Anyone growing Honeyberries?

canadianplantMay 12, 2013

I finally found Honeyberries available here (Lonicera Caerulea). OF course the tags are vague, and the information online is really hit or miss. I got "Borealis", which seems to be a well known type from Saskatchewan, and "Cinderella", which I cannot find much information on at all.

Anyone have some general growing info, or even better some info on the L. "Cinderella"?

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

CP,

I had 4 honey berry bushes in the ground for 6 yrs now. They very low maintenance bushes, about 4-5 feet tall. Very cold hardy down to zone 2 or 3. You need at least two for pollination. They are the first to bloom. So do need to protect from hard frost at times. Don't pick the fruits too early or they will be tart. They taste similar to blueberry when well ripen. Very easy to propagate, by put a mount of dirt at the base of the bush and in the following spring just blast the dirt away with your water hose while the bush still dormant. You can cut all the canes with root and now you will have a bunch of new honeyberries. Hope that will help you.

Tony

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 10:09AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

2nd year with flowers on Tundra, Borealis, honeybee. They like forest mulch and a little ammonium nitrate at bud break. I suffered some rabbit damage, so wire caging is recommended. I hope to sample some this year.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Blue Belle & Berry Blue up to my chest high, flowering now, it seems a perfect combination because they produce allot of berries.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:40AM
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canadianplant

Thanks guys....

Im glad they propagate easily. Ill just layer some lower branches if need be. Im in the city, so I wont have to worry about rabbits.

Do you know if they can take some shade?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:08PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

CP,

They love partial shade.

Tony

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:10PM
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treehugger101

Wow! They look amazing! Unfortunately we don't have one patch of shade on our entire property. I would love to taste some.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:25PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Mine get morning sun right away, shade around 2 on. I want to plant more, later fruiting types.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

I have two that I bought from Maxine Thompson a couple years ago at the Home Orchard Society's,All About Fruit Show in Canby,Oregon.They are the Japanese type,Haskap, that she says grow better in the Pacific Northwest climate than the Russian varieties.
Mine had a bit of an Aphid problem earlier this season as seen by the discolored leaves in the photo. Brady

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 7:41PM
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canadianplant

Wow thanks again everyone....

Im glad they can take some shade. This will help me place them easier.

They dont seem to grow very fast?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

Mine are fairly vigorous,once they got acclimated.They have about two to three feet of new lateral growth this season so far. Brady

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 9:04PM
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canadianplant

So they do seem to grow wider moreso then tall? How well to they respond to shaping?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:03AM
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fabaceae_native

Can honeyberries handle low humidity? How about drought? Are they worth trying in the Southwest where blueberries are pretty much out? Is the early flowering a real issue, or are the blooms pretty tough?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:35AM
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Bradybb(wa8)

Mine get a fair amount of new shoots in the inner part that go straight up.I haven't tried to prune too much yet,only to take some to propagate,but I don't see any problems with doing it.
I'm in Washington fabaceae_native and only grow the Japanese type.Your area could possibly be better suited for the Russian kind,I'm not sure. Brady

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 10:45AM
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canadianplant

If youre up in the hills/mountains a bit fabaceae, you should have a chance. I dont think theyve really been tested down south too much...

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:36AM
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charlieboring

I bought a pair that can polinate each other:

The Cinderella - Compact grower! Plants have a rounded and upright growth habit, with clean, grass-green foliage and lovely white flowers in early spring. Ideal as a hedge or living fence, or as a novel addition to a small backyard orchard. Cold-hardy plants can take temperatures as low as -50úF and not even a late, hard frost will kill your crop because the flowers are hardy to 7úF. Large, deep, bluish-purple fruits, which appear to be rectangular blueberries, come in the summer with a taste similar to a wild blueberry tinged with a little black currant. Spectacular when eaten fresh, but be sure to set aside some of your harvest for truly special jam or jelly. A note to home winemakers: honeyberries are valued for their currant undertones. Best pollinator: Borealis.

The Borealis - Abundant harvests of large berries! Fragrant white flowers quickly give way to sweet and tart, plump berries with a taste similar to blueberries. Harvest as soon as early June -- about two weeks before strawberries! Eat them fresh, freeze them, or make a batch of luxurious preserves or fruit liqueur. Plants are densely foliated and have a nice upright growth habit. Cold-hardy. Can take temperatures of up to -50úF and are a favorite in regions where the cold prohibits many fruiting plants. Early-bearing. Best pollinators: Night Mist, MidnightBlue or Cinderella.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 2:28PM
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fabaceae_native

canadianplant:
Yeah, I'm in the Santa Fe area, around 7,000 feet elevation. We can grow most of the common fruits here, but acid-lovers like blueberries don't like the soil, and things such as pawpaw have proven difficult probably due to the wind and low humidity.

If honeyberries bloom at the same time as apricots (early April here) I could get a crop every few years... any earlier, and it's probably not worth it.

I view this plant as something people grow when the real thing (in this case blueberries) prove too difficult. If the honeyberry itself requires any babying, then I would probably give up quickly. UNLESS someone can convince me that the taste is so phenomenal as to warrant the extra care!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 3:19PM
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canadianplant

Charlie that is good news. I only found a few sites saying that Cinderella and Borealis can pollinate each other. Now I know. Thanks for the info!

You know how far away they can be to pollinate?

Fab - I know that generally they bloom either before strawberries or the same general time ( as charlie mentioned) My apricot tree is only 2 years old and not even a foot tall yet, so I cant say.

What sucks is, blueberries are native here. To the point of I could go into the bush and get buckets full. I cant grow them in my yard (guess the natural acidity is gone). I planted them in 80% peat, and they are alive, but look terrible. Im still trying both!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 4:47PM
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aphahn(6a CO)

fabaceae_native,
I'm growing 5 varieties (3 early, 2 late bloomers) here in Denver. They have no trouble with the humidity, and higher pH.
They don't seem to take a lot of water when grown in the shade.
The early flowering ones lost their buds to the 21F night in the end of april and the beginning of May 18F got 80% of the late blooming ones. Though all of the buds that were below the snow line survived on both. So they probably only need a bed sheet or the like for protection. I left them unprotected this spring just to see what they could take.

Correction: The low on April 22nd was 21F not 12F. I misread my notes.

Andy

This post was edited by aphahn on Wed, May 15, 13 at 1:21

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:03PM
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canadianplant

12F is an amazing temp for bud kill though.... -11C temps are record lows for late april very early may, and close to record lows for the beginning of april here.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 6:40AM
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trianglejohn

I have some in Raleigh NC and they're doing fine. Around here they are not an early crop like they are up north. Here they fruit the same time as blueberries and strawberries. Blueberries are a bit easier to grow and harvest but in my yard they take a lot of babying (even though there are wild ones in the woods, my yard doesn't seem to suit them). I only got the honeyberries for one strip of shade and just to try them out. Mine are a couple of years old and haven't grown all that much and seem to want to be wider rather than taller.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

CP,

I have some photos of my honeyberries so you find a spot for yours.
6 yrs old honeyberry bush with the two little propagated bushes on each side.

Tony

This post was edited by tonytran on Tue, May 14, 13 at 19:33

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 7:32PM
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canadianplant

Sounds like i can plant then just about anywhere as long as it isnt overly wet and shaded...

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 11:59PM
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Omegaclass

Yes indeed, i look forward to the harvest when the 7 Russian honeyberries plants i got from Berries Unlimited. They focus on the Russian types and have a seminar on you-tube on running a u-pick berry business. They use tissue culture to propagate their plants. The 6 plants they sent me came in a box packed with saw dust such that no damage was possible from shipping.

It seems they have very good health benefits better then blueberries.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 2:45AM
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canadianplant

I planted them in an area that is half shaded by a fence (depending on time of day). There are quite a few shrubs in that area, and it is slowly becoming a shrub garden lol. The best part is, there are a good amount of lower branches, so I can layer them and start to create a double patch of these guys.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 7:40AM
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TheDerek

I planted 4 honeyberries this spring, they havent grown much, but seem to be healthy. They are in between my 2 apple trees, 2 borealis up front, Honey Bee in the middle and Indigo Gem in the back. In the back corners of my tilled area I put in 2 Carmine Jewel cherries.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 1:09PM
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TheDerek

Its been a cold spring, my honeyberries are just starting to bud, nothing else has broken dormancy yet.... Unfortunately, something liked the taste of my Indigo Gem bush and it was eaten down to a 1" stump when the snow melted this spring. I hope it recovers, but there are no branches or buds on it right now... Anyone know if these will regenerate from below the soil line if damaged?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 8:27PM
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joseaoe1

I live in Northeast WI and the two small Borealis plants that I purchased last year after I moved into a new home were planted in containers (in the fall) and are just about to show leaves. I am expecting an Aurora variety at the end of this month. It has been a LONG winter here and I still have a couple of shady spots with snow in my yard. I'm still deciding where I want to permanently plant these I have about 1/3 acre open yard and over an acre covered in Maples and Norway pines so most of my open yard gets plenty of shade 1/2 the day.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 3:39PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

A bit shade is fine, ..just keep it away from competition plants/trees.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 3:54PM
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DavidGardening(9b)

Does anyone have any spare cuttings?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2014 at 3:31AM
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lkz5ia

if you really are in zone 9, no reason to grow it since you have a lot more options.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2014 at 11:01AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yes but not too many other options when it comes to grow a high quality blue berry with more antioxidants than blueberries.
Also, Haskap don't need acid soils. And...you have a fruit which
you can harvest over a month earlier then Blueberries or other fruits.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2014 at 1:44PM
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