Honeysuckle vines are as prized for their vining and climbing growth habit as they are for their sweet-scented flowers. Even with a naturally attractive growth form, occasional light pruning is required to maintain a manageable shape and size. Infrequently, hard pruning might be needed to reinvigorate old woody growth that has become bare over time. Prune flame honeysuckle during its dormancy in the late fall or winter or in the late spring, if you prefer.
Prune your flame honeysuckle regularly to tidy the plant and remove any dead vines, spent flower heads or leaves. Make tidying the vine part of your watering regimen and it will reduce the frequency of needing large scale pruning and keep the shrub healthier.
Maintenance prune annually to control the shape, size, height and growth pattern of your flame honeysuckle. Remove up to one-third of the volume of the shrub each year but no more to reduce the chances of shock. Establish the desired height and width by lopping off top and side growth. Cut off any errant vines and reconnect cut vines to the support structure as needed.
Hard prune your flame honeysuckle once every three to five years or as needed to restore new growth and fullness to denuded woody vines. Cut up to one-third of the old woody vines from the shrub 1 to 2 feet above the soil surface. Pull each piece of vine from the canopy before placing the next cut to ensure a balanced finished structure and appearance.