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How to Start Honeysuckle

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Honeysuckle vines are old favorites that will happily climb over a fence, trellis or wall, providing big, showy blooms from early summer until the first freeze. Honeysuckle is adaptable and will grow just about anywhere, as long as it gets adequate light and moisture. Honeysuckle is among the easiest plants to start, either by taking a hardwood cutting or by layering.

Starting Honeysuckle With a Hardwood Cutting

Fill a pot with a mixture of half potting soil and half perlite. Any type of pot will do if it has good bottom drainage. Before planting, mist the soil thoroughly with a spray bottle.

Use a clean, sharp knife to take a hardwood cutting when the vine becomes dormant in late fall or early winter. Select a healthy shoot 4 to 6 inches long, with a diameter at least the size of a pencil, but no larger than your little finger.

Trim the cut end at an angle, and stick it about 1/2-inch deep in rooting hormone. Strip the leaves from the lower half of the cutting, and plant it in the potting mixture about an inch deep. Don't allow any of the upper leaves to touch the soil.

Mist the soil again, and put the pot in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and put the pot in a bright place, but not in direct sunlight.

Check in about a month to see if the honeysuckle cutting has taken root. The easiest way to determine this is by pulling gently on the cutting. If you feel it resist, it has taken root.

Return the cutting to a bright location, but don't cover it with plastic. Mist the soil lightly whenever it appears to be getting dry. Plant the new honeysuckle vine outdoors in the spring when the weather has warmed and there is no danger of frost.

Starting Honeysuckle by Layering

Choose a long honeysuckle vine near the bottom of the plant. Be sure the vine is healthy and shows no signs of damage or disease.

Bend the vine over, and connect a section of the vine to the ground about 6 to 8 inches from the vine tip. Secure the vine with a piece of wire or a stone.

Check every two weeks to see if the vine has rooted. To check, pull the vine gently from the soil, and replace it if it hasn't rooted. Once it has, it can be planted in its new location. Use garden shears to separate the vine from the mother plant, and remove the new honeysuckle carefully with a trowel.


Things You Will Need

  • Planting pot
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Spray bottle
  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting hormone
  • Clear plastic
  • Rock or wire
  • Trowel
  • Garden shears

About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.