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How & When to Prune Cape Honeysuckle Plant

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Cape honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) is an ornamental perennial shrub. It originated in South Africa, grows fast and has vine-like qualities. Cape honeysuckle thrives in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. The foliage stays green year-round in the warmer climates, but is semi-deciduous in cooler areas. The large flowers bloom most of the year and range in color from yellow to orange, scarlet and salmon, depending on the variety. Cape honeysuckle can be grown as a vine, shrub or ground cover. Pruning it will keep it healthy and looking good.

Prune cape honeysuckle plants before new growth begins in mid-spring. The best time is usually late winter or early spring. Any later than that, and you risk cutting off new growth.

Snip off flowers after they are done blooming. This will improve the appearance of the cape honeysuckle plant.

Remove branches that appear woody. These are unproductive and do not have buds that will form. Snipping them off at their base will allow growth in other areas.

Trim off unruly branches if you want the honeysuckle to form a bush-like shape. Cut right next to a bud to encourage growth along that branch and create a more rounded appearance.

Prune cape honeysuckle plants that serve as ground cover. Cut off any branches that are growing up, as opposed to spreading out. This will train the stems to stay close to the ground. Repeat the pruning regularly to keep the plant from growing too tall.

Reshape the plant if needed. Cape honeysuckle can withstand a hard pruning. If necessary, cut it down significantly after blooming to control its size and reshape it.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves


  • Keep pruning shears sharp.


  • Clean pruning shears with rubbing alcohol after each use.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.