Honeysuckles will grace a fence, trellis or wall with sturdy vines and sweet-smelling blossoms, but they can often become overgrown and out-of-control. Sometimes, the upper part of the vine can grow so large that it will prevent the lower part from getting enough light and air, causing the death of the lower part of the plant. When this happens, it's time for a drastic pruning.
Prune an overgrown honeysuckle in late winter or early spring, while it's still dormant. Untie any supporting strings from the honeysuckle, and loosen it from the fence or trellis.
Use your fingers to untangle the honeysuckle as much as possible. If you can, lay the vine down on the ground.
Use pruning shears to cut away 1/3 to 1/2 of the oldest growth. Trim the vines clear to the ground, or to the point where they're green and flexible. Leave enough healthy vine to bloom during the coming season.
Keep the vine damp for the first season, because it will need extra energy to rejuvenate itself. A thick layer of organic mulch such as bark chips or peat moss will keep moisture in, nourish the soil and help to keep weeds under control. Re-tie the remaining vines to their support.