How to Prune Bush Honeysuckle


Honeysuckle is an ideal addition to any garden for its aromatic blossoms and its ability to grow rapidly, provide privacy or serve as a decorative trellis fixture. It's important to control honeysuckle and shape it, as it can be difficult to maintain. Prune the plant in the winter once it is dormant.

Step 1

Examine the honeysuckle bush growth. If it is growing against a wall or a fence, cut away any growth that has climbed up around windowsills, into cracks, or is intruding in other gardening space. Use a ladder if necessary.

Step 2

Use the pruning shears to get rid of any broken bush branches, any dead wood and foliage; also use the shears if the bush is growing outward from the shape you want to maintain, or if it's becoming tangled in any other vegetation.

Step 3

Prune back the entire top half of the honeysuckle. Use the pruning shears, since this will take some time cutting back larger branches. Leave about 1 to 2 feet of the plant up from the base. When pruning, cut back to the first lateral bud within 1 or 2 feet from the ground.

Step 4

Provide water to the honeysuckle bush right after pruning. Cutting back the shrub will dehydrate it and stress it out, so it's important to give it a good water supply at this time. Next, layer 1 inch of mulch around the base to deter weeds and retain water.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning scissors
  • Ladder, if necessary


  • Pruning Shrubs
  • Cutting Back Honeysuckle
  • Caring For Honeysuckle Bushes
Keywords: honeysuckle care, pruning honeysuckle, pruning shrubs

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.