Growing Wild Honeysuckle

Written by g.k. bayne
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Growing Wild Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle is a fast growing plant that will take over many soil areas. (Honeysuckle image by StylezInk from

Honeysuckle (Lonicera) is a deciduous semievergreen or evergreen vine and shrub. The vining plants are trained to existing wire fencing or preconstructed trellises; made of non-rotting type wood species such as cypress or cedar. The plants exist in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 3 to 9. The plant prefers moist, loam soil and will thrive in almost any location, shady or full sun exposure. The rooting nodes of the plant make it a candidate for transplanting into various locations. With minimal care the wild honeysuckle will take over any location if left unpruned.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Hand spade
  • Green plastic plant tape
  • Pruning shears

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  1. 1

    Pull the end of a trailing honeysuckle vine gently from the soil. If the soil is dry, pour 2 gallons of water over the vine to loosen the soil underneath. You will observe root structures along the length of the vine as it is removed from the soil. Each section of root is called a node.

  2. 2

    Cut the vine into sections. Leave an individual node with a dangling root. Place the sections of plants into a bucket of water to prevent the cuttings from drying out.

  3. 3

    Dig transplant holes using the hand spade. Select areas along existing wire fences or below preconstructed wood trellises. The transplant holes must be of the same size as the root structure of the cutting. In most all cases, a hole 6 inches deep and 6 inches wide will suffice.

  4. 4

    Spread the roots into the hole. Cover the roots with native soil. Press the soil with your hands. Add 1 gallon of water for each transplant hole. The water removes air from around the roots and improves soil contact.

  5. 5

    Train the green vine from each node onto the trellis. Wrap the short vine through the openings of the wire fencing. Tie the vine to the wood trellis using green plastic plant tape. Keep the cutting moist through the first growing season.

  6. 6

    Prune the honeysuckle vine after the first blooms have dropped from the plant. Remove errant vines that are reaching for areas that are unwanted. In other words, trim vines that are extending into pathways or working upwards into trees. Train other vines down longer wire fences or throughout the wood trellis structure.

  7. 7

    Shape hedge-type honeysuckle into any design you wish. The hardy plant will tolerate heavy pruning. In fact, it appears the heavier the pruning, the more robust the plant will counter in growth.

Tips and warnings

  • Honeysuckle may be started from cuttings taken from early spring to late summer.
  • Honeysuckle requires no external fertiliser. Irrigate for the first year of growth. The plant will pull all required nutrients from the native soil.
  • Wood trellises must be made from nonrotting species of wood, cedar, cypress or green treated lumber. The rapid growth of honeysuckle will trap moisture and cause lesser woods, such as pine, oak or hickory, to rot within a few years.
  • The Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is an especially vigorous plant that reaches heights of 30 feet. This aggressive plant is invasive and considered a weed in most USDA hardiness zones of 5 to 9. Some local county agencies may determine this species of honeysuckle illegal to grow in the area. Contact your local agricultural extension service for current regulations.

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