How to Prune Japanese Honeysuckle


Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a twining vine that can reach 30 feet in length and is so easy to grow it has escaped cultivation and is considered an invasive weed in all but 10 states, according to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Mature honeysuckle vines can sometimes be top-heavy with flowers while the bottom is devoid of anything but sparse foliage. This is due to the shade the upper part of the plant is casting. Pruning the Japanese honeysuckle will remedy this situation.

Step 1

Remove the top third of the honeysuckle plant in late winter. You may need to untwine lower branches that are twisted around the newer ones at the top.

Step 2

Prune any nonproductive wood. Dead, diseased and damaged stems should be cut off at the ground, or at their points of origin.

Step 3

Cut off any stems growing away from the support structure. These can be cut back so that they are aligned with the shape of the plant.

Step 4

Water the Japanese honeysuckle vine as soon as you see new growth in the spring. The vine will be working hard to replace what was pruned away and extra irrigation will help it avoid stress.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp pruning shears


  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Vines and Climbers: Pruning Plants That Ascend
  • Floridata: Lonicera Japonica
  • New Mexico State University Extension: Pruning Honeysuckle Vine
Keywords: prune honeysuckle vine, prune Japanese honeysuckle, trim Japanese honeysuckle

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.