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How to Identify Honeysuckle Bushes

Updated November 21, 2016

Honeysuckle bushes are sweet-smelling, pretty and create a rich-tasting nectar that may be sucked right out of the flower. But honeysuckle bushes are also incredibly invasive; honeysuckle's dense undergrowth prevents other plants from growing around the bush, even grass. Honeysuckle must be carefully controlled, if not removed entirely, to protect the health of nearby plants. Learn how to identify honeysuckle bushes and distinguish them from other types of shrubs, to save your garden from this plant predator.

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  1. Notice the plant's overall characteristics. Bush honeysuckle grows up to 15 feet in height, growing with an upright, shrublike appearance. Many spreading branches form at the base of the plant.

  2. Wait until mid-spring, when the identifying characteristics of the honeysuckle bush will be most recognisable.

  3. Observe the leaf growth. Bush honeysuckle leaves grow in an opposite pattern, which means that they will not line up on either side of the stem but grow in a staggered pattern instead.

  4. Look at the leaves. Bush honeysuckle leaves end with a sharp, tapered point.

  5. Examine the flowers. Bush honeysuckle will bloom very small, aromatic white flowers that blossom after the leaves have unfurled.

  6. Look to the ground for the dense undergrowth that is common with bush honeysuckle. The undergrowth will grow so thickly it almost completely shades the ground beneath the plant, making it all but impossible for other types of plants to grow.

  7. Observe the flowers in summer and fall. The white flowers of the honeysuckle bush become red berries during fall months.

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About the Author

K. C. Morgan is a professional freelance writer, with articles and blog posts appearing on dozens of sites. During her years of writing professionally, K. C. has covered a wide range of topics. She has interviewed experts in several fields, including celebrated psychoanalyst Frances Cohen Praver, PhD; television personality and psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig; and entrepreneur Todd Reed.

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