It seems high time that I wrote about a vine! With the lengthening days, native honeysuckle vines are beginning to show buds now. This is the time to prune them back hard, as they bloom on new wood that will be produced this spring and summer. The vines will climb to about 10’ a season or two after planting. Training to a trellis, obelisk or tuteur is critical, just after pruning in earliest spring. Or teach your plant to scramble over a nearby shrub, English style! The plants will bloom heavily until mid-June, and then sporadically until fall.
Lonicera sempivirens varieties include ‘Alabama Crimson,’ which is just what the name says. ‘Major Wheeler’ is a lighter coral color. From Missouri comes yellow honeysuckle, or Lonicera flava. This is a taller plant, up to 20’ in height, with a strong fragrance.
Note that neither honeysuckle is considered invasive like the Japanese honeysuckles, Lonicera japonica. Be sure to read plant labels when selecting new plants at the nursery! All honeysuckles are drought tolerant, can withstand high shade, but perform best in full sun situations.