How to Root Honeysuckle Plants From Cuttings
Honeysuckle vines propagate quite easily from stem cuttings. Besides the two methods described here, many people have good luck simply chopping off sections of honeysuckle vine and rooting them directly into the ground. Do keep in mind, however, that while your mature vines may sprout new growth in the spring, the ground will likely be too cold to support younger plants. Start them indoors, and transplant in early summer. To root mid- or late-summer honeysuckle cuttings directly into the ground, follow the second method.
Spring Propagation (Indoor Method)
Buy a bag of soil-free potting soil or rooting medium from a the garden center. Usually these mediums contain a mixture of perlite, vermiculite, sand and peat moss. These soil-free mediums give the young plants a bacteria-free environment in which to thrive.
- Honeysuckle vines propagate quite easily from stem cuttings.
- Besides the two methods described here, many people have good luck simply chopping off sections of honeysuckle vine and rooting them directly into the ground.
Inspect your honeysuckle vine for new growth. Once you find 4-inch lengths of green stems and leaves, begin the propagation process.
Cut 4-inch sections of the vine’s new growth with a sharp, clean knife or garden shears. Look for segments with a minimum of four leaves.
Remove the bottom pair of leaves from the stem cutting, leaving behind at least one other leaf pair.
Consider purchasing a rooting hormone medium. Although honeysuckle is one of the easier plants to root from cuttings, it never hurts to give baby plants all the advantages you can. Follow the directions on the rooting hormone’s package; usually it comes in white powder form. Place the powder in a small tray or bowl, and gently dip the cut end of the stem into the rooting medium.
- Inspect your honeysuckle vine for new growth.
- Place the powder in a small tray or bowl, and gently dip the cut end of the stem into the rooting medium.
Fill a large tray, or several small pots, with the soil-free potting soil.
Make a 1-inch hole in the potting soil with a pencil. Place the stem cuttings into the hole, and gently firm the soil around the stem. Follow this procedure for all of the stem cuttings. Lightly mist the soil with a spray bottle filled with water.
Put a clear, plastic bin over the growing tray (or grouped pots) to form a mini-greenhouse. Alternatively, place pencils around the perimeter of the tray or in some of the pots, and insert the tray or pots into a plastic bag. The pencils keep the plastic from smothering the plants.
- Fill a large tray, or several small pots, with the soil-free potting soil.
- Make a 1-inch hole in the potting soil with a pencil.
Place the honeysuckle cuttings where they will receive an average temperature (65 degrees F to 75 degrees F) and bright light--but not direct sun.
Check the honeysuckle cuttings regularly for signs of dry soil. The mini-greenhouse normally provides its own moisture, but if the plastic doesn’t have a dewy look, remove the plastic, mist the soil with a spray bottle filled with water and replace the cover.
Watch for signs of rooting. The honeysuckle plants will begin to look greener and more robust as they take root. After two weeks, gently tug the stem. If it fails to come away from the soil, the honeysuckle has rooted properly. Look for rooting to occur anytime between two to five weeks after placing the cuttings into their pots.
- Place the honeysuckle cuttings where they will receive an average temperature (65 degrees F to 75 degrees F) and bright light--but not direct sun.
- Check the honeysuckle cuttings regularly for signs of dry soil.
Remove the plastic bin once they have taken root, and make sure the potting soil does not dry out between waterings. Transplant the honeysuckle cuttings outdoors when the ground warms up, sometime in early summer.
Mid-Season Propagation (Outdoor Method)
Prepare an outdoor bed prior to preparing the cuttings so the new vines can go directly into the ground. Regular soil is fine. Honeysuckle doesn’t need extra fertilizer, but seedlings always appreciate loose, well-worked beds. The vine also does best in a sunny location.
Put up a support structure for the honeysuckle vine. Depending on the variety, the structure can range from a lightweight trellis to a well-anchored arbor or fence. It's best to set the structure up before planting the baby vines so their root systems won't be damaged by the work involved in putting up a trellis.
- Remove the plastic bin once they have taken root, and make sure the potting soil does not dry out between waterings.
Follow Steps 2 through 5 in the method described above to begin the rooting process. Dipping the cuttings into a rooting medium before placing them in the garden is optional.
Plant your prepared stem cuttings 18 inches apart along the base of the trellis, wall or arbor on which they’ll be growing.
Water the area well, and tie the vines to the support structure with soft twine until they gain a proper “toehold” onto the structure. Plants should begin growing up the trellis within a few weeks.
- "The Garden Primer;" Barbara Damrosh; 1988
- University of Missouri Extension
Ellen Douglas has written on food, gardening, education and the arts since 1992. Douglas has worked as a staff reporter for the Lakeville Journal newspaper group. Previously, she served as a communication specialist in the nonprofit field. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut.