When planted right and in the right spot, Honeysuckle vines are very easy to grow.

Here's a breakdown of what you need to know regarding planting and caring for Honeysuckle...


Cultural Preferences


Soil Preferences

Honeysuckle vines tolerate a wide range of soils, growing best in a moist, organically rich, well-drained soil. As with so many other ornamental plants, constantly soggy or wet soils can be problematic.


How To Test Soil Drainage  

If you are uncertain about soil drainage in the area you intend to plant your Honeyseuckle vine, it's well worth taking the time to test the drainage before planting. 

To test soil drainage, dig a hole 12" wide by 12" deep in the planting area. Fill the hole with water and let it drain. Then, after it drains, fill it with water again, but this time clock how long it takes to drain. In well-drained soil the water level will go down at a rate of about 1 inch an hour. A faster rate, such as in loose, sandy soil, may signal potentially dry site conditions. A slower rate indicates poor draining soil and could be a caution you might need to improve drainage, plant in a raised mound or bed, or look for plants that are more tolerant of wet or boggy conditions.


Soil pH

Honeysuckle vines grow best in an acid to moderately alkaline soil ranging from 5.5 to 8.0 on the pH scale. Most average garden soils fall between a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0, meaning there usually isn't a pH concern regarding Carolina Jasmine. 


How To Test Soil pH 

Soil pH is a measurement of the alkalinity or acidity of soil and is measured on a scale of 1-14, with 7 as the neutral mark. Any measurement below 7 indicates acid soil conditions, and anything above 7 indicates alkaline.

If you're unsure about the pH of your soil, or whether or not it is suitable for growing Honeysuckle, it's a good idea to test the pH in the planting area. You can quickly test soil pH with an inexpensive soil pH tester probe. To raise the pH (make more alkaline) you can add pelletized limestone to the soil. To lower the pH (make more acid) you can apply Soil SulfurAluminum Sulfate, or Chelated Iron. Adding organic compost to the soil or using compost as mulch can also help to increase acidity and maintain acid soil conditions.




Light Preferences

Honeysuckle vines grow and flower best in full to mostly sun. That said, they will tolerate some light shade. We suggest at least 6 hours or more of direct sunlight per day.




How To Plant A Honeysuckle Vine

Scroll down for container planting instructions and care tips


Tip: Before planting, water the root ball deeply before removing the plant from its container.


Supporting Vines  

If you intend to grow your honeysuckle vine on a trellis, pergola, arch or other structure, to avoid damage to the vine, put this support structure in place before planting. Plant your vine 6-12 inches away from the support. The vines should be tied to the support using stretchy materials such as plastic tie tape or nylon hosiery that won't cut into growing branches. To keep stems from rubbing on supports, it's best to loop each tie into a figure 8, with the crossed portion between the stem and the support.


Step 1

Start by digging your planting hole two to three times as wide and as deep or not much deeper than the root ball of your plant. The wider the hole the better. Place native soil removed from planting hole around the perimeter of the hole, in a wheel barrow, or on a tarp.


Step 2

Depending on the type, fertility and porosity of the soil in the planting area, it may be beneficial to amend the native soil. When planting in heavy clay or other compacted or poor soil, to enhance porosity and ensure good drainage, thoroughly mix organic matter such as composted manure or a planting mix at a 50/50 ratio with the soil to enhance porosity and ensure good drainage. When planting in a sandy, quick-draining soil, organic compost, top soil or peat moss will help to retain moisture and supply vital plant nutrients. When planting in a a moist but well-drained soil of average fertility there may not be a need to amend soil.


Step 3

To remove your Honeysuckle vine from the container it was growing in first squeeze the sides of the container to loosen the root ball. Then firmly grasp the base of the plant or trellis and gently try to lift and remove the root ball from the container. If the root ball is stuck in the container it's best to use snips or utility knife to cut the container away. After having removed the plant from the container, carefully loosen some feeder roots around the surface of the root ball. 


Step 4

Set your Honeysuckle vine in the planting hole so that the top edge of the root ball is at or slightly above ground level to allow for settling. It may be necessary to place some of your backfill soil mixture in the bottom of the hole to achieve proper planting height.

Note: If the soil is poorly drained (constantly soggy or wet) improve soil drainage, plant in a raised mound, or consider planting a different plant species tolerant of wet soils. 




Step 5

After setting your Honeysuckle vine in the planting hole, use one hand to hold the plant straight while using your other hand to begin backfilling the soil mixture around the root ball, tamping as you go to remove air pockets. When you have filled the hole to the halfway point you can soak the soil. Then continue backfilling to the top edge of the root ball. To avoid suffocating your plant, avoid placing any soil on top of the root ball.


Step 6 (Optional)

When planting your Honeysuckle vine in a location far away from a water source, you can use remaining soil mixture to build a 3-inch high water retaining berm (water catch basin / doughnut) around the outside perimeter of the planting hole. This basin will help to collect water from rainfall and irrigation often reducing the need for hand-watering during the first growing season while the plant is establishing itself. The berm can be removed after a growing season.


Step 7 

Next, deeply water the planting area, including the root ball, to a depth equal to the height of the root ball. For an extra boost, you can water you newly planted Honeysuckle vine with a solution of Root Stimulator, which stimulates early root formation and stronger root development, reducing plant shock and promoting greener, more vigorous plants.


Step 8

To conserve moisture and to suppress weed growth, apply a 1 to 2" layer of shredded or chipped wood mulch or pine straw around the planting area. Avoid using freshly chipped or shredded wood for mulch until it has cured in a pile for at least 6 months, a year is better. Avoid placing or piling mulch directly against the base of your plant as this could cause the bark to rot.  





How To Plant a Honeysuckle Vine In A Container


Honeysuckle vines growing in pots appreciate a moist but well-drained soil. Constantly soggy soil can and often will cause root rot or other harmful or deadly plant diseases. Therefore, when planting in a container or pot, I suggest using a high quality potting soil or professional potting mix, or a 50/50 combination thereof, and a container with a drainage hole(s). You can also add 10-20% pumice or Perlite to the soil mixture to enhance drainage. 

As mentioned, choose a container with a drainage hole(s) at the bottom and also one that is large enough to allow for long term growth. This might mean your planting pot would be 10-12 inches or more in diameter than the root ball of your plant. 

Container color will matter as well. Not only will you want to pick a color of container that goes well with the flower and foliage color of your Honeysuckle, you'll also want to pick a container that matches the style of your home or other structures and other plants in the surrounding environment. 

Many nursery & garden centers offer a wide variety of containers to choose from. Before heading out to buy a container take pictures of your home and the surrounding environment. Doing so will help you to choose just the right color and style.



Container Planting Instructions


Step 1

Before filling your container with the soil mix, we recommend lining the bottom with shade cloth or a porous landscape fabric. This will keep the drain holes from becoming stopped up with soil. If you place gravel or other materials in the bottom of the container lay the fabric over it.


Step 2

To remove your Honeysuckle vine from the container it was growing in first squeeze the sides of the container to loosen the root ball. Then firmly grasp the base of the plant or trellis and gently try to lift and remove the root ball from the container. If the root ball is stuck in the container it's best to use snips or utility knife to cut the container away. After having removed the plant from the container, carefully loosen some feeder roots around the surface of the root ball.  


Step 3

Pour a small amount of your soil mixture in the bottom of the container. Set the plant in the container and make necessary adjustments by adding or removing some soil so that the top edge of the root ball will sit 1/2 to 1" below the rim of the container.




Step 4

Backfill with your potting soil around root ball, tamping as you go, until the level of potting soil is even with the top edge of root ball.


Step 5

Water thoroughly until water starts to drain from the hole in the bottom of the container. Add more potting mix if settling occurs during watering.


Step 6 (Optional)

Apply a 1/2" layer of wood chips or sphagnum moss to soil surface to help conserve moisture. 





How To Care For A Honeysuckle Vine

Feeding - Watering - Pruning


How To Fertilize a Honeysuckle Vine


In The Ground:  Feed Honeysuckle vines growing in the ground in early spring with a slow-release shrub & tree type fertilizer or an organic plant food. Alternatively, you can mulch plants with a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost or composted manure. 

In Containers:  Feed Honeysuckle vines growing in pots and other containers in early spring and again in early summer with a slow-release fertilizer or water soluble liquid plant food that is listed for use in containers. Follow suggested application rates on the product label.  

Soil pH - Honeysuckle vines grow best in an acid to mildly alkaline soil ranging from 5.5 to 8.0 on the pH scale. Most average garden soils fall between a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0.




How To Water Honeysuckle Vines


Honeysuckle vines prefer a consistently moist soil, however will tolerate dry periods when established. As with so many other ornamental plants, constantly soggy or wet soil can cause problematic; causing root rot and other harmful plant diseases.


At Planting Time 

Immediately after planting deep soak the soil in the planting area, including the rootball, to a depth equal to the height of the root ball. For an extra boost, you can water your newly planted Honeysuckle vine with a solution of Root Stimulator, which stimulates early root formation and stronger root development. Root Stimulator reduces plant shock and promotes greener, more vigorous plants.


During the First Active Growth Season

In average garden soil you should not have to water your newly planted Honeysuckle vine every day. More often than not, this causes soggy soil conditions that can lead to root rot and other plant diseases. In the absence of sufficient rainfall, water only as needed to keep the root ball and surrounding soil damp to moist. 

Keep in mind that deep soaking plants less frequently is much better than splashing just a little water on the plants every day. Plants planted during the winter dormant season, when not actively growing and evaporation is much slower, will require much less water. So, be extra careful not to overwater during winter!


Thereafter

When established, Honeysuckle will tolerate periods of dry weather. Only during prolonged periods of summer drought will plants require supplemental irrigation. If you see leaves wilting or dropping from the vine this is an indicator your plant could use a good deep soaking. Check soil moisture before watering.




How To Prune Honeysuckle Vines


Honeysuckle vines do not require pruning, however can be pruned as needed to keep the vine tidy and/or in bounds.

Use a sharp pair of bypass hand pruners to prune Honeysuckle vines in late winter or after flowering in spring and lightly during summer if necessary to control spread of vines.
 




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