Lonicera

Common name: Honeysuckle

 

Lonicera or Honeysuckle as it is more popularly known, is a deciduous flowering climber that can grow to a height of over 5 metres (16ft+).

 

The sweetly scented 50-75mm (2"-3") long pale yellow flowers flushed with red, open from July to August, and are followed by bright red berries.

They are best grown in partially shaded area with well-drained humus enriched, fertile soil.

Cultivation

Week 18: Annually, apply a top dressing of a balanced fertiliser prior to laying a mulch of well rotted compost/manure around the base of the plant/s.

Tie in vigorous new shoots as they develop on plants that were cut back last autumn, and pinch out the tips to stimulate bushy growth.

Within a couple of years flowering should be back to normal.

In subsequent years honeysuckles that flower from mid- to late summer should be pruned back now.

Week 21: Pot up rooted cuttings (taken the previous year) into 100-125mm (4"-5") pots of potting compost and grow on in the coldframe until planting out time.

Week 26: Take 100mm (4") long semi-hardwood cuttings and insert them into pots containing a mix of equal parts (by volume) peat and sand, and place in a cold frame to root.

Week 32: Layer low growing branches, allowing them to remain for a year before severing them from the parent plant.

Week 35: Plant out now or in early spring.

They will require some form of support therefore it is advisable to grow them up a wall, trellis or tree/shrub.

Week 36: Cut back overgrown plants, reducing them to around 600mm (24”) high.

In less extreme situations, prune out old wood and branches that have outgrown their allotted space, and generally tidy up the plant after flowering.

After severe pruning, honeysuckles that flower from mid- to late summer should be pruned back in spring.

Those flowering early in the season, on short laterals from the previous year's growth should be pruned back in late summer immediately after flowering.

Week 38: Collect berries when ripe, squeeze seed from berries, and sow the seeds in pots/trays of seed compost and place in a cold frame or cool greenhouse.

Circa week 2: fetch pots/trays placed in the coldframe the previous year into the warmth and germinate at 13°C-18°C (55°F-65°F)

Prick out the seedlings, when large enough to handle, into 75mm (3") pots of potting compost.

Grow on in a coldframe until planting out time the following year.

Plants raised from seeds take several years to reach flowering size.

Pests and diseases:

Drought stressed plants are prone to powdery mildew infection.

Prevent this by mulching around the base of the plants with organic matter to conserve moisture, especially if planted against walls and fences where it is naturally dry.

New growths are prone to aphid attack.





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