Honeysuckle comes in the form of a vine or a shrub, which in some cases may approach the size of a small tree. Honeysuckle in the wild in the United States in shrub form is an invasive species, with undesirable types like Amur and Morrow honeysuckle shading out native plants. However, for the garden and landscape setting, there are different types of honeysuckle “trees” with many desirable and attractive features.
The Arnold Red honeysuckle can grow as tall as 8 feet and be as wide as 10 feet, giving it an inverted cone shape. Another honeysuckle shrub called Honeyrose honeysuckle can grow to 10 feet tall and has a spread when mature of 10 feet. When choosing these types of honeysuckles, keep in mind how large they can grow.
The red flowers of the Arnold Red honeysuckle emerge during the spring months and change to bright red berries by June and July. The leaves are deciduous, meaning they come off with the autumn chill, growing back again the next spring. The Honeyrose variety of honeysuckle tree has deep red flowers, but these will be on the tree during the summer. In the latter part of the summer, the flowers develop into red fruits, according to the Nature Hills Nursery website. The leaves come off before winter.
The leaves of the Honeyrose honeysuckle cultivar are resistant to the effects of aphids, giving you one less pest to worry about on your property. The Arnold Red honeysuckle can withstand soil high in alkali and salt. Both types are tolerant of heat and can survive extreme cold snaps in the winter.
These two types of honeysuckles make an excellent windbreak and can also serve as a background plant or to screen off someone’s view from part of your property. The flowers are magnets for both butterflies and hummingbirds, which will flock to them as long as they bloom. Honeyrose honeysuckle has the added benefit of striking bluish-green leaves that contrast with the red flowers.
The invasive forms of honeysuckle that grow in the wild can quickly take over an area, growing so densely that nothing can thrive beneath them. These involve Tartarian, Amur and Morrow honeysuckle, which can grow to as high as 20 feet in some instances. You should resist the temptation to transplant these trees and shrubs that you may discover growing in the woods. They produce large amounts of seeds, and when you factor in that birds will eat their berries and scatter the seeds, you have the potential for honeysuckle to spread on your property or to nearby areas.