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How to Prune Honeysuckle Bushes

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How to Prune Honeysuckle Bushes

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Overview

Honeysuckle is a family of flowering, vining plants prized for their fragrant blooms and deep rich foliage colors. Most species in the honeysuckle genus bloom in the spring and early summer. Any substantive pruning for shape, size or restoration of the of the plant should be done in the late spring or summer immediately following the blooming period to minimize disruption of the following season's flowering. Later season pruning can be done but will result in significantly diminished bloom the following spring.

Step 1

Maintenance prune and tidy your honeysuckle bush each time you water. Cut and pull brown and dying vines from the canopy. Pick off yellowing or brown leaves and any spent flowers that have been caught in the canopy.

Step 2

Conduct an annual pruning to control the shape and size of the bush. Cut away the top of the bush to the desired height. Cut around the perimeter to the desired size and shape. Remove up to, but not more than, one-third of the honeysuckle during annual pruning to reduce stress and prevent a shock response. Balance pruning cuts between old brown wood and new vegetative growth to preserve blooming capacity for the following season.

Step 3

Hard prune your honeysuckle to remove leafless deadwood, bare spots and return a bushy appearance once every few years. Cut old wood down to just a foot or two above the base of the shrub just above the crown to make way for new green growth. Again remove up to one-third of the old wood bulk of the vine in this manner. Pull all cut lengths from the vine canopy and compost or discard.

Step 4

Water your honeysuckle deeply after pruning to reduce the stress impact on the plant and support the roots to produce new growth. Mulch around the base of the vine with shredded bark, compost, coca bean hulls or another nutrient rich organic material to hold moisture to the soil and keep weeds at bay.

Things You'll Need

  • Secateurs
  • Long handled loppers

References

  • New Mexico State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Illinois
Keywords: honeysuckle flowering vine, prune cut back shape, care maintenance

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.

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