Climbing or shrubby, deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen, the Honeysuckle delights us with its abundant flowering more or less fragrant, red, pink, yellow, white, or with two-tone flowers. It is a real nugget that nicely garnishes tree trunks, generously dresses fences, walls, pergolas and other arbors and also allows you to hide a pile of humus, for example. Here’s how to plant a honeysuckle and the care needed by this vigorous shrub with twining stems that blooms more in the sun than in the shade.
Plant a Honeysuckle (lonicera)
Honeysuckle purchased in a container is planted at spring or in fall outside of frost periods.
Planting in the ground
The establishment of a lonicera does not pose any particular difficulty, and any gardener, even an amateur, can install a Honeysuckle in his garden. Just observe the following points.
- Start by preparing the cultivation soil by digging to a depth of 60 cm. We take the opportunity to remove the roots of unwanted grass, stones and various debris.
- Add to garden soil from composted manure. In soil that is too sandy or very heavy, it is necessary to add a few shovelfuls of compost for planting.
- Soak the root ball in a bucket of water to hydrate it well and get it out of its container more easily.
- Dig a hole approximately 50 cm in diameter and depth.
- Place a layer of roasted horn at the bottom, then enriched earth.
- Take the plant out of its container and install it in the center of the planting hole, making sure that the top of the root ball is flush with the natural level of the ground.
- Use the remaining soil/manure/compost to fill the hole.
- Pack down and form a bowl.
- Water generously.
It is advisable to mulch the base without delay in order to keep the freshness and slow down the development of weeds, which not only allows you to reduce the number of waterings but also to spend less time weeding.
Here is something to delight lovers of honeysuckle who do not have no garden : this beautiful, very floriferous shrub can be grown in pots and placed on the terrace or balcony. The procedure is as follows:
- Prepare a mixture consisting of 50% planting soil et 50% topsoil.
- Choose a container (or a large pot) with a pierced bottom, with a depth of at least 50 cm.
- Place a draining layer such as gravel for example and part of the soil mixture at the bottom.
- Install the Honeysuckle in the pot after having rehydrated its root ball.
- Fill with the rest of the mixture and tamp down.
- Water copiously.
We recommend placing the Honeysuckle in a container in a sunny spot and sheltered from the prevailing winds.
Growing a Honeysuckle
Depending on the species, the Honeysuckle is more or less hardy. It likes very sunny situations, being able however to like itself in partial shade but lack of sun minimizes flowering. In terms of soil, Honeysuckle is not very demanding, being able to be satisfied with ordinary soil but still has a preference for soils rich in compost and which retain a good freshness during the summer.
Caring for a Honeysuckle
There are approximately 200 speciessome being called haskaps. There is therefore always a Honeysuckle adapted to a very particular situation. So every gardener can grow this wonderful climbing shrub with twining stems, when he chooses it according to the conditions he is able to offer him, both in terms of situation and climate. Grown in good conditions, this shrub poses no particular problem and is undemanding.
It is during the two years following planting that watering should be regular because they will promote deep rooting.
Once mature, honeysuckles can withstand a few dry spells as long as they don’t last long as this reduces flowering and stunts shrub growth. This is why it is strongly advised to water a Honeysuckle copiously in times of great drought. There are two good watering cans at each session.
From October until the end of winter, watering is no longer necessary for honeysuckles grown in the ground, as nature generally provides sufficient water to meet the needs of these shrubs. . In contrast, you have to keep watering the honeysuckles in a jar at this time of the year except of course in the event of excessive rain.
As we specified above, mulching is very useful for maintaining soil humidity, especially during heat waves since it slows down the phenomenon of evaporation.
It is mainly for boost the restart of vegetationin the spring, that a supply of fertilizer is useful, and it is advisable to fertilize once again before flowering.
The Honeysuckle is satisfied with any support: arch, trellis, pergola, wall with iron wires, fence, tree trunks, stakes, totem, columns, post… Each gardener is free to arrange his outdoor space as good seems to him and can therefore show great creativity in guiding the vigorous shoots of his lonicera.
The size of Honeysuckle is not not mandatory. It is mainly carried out to control the growth of the shrub or also to eliminate badly placed branches. However, if one wishes after a few years rejuvenate the footwe can make a severe pruning at 10 or 15 cm from the ground, which the Honeysuckle can quite bear. It will then not take more than two years for a new antler to form.
Honeysuckles in tubs can overwinter outdoors. In the harshest climates, however, good protection is essential. To do this, we place the pots well sheltered from the prevailing winds, in a corner of the wall facing south, for example if the shrubs are not yet too bulky, and we put a wintering veil as well as a cardboard around the pot so that it does not burst in the event of very strong frost.
Pests and diseases
The aphids are sap-sucking insects that gladly settle on honeysuckles. You have to be vigilant because the ants raise aphids in order to feed on their honeydew. The problem is then to see a cryptogamic disease, sooty mold, set in. It is therefore absolutely necessary to play the prevention card by attracting ladybugs or by buying larvae, as they feed on aphids. This is how biological control can be carried out. It is also possible to spray from time to time nettle manure.
As for thepowdery mildew, it is the enemy of many plants. The Honeysuckle hardly escapes it if one does not amend enough, if one wets the foliage with each watering or if one does not install mulch at the foot. This fungal disease can be identified by the white layer that covers the leaves. It is for this reason that it is also called powdery mildew or white rot. In the presence of powdery mildew, there is no choice but to remove all affected parts of the plant and then burn them. At the same time, sprays of Bordeaux mixture diluted in water are essential.
Very fragrant (with rare exceptions), Honeysuckle naturally finds its place along an alley, near places of passage, not far from a window, on the terrace or on the balcony. His intoxicating fragrance is very sought after, and it is undoubtedly the Honeysuckle of the woods (Lonicera in danger) which is of all the most fragrant. For a successful visual effect, the ideal is to cultivate several species in order to combine different colors and take advantage of a staggered flowering from May until September.
Finally, it is advisable not to grow plants at the foot of a Honeysuckle because it can very quickly suffocate them. On the other hand, if the growth of this vigorous shrub is somewhat tamed, it is possible to plant with it other climbing plants such as clematis for example to form a vegetable curtain with abundant flowering of great beauty.