How to Kill a Honeysuckle Without Killing Azaleas


Honeysuckle (Diervilla sessilifolia) is an invasive vine that can appear almost anywhere in a home's landscape. The vine entangles and chokes out many plants and shrubs, including azaleas (Rhododendrom periclymenoides). With a little patience and skill, it is possible to kill honeysuckle without ruining or killing existing azalea bushes.

Step 1

Cut off the honeysuckle vines that are overhanging or near the azalea bush with gardening shears. Be mindful not accidentally to cut any azalea limbs.

Step 2

Put a pair of gardening gloves on to protect your hands. Start with a section of honeysuckle entangled in the azalea. Slowly unwrap the vine, extracting it from the azalea branches. Use gardening shears to cut the vine loose at the end, closest to the honeysuckle root system, without cutting the azalea.

Step 3

Cut all the honeysuckle vines close to the ground at the base of the azalea. Use a garden cultivator to dig out the root system of the honeysuckle vines. Remove each vine that is at the base of the azalea with the cultivator.

Step 4

Fill in the remaining holes with organic potting soil and tap down lightly.

Step 5

Cut a sheet of plastic ground cloth. Place the ground cloth at the base of the azalea. Cover the ground cloth with a 2-inch layer of pine needles to create a mulch barrier.

Step 6

Repeat the whole process with each of the azaleas overtaken by honeysuckle.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never use herbicides on honeysuckle near azaleas because there is potential to spread the chemical to the azaleas and kill them.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp pruning shears
  • Gardening gloves
  • Garden cultivator
  • Organic potting soil
  • Plastic ground cloth
  • Scissors
  • Pine needles

Who Can Help

  • N.C. State University Cooperative Extension: Azalea Diseases in the Landscape
Keywords: kill honeysuckle vine, remove honeysuckle vine, azalea problems, remove honeysuckle azaleas

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.