Honeysuckle is a vigorous perennial vine that can become invasive if not cared for properly. The plant produces fragrant flowers that are attractive to birds and butterflies. Honeysuckle requires a support structure and is commonly planted along borders where there is a fence or trellis available. There are two types of honeysuckle plants, each of which is pruned differently due to their growth patterns. Annual pruning is needed to prevent an out-of-control plant.
Prune summer-flowering Japanese honeysuckle plants in the spring just before growth starts. This type of honeysuckle produces flowers on new growth only. Clip unruly branches and areas where you want to encourage growth.
Prune Dutch honeysuckle immediately after flowering is complete in late spring or summer. This type produces flowers on the previous year's growth. Remove one-third of the plant's growth each year to prevent the plant from becoming unruly.
Stimulate bush growth in new honeysuckle plants by pinching off the growing tips on a regulate basis. This will promote a bushy growth versus the production of long vine branches.
Prune a neglected honeysuckle during the recommended time period for the type, either early spring or after flowering. Untie the plant from the support structure and spread it flat on the ground. Untangle the branches and cut the oldest growth at the base of the plant where young growth has begun to grow. Retie the plant to supports, and repeat the process each year until the plant is shaped.
Reserve softwood cuttings to propagate new plants. Strip the leaves off the end of a soft wood growth, leaving one or two leaf nodes bare and one or two set of leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and plant it in damp potting soil or rooting medium to initiate root growth.
Place mulch around the honeysuckle to assist with moisture retention and deter weed growth. Water the plant well to promote plant healing.
Fertilize the honeysuckle plant with a 10-10-10 fertilizer after the leaves have grown to full size on the new growth.