The Ultimate Guide to Growing Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is a plant that is known for having delicate tubular, nectar-filled, flowers that have a sweet smell.

If you want a plant to cover up a wall with then this one of the greatest choices out there. This plant can also be useful for covering sides of the building.

The roots of this plant should be in a shaded area away from the sun, but the rest of the plant will do just fine if it is under sunlight or slight shade.

You don’t have to worry about deer, and when it comes to hummingbirds and other wildlife, they absolutely love this plant. 

Growing honeysuckle

If you’re planning on growing Honeysuckle in your front or back yard, or in your garden then keep reading, as we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know. 

What is Honeysuckle

The honeysuckle plant is one that can grow pretty much anywhere, it also has great heat-tolerant capabilities.

It’s known for its blue-green to dark-green leaves and its sweet-scented flowers that grow in one of two different ways: far-reaching vines, or arching shrubs.


The flowers look beautiful when they bloom in gorgeous bright pink, white, yellow, or orange.

Some types of this plant can even have flowers that grow in two different colors. 

Because the flowers are sweet and filled with nectar, they easily attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and birds as well thanks to the small red berries that emerge from the flowers.

This can add a lot more beauty to your garden or wherever you decide to plant it. 

Common Types of Honeysuckle

If we talk about all the types of honeysuckle that are out there, a few pages won’t even be enough as there are over 200 different varieties.


This plant is native to the northern hemisphere, you can find at least 20 of these types in North America. But there are basically 3 different types of honeysuckle: vines, shrubs, and bush.

Let’s check them out!

Honeysuckle Shrubs: if you need an informal hedge, then the honeysuckle shrub is a wonderful option. In fact, there are even some shrub varieties that will do just amazing in pots and containers, too. 

Honeysuckle Vines: this is the most common and easiest to grow. It’s a climber that is available in many different varieties, too.

They can be planted as a ground cover if you want, but they would work much better if they’re used to cover a wall or to hang over a structure.

Honeysuckle Bush: this type of honeysuckle can be a little dangerous because of how invasive it is.

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It should not be planted in your garden or front yard, and should always be planted in an area where it can be contained and controlled.

They can grow really fast and cover all of your other plants if there are any near it.

Planting Climbing Honeysuckle Vines and Growing Honeysuckle Shrubs

Before you do this, there are a few things you should know about planting the honeysuckle. Things such as when, and where to plant it, among other important things.

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Let’s begin!

When to Plant Honeysuckle?

It is recommended you plant the honeysuckle in early spring to make sure there are no risks of the plant frosting.

Where to Plant Honeysuckle?

The plant will grow best in a sunny area where the soil is moist and can get rid of excess water.

How Much Sun Does it Need?

It needs a lot of suns. It can tolerate an area where there is slight shade, but total shade will not allow it to bloom as much as it should and may even lose its leaves.

What Type of Soil Does it Require?

The soil that would work best for this plant is one that is organically rich and that is well-drained. Be sure that the soil is moist, but not too moist to the point where it’s soggy since it can be a little problematic if it is overwatered.


The plant will also do well in acid to alkaline soil that ranges have a pH level between 5.5 and 8.0.

What Install Supports Does it Need?

If you want the plant to climb up, and it isn’t planted near a wall or a structure that it can climb onto, then it’s going to need some sort of support to help it climb up.

When it comes to this, you can basically use anything, from poles to fences, or even a trellis.

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Just be sure you set up the support before you plant the honeysuckle, as it will climb into anything it finds in its way, and if it doesn’t it will just lie on the ground.

What Hardness Zone Does the Honeysuckle Grow in?

The majority of honeysuckle plant varieties will do just fine in hardiness zones between 5 and 9.

They can tolerate some cold temperatures, but some varieties of this plant may require extra care during winter. 

Keep this in mind, if the plant variety is tender or tropical, then it will be harmed by cold temperatures, and will need the extra care.

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You can carefully prune it, plant it next to support of some sort, and add thick layers of mulch around the roots and at the base will significantly protect the plant.

Honeysuckle Pruning

This plant doesn’t require much pruning, to begin with. All you have to do is make sure the shape is kept tidy and contained.

The method and timing of which you prune the honeysuckle depend on whether you have a vine or a bush. When it comes to vines, they can be lightly pruned once every year. Unless you want to prune and old vine or one that is unruly, in which case it is best if you wait until fall or winter if you have a variety that goes dormant.

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As for bushes, you can prune them as soon as their flowers drop in the spring.

In order to remove any dead, diseased or damaged stems, it is advised you use bypass pruners. The stems should be cut to the point where they have joined another stem or just past a leaf node.

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Finally, for evergreen varieties. You should know that these don’t go dormant, so you should prune them only after the end of the flowering season.

This is important because otherwise, you would end up removing new buds.

Caring for Honeysuckle

There are a few tips and tricks one should know in order to keep their honeysuckle plant healthy and blooming.

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Tip 1

Water them well, but don’t go overboard. If they’re soaked in too much water you will risk damaging them.

Tip 2

Don’t let the soil get soggy. This can be done by only giving the soil enough water to keep it moist and damp. Make sure the soil can get rid of excess water.

Tip 3

Add extra layers of compost each spring.

Tip 4

Pruning mainly depends on what variety of honeysuckle you have planted. This is important so you don’t end up pruning them at the wrong time which may cause them to be damaged or even killed.

Tip 5

You can use a low-nitrogen fertilizer to encourage and promote the plant’s growth.

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You can also use a slow-release shrub and tree fertilizer or organic plant food that is applied in the spring.

Another method is to add a 2 to 3-inch layer of composted manure. Unless your honeysuckle is planted in fertile soil, in which case you will not have to use any fertilizers.

Common Questions About Planting Honeysuckle

How Do I Keep it Blooming?

By making sure the plant is planted somewhere that gets full sun, you can keep it blooming. These plants will still grow if they’re in the shade, but they will not bloom as much.

They basically need 6 or more hours of sunlight every day.

Why Isn’t My Honeysuckle Blooming as Much?

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You shouldn’t worry if your plant is still young, it could just mean that it hasn’t reached its full blooming potential yet.

Honeysuckle can take up to 3 years to really start blooming the way they are known for.

Does Honeysuckle Come Back Every Year?

Honeysuckle, like every other perennial plant, will come back every year, that’s one of the perennial plants’ features.

If you take enough care of your plant, you’ll be able to watch it bloom and bloom again the next year for a few years to come. Some varieties can even live for up to 20 years.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Honeysuckle?

Normally, you would see it blooming during its first blooming season. But like we mentioned earlier, these plants can sometimes take up to 3 years for them to reach their true blooming potential, so if you don’t see it blooming during the first year, don’t lose hope and just give it a little bit of time, you won’t be disappointed.