How to Prune Purple Honeysuckle

Overview

Purple honeysuckle is a climbing vine that has green leaves with a purple tone in them. It's white flowers are tinged with purple, yellow and red. The plant can be used as a vine or as ground cover. Many times, the upper part of the plant ends up shading the lower sections, which causes the branches underneath to die. Purple honeysuckle is a favorite because of grows quickly and has fragrant blossoms. Its vigorous growth needs regular pruning to control the size and rejuvenate the bottom part of vines.

Step 1

Prune honeysuckle when it is not growing actively. Purple honeysuckle can withstand light to moderate pruning any time of year, but severe pruning should be done in the late winter because it's the dormant season.

Step 2

Untangle the upper branches to better determine their condition and health. Use the hand pruners to cut back a portion of them, depending on how severe a face-lift the plant needs.

Step 3

Prune purple honeysuckle to within 1 or 2 feet from the ground if the growth at the bottom is woody and without healthy foliage. The vine will regrow quickly but may not bloom as well.

Step 4

Cut only one-third to one-half of the branches at the top of the vine for slower regrowth of greenery. Leave some of the older growth to promote blooming in the coming summer months.

Step 5

Reach inside the plant and cut along the stems, hiding the cuts among the bulk of the vine. Cut back stems that have flowered, as well as those that are unproductive. New shoots will grow to replace them and provide fullness to the plant.

Step 6

Water the honeysuckle well in the spring when it starts to grow again. The vine will be trying to recover from the pruning and will need extra moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Hand pruners
  • Water

References

  • New Mexico State University
  • Lowes
Keywords: purple honeysuckle, prune honeysuckle, prune vine

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.