There is a right way and a wrong way to prune a honeysuckle vine. The last thing you want to do is ruin the vine so that it does not flower or dies. The purpose of this article is to teach the correct way to prune a honeysuckle vine so that it flowers and thrives.
Honeysuckle is a rather diverse group of vines that flower and grow typically in Asia, the Americas and Europe. There are over 175 different types of flowering vines that belong to the group, all of which are known as Lonicera. Interestingly enough, the honeysuckle vine only grows in the Northern Hemisphere of the earth. To date, we have yet to find any type of Lonicera in the Southern Hemisphere.
The honeysuckle vine is enjoyed by many people due to the fact that it is possible to take the trumpet shaped flowers from the vine and actually drink the nectar from the flower. The nectar is very safe to consume, however it is the only part of the honeysuckle plant that is edible. There are many honeysuckle plants that bear poisonous berries. Never eat the berries of a honeysuckle plant unless you are positive that the berries are of the non-toxic type.
People enjoy planting honeysuckle vines is because they are easy to grow and they climb to cover the sides of houses or trellises. Many can reach the roof of a house, especially if they are planted in the proper environment. They have a very delicate honey-like scent whenever the flowers are in bloom. The trumpet-like flowers of the honeysuckle vine come in a variety of colours and sizes. While all of the flowers resemble small trumpets, you can find these flowers in pink, yellow, pure white, purple and blue. You can find the honeysuckle flower referenced in the great literally works of Shakespeare. He refers to the honeysuckle as the flower that is tied to sensuality and lust. The woodbine variety that is found in Europe is still considered to be the flower of lust. Many people plant honeysuckle vines because they draw hummingbirds and butterflies to the gardens. It is important that you talk with a gardener about which type of honeysuckle vine is best for your garden because some vines are more aggressive then others and will require more pruning.
The Japanese honeysuckle vine is one of the more aggressive and vigorous growing of the vines. Many people opt for this type due to the fact that is grows rapidly, however the top tends to overshadow the lower portion of the vines which causes the flowers and leaves to fall off. If you have a Japanese honeysuckle vine you don't have to worry about the right time of the year to prune. You can prune this variety almost any time due to the vigour of its growth. If you let the Japanese vine take over the garden and it gets out of control then pruning in the winter is best.
To prune a honeysuckle vine the correct way there are a few steps that you need to follow. If the wood is overgrown then the best time to cut honeysuckle vines back is in the autumn or in the winter, as long as the vines are still healthy. Use a lopper and cut the plant down until it is about 24 inches in height. Once spring rolls around and the new shoots start to grow, pinch the tips for a more bushy growth. The flowers will develop once growth begins to slow down. In a couple of years the flowering habits of the honeysuckle vine will return to normal. If you want to promote growth use fertiliser and organic mulch. Make sure that you are adequately watering the vine in the spring so that the vine will flower and produce those lovely fragrant flowers. If you are trying to control the growth of the honeysuckle vine then you should prune in late spring after the vine has bloomed. This will allow you to enjoy the beauty of the flowers as well as the fragrant honey-like scent. Also, if you wait until late spring the vine will grow back at a quicker pace when the weather warms up. If the variety of honeysuckle vine that you are growing is not a very rapid growing vine then prune in the winter when the vine is dormant. Regardless of when you prune the vine, make sure that you are pruning the entire plant. Pull out entire branches, not just the tops.
Pruning your honeysuckle vine at the wrong time or in the wrong may will kill the plant.