summer.
  • Dropmore scarlet honeysuckle (Lonicera brownii) is hardy in zones 3 to 9. it’s a smaller vine, growing to 12 feet, and produces fragrant bright red flowers from late spring through mid-summer.
  • Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) may be a semi-evergreen vine that’s hardy in zones 4 to 10. It grows to 12 feet and has bright orange, red or yellow, tubular flowers from late spring to mid-summer.
  • Henry’s honeysuckle (Lonicera henry) is hardy in zones 4 to 10. It grows to 30 feet and has red or yellow tubular flowers through spring and summer.
  • American honeysuckle (Lonicera Americana) is hardy in zones 6 to 10 and grows to 25 feet. it’s scented yellow flowers tinged with red, pink, or purple from late spring into fall.
  • Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) may be a semi-evergreen shrub form that grows to 10 feet tall with an identical spread it’s hardy in zones 4 to eight it’s pairs of small, creamy white, fragrant flowers from late winter through mid-spring.

Common Pest and Diseases

Japanese honeysuckle is essentially without serious insect and disease problems, as befits a vine with a reputation for being vigorous to the purpose of being invasive.

The main problem with Japanese honeysuckle is controlling the plant or eliminating plants that escape cultivation and naturalize where they’re unwanted.1 Japanese honeysuckle is listed as an invasive plant up the East Coast to the southern parts of latest England. it’s a real menace in parts of the country where the foliage is evergreen and thereby more vigorous. within the South, Japanese honeysuckle grows so aggressively that its weight poses a danger to trees when it climbs into their canopies. The plant also can harm shrubs and little trees by girdling them.

In northern New England and other similar climates, a far better choice is Hall’s Japanese honeysuckle , which is unlikely to spread so aggressively. ask your local county extension to inquire about Japanese honeysuckle’s invasive status in your area.

If you’ve got only a couple of unwanted vines, cut them right down to ground level in late summer, then coat the cut ends with undiluted glyphosate (Roundup) liquid. Large areas of honeysuckle should be mowed down as on the brink of the bottom as possible. When new growth begins to sprout, coat them with a 5 percent solution of glyphosate.

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