Gardens

5 Honeysuckle Vine Care Tips

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Honeysuckle vines are very hardy in nature and commonly found in gardens. There are more than 180 species of honey suckle vines, of which 50 can be grown in gardens. Even if you forget to take care of them after their planting, they will, in all probability, continue to grow by fending for themselves. However, in such cases, do not expect them to produce those colorful and sweet-smelling nectar-filled flowers for you. And, if at all the flowers bloom, they may not be of a good quality to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

In addition to attracting insects such as bees, honeysuckles are great hummingbird magnets. Some honeysuckle vines even produce berries; however, you need to make sure that they are edible before biting into them. To grow healthy honeysuckle vines, follow the below tips.

Tip #1 - Right Soil

Honeysuckles require acidic soil to grow well; therefore, take care to maintain the pH level of the soil in the range of 5.5 to 7. As in the case of most plants, mulching helps these vines to grow up fast, healthy, and produce good flowers. Good nitrogen supply and high water retention of the soil is required for healthy growth of honeysuckles. Use decaying manure for mulching honeysuckle vines so that these requirements are effectively met. Since these vines can grow up to 20 feet in height, plant them at a distance of 6 feet between each other.

Tip #2 - Favorable Climate

Though honeysuckle vines can grow in sun, as well as in shade, it is always better to plant them in areas that receive a lot of sunlight. This is particularly important if you wish to see these vines bloom during the flowering season. Placing them in partial shade for the remaining part of the year would not make much of a difference to their growth. However, it is vital that they receive at least four hours of sunlight every day.

Tip #3 - Proper Watering

Honeysuckle requires moderate amounts of water. They require more water only during the initial few months; once their roots get planted firmly, watering them once serves the purpose. The same applies for potted honeysuckle vines. During the summer, water them thrice a week in moderate amounts to keep them fresh. As a thumb rule, do not allow the soil to go bone dry under any circumstances.

Tip #4 - Pruning on Time

Once the vines have adapted to their surroundings, they grow very rapidly. This indicates that these plants are receiving good care. Pruning at the initial stages of the plant's growth is necessary to promote their bushy appearance; however, in the later stages, they require regular pruning to prevent them from encroaching on other plants. If you wish to landscape your garden, then you could make good use of the rapid growth of the honeysuckle vines.

Tip #5 - Recognizing Harmful Insects

Honeysuckle vines produce sweet-smelling flowers filled with nectar; due to this, bees, insects such as aphids, and moths get attracted to them. However, unlike the bees that help the growth of vines, aphids and moths cause considerable damage to them. If infected by these insects, cut off the affected parts without delay to contain the infection. Spray the plant with a soapy solution to eliminate the aphids and moths. The best way to control aphids is to prohibit ant movement; however, in the most extreme cases of infestation, use insecticides.

 

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Photo copyright Dave's Garden (davesgarden.com)