Invasive vs. native honeysuckle

Written by christophers
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Invasive vs. native honeysuckle
It Can Be Hard to Distinguish Between Native and Invasive Honeysuckle (Wild Honeysuckle 2 image by DelB from

There are over 180 species of honeysuckle in the world. Some honeysuckle species are destructive and prolific while others provide native habitat to foraging insects and animals.

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Japanese honeysuckle in one the most common invasive honeysuckle species found throughout the eastern, southwestern and central U.S. Japanese honeysuckle grows as a vine up to 40 feet long.

Trumpet honeysuckle is a native honeysuckle variety which grows rapidly and can become uncontrollable; constant pruning is recommended for control.

Leaves and Flowers

Bush honeysuckle is an invasive shrub in North America. It has white flowers and egg-shaped leaves.

Compared to bush honeysuckle, native trumpet honeysuckle is much more vibrantly coloured. Trumpet honeysuckle can have anything from deep red flower to a bright orange hue.


Invasive honeysuckle species crowd out native plants and can even overgrow small trees. Invasive species are difficult to control and should be immediately removed after identification.

Native honeysuckle species are likewise hard to control, and must be pruned. Honeysuckles native to the region will not disrupt wildlife habitat or dangerously crowd out plants.


Invasive species of honeysuckle can be used for the ease of growth in bad soil or less than ideal conditions due to its ready acceptance of nearly any environment. Native honeysuckle is better suited for well drained soil and care.


To discourage the spreading of invasive species after plant identification either dig plants out by the root or cut down to the root base. Organic herbicides or burning invasive species are effective methods to destroy invasive honeysuckle.

Native honeysuckle can be easily controlled with regular spring maintenance. Guiding a young native honeysuckles growth with pruning will produce and easily manageable plant.

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