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How to Root Red Honeysuckle

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

Red honeysuckle is a fast-growing deciduous shrub often seen growing wild along roadsides and fence rows, sending out bunches of colorful blooms in June, which are then replaced by bright red berries. The foliage, light green with a reddish blush, turns yellow in autumn. Red honeysuckle is easy to start by taking softwood cuttings, but keep in mind that it can soon overtake anything in its path, and should be planted with caution.

Check with your local Cooperative Extension Office before planting red honeysuckle. It grows prolifically, and because it can choke out native forest growth, red honeysuckle is considered an illegal, invasive plant in some states.

Use garden clippers or a sharp knife to take softwood cuttings from an existing red honeysuckle plant in early spring, as soon as new growth appears. Cut a piece from the end of a vine, long enough to have several pairs of leaves. Remove the leaves closest to the cut end, leaving at least two sets of leaves intact.

Fill a 4-inch plastic planting container with drainage holes with commercial potting soil. Mist the soil with a spray bottle until it's damp clear through.

Dip the cut end of the honeysuckle cutting in rooting hormone, and then plant it in the center of the pot. Put the pot in a large, white garbage bag, and put a few sticks in the soil to keep the plastic away from the cutting.

Put the container in a warm, sunny spot, but don't put it in a window, which will be too hot. Check the red honeysuckle cutting every other day, and mist the soil if it appears to be getting dry.

Check for roots in one to two weeks. The easiest way to tell is by tugging gently on the honeysuckle cutting. A slight resistance is an indication that the cutting has rooted. You may also be able to see tiny, white roots through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. When the roots are at least 2 inches long, the red honeysuckle can be planted outdoors.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden clippers or sharp knife
  • 4-inch plastic planting container with drainage holes
  • Potting soil
  • Spray bottle
  • Rooting hormone
  • White plastic garbage bag
  • Sticks

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.