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The Care for a Honeysuckle Tree

By Shara JJ Cooper ; Updated September 21, 2017
Honeysuckle most often blooms in white and yellow.

Honeysuckle, commonly a vine, can grow as large shrubs or small trees, with Amur and Tatarian the largest of the upright species. They blossom in white, yellow and pink depending on variety and grow up to 15 feet tall. They attract other desirable creatures, like butterflies and hummingbirds. Honeysuckle need little care to thrive. Some are actually considered invasive species -- so check with your local university extension before planting.


Honeysuckle trees are sturdy, hardy shrubs that will live in nearly any conditions are often found around marshes and forests. Some varieties prefer full sun and will flower more profusely in a sunny location.


These plants propagate easily. They grow leaves sooner than other plants and will dominate an area. The seeds are quickly spread by forest creatures. Because of this tendency to spread, crowding out wildflowers and other plants, monitor your honeysuckle tree carefully. Plant one or two and you may soon have several. Plant them from small trees for the best results and remove any "volunteers" promptly.


Add 2 inches of an organic fertilizer around the base of the plant every spring. This will provide nutrients during the tree's growing season. A good compost will work as both a fertilizer and a mulch, keeping the roots moist and slowing the growth of weeds. If the climate and soil is agreeable to the shrub they may not need any regular fertilizing.


The trees need at least 1 inch of water every week so if you are having a dry summer you should water the shrub thoroughly each week. This is especially important if the soil drains quickly.


Honeysuckles bloom in the spring or summer depending on the variety. After they have bloomed they should be pruned to prepare them for the next growing season. Trees that flower in the spring grow buds for the following spring in the summer and fall so pruning them will help shape the tree. Pruning off fading blooms also prevents the plants from setting their berry-like seeds, decreasing the opportunity for spreading.


About the Author


Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.