Honeysuckle vines, belonging to the Lonicera species, are easy to grow, heat-tolerant, vigorous and nearly indestructible. They are commonly used to climb up a trellis, fence, or other framework. Less well known is their use as a ground cover for erosion control.
Said to protect your garden from evil, honeysuckle is known as the “love bind” because it symbolizes a lover’s embrace with its clinging growth habit.
They prefer full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. They are drought-resistant once established and only need supplemental fertilizer in early spring and again at midsummer.
Plant honeysuckle in early spring, when all danger of frost has passed. Prepare the planting area by adding peat moss and compost. Dig the soil to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches. Mulch well after planting. Honeysuckle like their leaves in the sun and their roots in the cool shade.
Prune for shape after they finish blooming but only prune lightly until the vines are in their third growing season.
Aphids love honeysuckle and you’ll need to be vigilant in washing them off with a strong spray from your hose.
Notorious for its sweet scent, honeysuckle vines attract both bees and hummingbirds, who feast on the nectar deep within their elongated blossoms.
Honeysuckle will climb up anything with just a little help from you. Get the vines started climbing by loosely tying them to their supporting structure. They will soon grow and fill it in so much that the supporting structure will virtually disappear.
Folklore tells us that if you bring honeysuckle into your house there will soon be a wedding. And if you sleep with a sprig of it under your pillow, you will dream sweet dreams.
Of your impending nuptials, no doubt.