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How to Prune Winter Honeysuckle

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How to Prune Winter Honeysuckle

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Overview

Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) is also known as fragrant honeysuckle, sweet breath of spring, and January jasmine. It is a deciduous shrub that is hardy in zones 4 to 8. The white blossoms have a lemony fragrance, and they appear in early spring even before the leaves appear. A mature shrub will reach a height of from 6 to 10 feet, and a width of 6 to 10 feet. In landscape design it is used as a hedge, border, screen, or as a specimen planting. Reasons to prune are to remove dead, diseased, or broken branches, to maintain size and shape, for safety reasons along walkways, and to encourage new growth.

Step 1

Cut away any dead, diseased, or broken branches as soon as possible. Dead and diseased branches should be removed entirely. Broken branches can be cut away at the breaking point or back to a main stem. Do not deposit any diseased plant material in your compost bin. Disinfect your cutting tool after removing diseased plant material by dipping the blades in bleach or alcohol.

Step 2

Prune to control the shape and size after the shrub has completed flowering. You will prune the branch back to a healthy bud, cutting in front of the bud. Do not prune any newly planted shrubs until after their second year of planting.

Step 3

Cut out the oldest wood/stems close to ground level. Do this immediately after the shrub is done flowering (do not do it after mid-July). This will rejuvenate the shrub and promote new growth at the base of the plant.

Step 4

Use your manual hedge trimmers to trim the honeysuckle when the shrub is used as a screen or hedge. Do this after the honeysuckle is done flowering. Allow the hedge to grow throughout the season and then prune the hedge down to size again in February or March when it is in its dormant state.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruning shears
  • Lopping shears
  • Pole pruning shears
  • Hedge trimmers

References

  • University of Illinois -- Homeowner's Column
  • University of Illinois Extension
  • Paghat.com
Keywords: winter honeysuckle prune, old wood stems cut out, prune control shape

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational columns "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in Oconee Today, a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies." "From Death to Living in the Light" and "Spiritual Intelligence" will be released by Eglomerate.com. Ezop has a BA degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.