There are 180 different varieties of honeysuckle (Lonicera canadensis). Some are vines and some are shrubs, but all produce a sweet-smelling flower. This perennial, which attracts birds and butterflies, thrives in both sunny and shady environments. However, honeysuckles, especially the vines, can dominate other plants in your garden if you are not careful.
Known as a limber honeysuckle, the vine variety must be trained if you don't want it to take over your other plants. These hardy plants can grow at a thrilling rate, reaching at least 10-12 feet in height alone--and smothering anything in their path. To control the vine, install a lattice and carefully weave the vine onto it. Keep an eye on new growth to make sure it is following the other vines up the lattice; soon the vine will go where it is supposed to go. The shrub varieties of honeysuckle are more controlled.
Soil and Fertilizer
Honeysuckle is easy to grow in just about any kind of soil. You can add an organic fertilizer annually if you like, but normally honeysuckle doesn't need much help. Plant a new plant into a hole about 8 to 12 inches deep, and add a little manure to the hole before planting.
Both vine and shrub varieties do well during a drought. You might have to water biweekly during the summer months if a drought persists.
The only maintenance your honeysuckle requires is some light pruning at its base to ensure older undergrowth doesn't begin to smother the new growth. You can shape your honeysuckle shrubs as you would any other shrub, during the months when the flowers are not present.
Ideas and Tips
Plant your honeysuckle shrub in areas of your garden where other plants won't grow. For instance, if you have an empty, barren patch of yard and you don't want to go to the expense and trouble of leveling the area and bringing in new soil, plant a honeysuckle.
Use honeysuckle vines to shade the hot sunny areas of your patio or porch. Simply plant the vine variety in a large pot with a lattice or arbor for it to climb, and the honeysuckle eventually will provide your outdoor sitting area with sweet smelling shade.