Friday, September 30, 2011

Honeysuckle Plants

Honeysuckle Plants
Honeysuckle plants belong to the genus Lonicera and family Caprifoliaceae. There are around 200 species of honeysuckles that include both shrubs and vines. Both bush and vine honeysuckles belong to the family Caprifoliaceae and genus Lonicera. Though, not a true honeysuckle, but three species in the genus Diervilla are also sometimes known as bush honeysuckles, as they share similar characteristics with the original plant.
While the honeysuckle vines are usually grown on trellises, fences, etc. bush honeysuckles are perfect for hedges, as ornamental plants or as accent plants. This article deals with the various aspects of honeysuckle bush.
Honeysuckle plants can either be vines of bush. There are around 200 species of honeysuckles and many of them are commonly grown in flower gardens. Most of the plants are native to China and the remaining ones originated in some parts of Europe and North America. There are both deciduous and evergreen honeysuckles. Most of these plants have opposite leaves and bell or trumpet-shaped flowers. The flowers have a sweet fragrance and are visually appealing too. The color of the flowers vary with species. Honeysuckle fruits too vary in color and species, as per the variety.
Most of these plants bear red, blue or black berries, that are found to be poisonous (with some exceptions). The most popular and commonly grown honeysuckles include Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle, trumpet honeysuckle), Lonicera periclymenum (otherwise known as European Honeysuckle or woodbine), Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle, white honeysuckle, or Chinese honeysuckle). The popular honeysuckle bush varieties are fragrant honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima), amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) and morrow honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii).
How to Care for Honeysuckle?
In general, honeysuckles are easy to grow and require less care. As mentioned above, honeysuckle bush is perfect for making hedges, screens and borders. They can also be used as accent plants or standalone ones in landscaping. Some people use honeysuckle for preventing erosion of soil. These plants can thrive in almost all types of soil, that are well-drained, but, they prefer sunny locations. Usually, they are planted during fall.
Water is not a necessity for honeysuckle bush, but, occasional watering is advisable during dry weather. You can also use fertilizers once a month, during dry weather. However, these plants have a tendency to grow rapidly and spread over the place. This may affect the survival of other plants in the area, as it will be completely taken over by this plant. So, pruning is necessary for most of these plants to check their uncontrolled growth and spreading tendency.
How to Prune a Honeysuckle Bush?
Honeysuckle bush pruning is usually done after the flowering season that runs between April to June. Once the flowering is over, prune the plants by the end of June. The cuts should be made at 45 degree angles and about ¼ inch above the bud. Make sure not to prune more than one third of the plant's height.
You can go for severe pruning once in every two to three years. Do this pruning during the last part of summer. If you could not prune the plant during this season, you may do a little bit of trimming during early spring. Any sort of pruning or trimming during the flowering season is not recommended.
Now, you have a basic idea about honeysuckle bush care. You can get this plant from your local nursery and grow them in your garden. There are many varieties of honeysuckle with different colored flowers to choose from. The most important factor about growing this plant is to ensure time to time trimming and pruning, so as to prevent wild overgrowth.

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