honeysuckle vine

SandraB_Oh(NE Ohio)July 7, 2002

When I was a young girl, I remember the fragrance of the honeysuckle wafting through the night air. I now wanted honeysuckle planted in my yard to recreate that memory. I went to our nurseries around here and was told that I could get it through the mail order catalog. I thought I remembered the honeysuckle to be of yellow or maybe white color. They ordered one called golden something or other. The next spring it came up pink with just some yellow in the center. That would have been fine with me because it was so pretty -- but there was no smell - none! The catalog said it was highly fragrant, but mine was not. I talked to the nurseries and was told that what I knew from my youth was probably no longer around. My question to anyone is what honeysuckle vine is the most fragrant regardless of the color? What is the name and where can I find it? The one I have now is not doing very good this year with many yellowing leaves. Some books say to prune and some have said it never needs it very much. I am confused as how to care for it also. I want to take this vine out and plant a new FRAGRANT vine and how to care for it. HELP!!! Thank you.

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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I suspect the honeysuckle you remember is Hall's Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica 'Halliana'). It has white flowers that turn a creamy yellowish as it ages. As kids, we used to pick off the flowers, remove the base, then suck out a single drop of nectar.

But place it where it will have room to grow, as it often growths rampantly, taking over large areas. I wouldn't hesitate to prune it rather severely.

It seems I remember seeing it for sale at Home Depot, just as small plants, which give no hint as to how large it will really get.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2002 at 4:36PM
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HI..The honeysuckle you talk about grows wild here..and is very invasive..I am constantly battling it coming from my neighbors yard..It does smell wonderful..but I really hate exerting energy continually fighting the neighbors sprawling vines... MAybe you dont really want the plant now..if you are limited in your gardening abilities..Its nice to visit.. but you wouldnt want to live with it... Just my 2 cents..Happy Gardening

    Bookmark   July 10, 2002 at 6:41PM
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Slvr(z6a New England)


To my knowledge, all honeysuckles with fragrance are invasive. I tried a Hall's Honeysuckle and it is fragrant, but in one season of not doing anything with it, starting out as a small seedling, it took over a 4 x 12 ft bed, climbed over everything, crawled along the ground and rooted at every intersecting stem, pulled a layer of cement off the steps and believe it or not climbed up the inside of the downspout on the corner of the house and came out at the top where the gutter was.

I had my son rip the whole thing out..what a job, and I threw it away. I have another honeysuckle in the front of the house, I forget the variety it was, but the foliage in contrast to the Hall's which is like a lime green was deep dark green and very attractive. The flowers were both yellow and pink, and very prominent. It was not supposed to be fragrant, but it turned out to be very fragrant. It is also a rampant grower, but I have been able to keep it inbounds by trimming it back a lot every year.

I really enjoy my honeysuckle. I just love the fragrance and it also reminds me of my childhood. What is even better, is that, my husband, who is usually only lukewarm about most of my garden, just LOVES this plant. He remarks on the fragrance every day it is blooming. He has called me from work to say how potent the smell was when he left the house. I have it growing up and over a small canopy over our front door. There is a small enclosed entryway with a screen door on it and the fragrance just collects there all night and when you first open the front door in the morning, it just hits you in the face.

I would say if you have a lot of gardening energy and commitment and know yourself well enough to know whether you will consistently keep after this plant than go for it! But be careful where you put it. YOu never know when you will have a season when someone gets sick or you have a crisis in your house and CAN'T keep up with it, so plant it where it won't cause any damage.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2002 at 4:44PM
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billzebub(7 NC)

Don't buy it. I have plenty. I would be happy to trade some or send it free for postage.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 10:59AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Hi, Sandra. Hall's is probably the honeysuckle you remember, and as the other posters have said, it is invasive. Some nursery people really don't know much if anything at all, and the one who told you you can't get that old honeysuckle was wrong.

There are many other honeysuckles with beautiful, intense fragrances that are not invasive. One is Lonicera periclymemum Serotina Florida. It is a pink and creme, a delicate vine and with a sweet fragrance that I believe beats Halls for sweetness. All the periclymemums are fragrant. Lonicera Heckrotti Goldflame is also a pink and creme, said to be very fragrant.

Check out these honeysuckles at Flowerscent gardens. They have four or five wonderful varieties. Flowerscent is highly recommended by various posters on the Fragrant Plants forum. And my experience with them, tho limited, is that what they say is fragrant really is. They select the varieties of a plant specifically for fragrance, so you shouldn't get a dud from them.

Here is a link that might be useful: flowerscent gardens

    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 9:15PM
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Can anyone tell me about purple honeysuckle (purpurea)?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2004 at 8:58AM
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alan_(s central pa)

I read some where that purpurea is not as invasive? Rapid grower? yes about 20ft

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 9:10PM
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The last 3 nights, around 10pm, the Honeysuckle in the nearby fields just fills the air. The smell is divine. I know it's invasive, but I love that fragrance!

When I lived in Michigan (zone5) my suburban neighbor had his (140ft) cyclone fence covered with Honeysuckle, I don't know what variety it was but it never came into my yard. He just sheared it every year, and it stayed on the fence. It flowered white, then cream, and had a dark green leaf. Maybe he sheared before the fruit formed, and that's why it didn't spread? Any ideas on what variety this might have been?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2004 at 10:07AM
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I have recently purchased a pink variety from Home depot and it's supposed to be fragrant but I smelled the few that were open and I can not smell any fragrance on it. I hope there will be some fragrance when the flowers are plenty. It has a lot of buds in it. Anyway the pink flowers are pretty. I do not know if it's invasive but I planted it in a large container beside an arbor. I think this is one way to contain it in case you get the invasive type by putting it in a container just like you do with mint.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2004 at 1:26AM
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I allow my Hall's Honeysuckle to grow on the fence at the front of my yard and I love the fragrance! I grew up in Northern Illinois and love lilacs too, but they don't grow great here. Is Hall's Honeysuckle hardy in zone 5? My dad wants me to send him some. He lives in central Illinois.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2004 at 3:15AM
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sandra_NY(z4 NY)

Lonicera x heckrotti 'Goldflame' has a pink and yellow flower. This plant is highly fragrant and not the least invasive (in my Z4).
A honeysuckle that I once purchased at HD (I don't know it's botanical name) is distinguished from the above by flowers that were more orange than pink. This variety had no scent at all but was faster growing than the above.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 5:23PM
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Hall's honeysuckle is the same as Lonicera japonica and the same as the purpurea and the same as Japanese honeysuckle and the same as purple honeysuckle. The invasiveness in the environment comes mostly from the berries that form in the fall. The birds love them and spread them all over the enviornment in their droppings. Then the honeysuckle takes over and smothers everything in it's path. It smothers out other plants that feed other animals and makes a general mess. Many reputible growers no longer sell this monster that smells lovely but is listed as an invasive pest on most state lists.

Lonicera x heckrotti 'Goldflame' is variable in fragrance. It's a repeat bloomeer, but if you want it for fragrance, purchase one that is in bloom and smells good to you. Some plants have no fragrance at all while others are wonderfully fragrant.

If you want a fragrant honeysuckle, I would go with Mehitable's suggestion and look into Flowerscent Gardens.

I grow Lonicera sempervirens 'Blanche Sandman' and 'John Clayton'. They are both rebloomers and bloom all season from May to September. No fragrance, but the hummers love 'Blanche' and there are berries for the birds. These are native and not invasive.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 11:33AM
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jjanvil(z6 NY)

I just got an arbor & thought of planting honeysuckle vine next to it. Is it better to wait & plant in spring?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 10:20PM
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Hi jjanvil,
Best time to plant almost anything is the fall. There is less heat stress, often more rain and less competition from weeds. Be sure and get your plants in the ground about 6 weeks before the ground freezes for best success.

Hope you get one of the native honeysuckles I mentioned earlier. Enjoy your arbor!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 1:17AM
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I have honeysuckle galore. The one I have is very fragrant, yellow/white flowers. My kids love to suck the nectar from it. However, BEWARE, if you decide to plant one of these vines, just make sure you prune it often! They can be very invasive it's not contained. It can definitely strangle plants and trees. Last week, I stuck and rooted a few in the soil. If you really want the plant, email and reimburse me for postage or make a trade.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2004 at 4:17AM
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Hi Adelphi,
The plant you have is Hall's honeysuckle aka Japanese honeysuckle aka Lonicera japonica and it is not in good taste to spread this invasive around. The ONLY acceptable way to grow it is to prune off EVERY berry so the birds won't spread it around so that it chokes everything in site. This makes it impossible for other wildlife to have food from the diversity that is choked out. Take a look at this picture of the destruction it can do. PLEASE DON'T SHARE THIS PLANT!

From the USDA site:

"This plant is listed as a noxious weed by the U. S. federal government or a state, and may be known by one or more common names in different places."

Here it covers an entire hillside in the woods.

From Science News site:

"Its sweet scent and bright flowers make Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) popular with many gardeners. The fact that it's bird-dispersed and creates tenaciously rooted shrubs has made it the bane of forest and parkland conservators, especially in mid-Atlantic states.
S. Salmons, NPS [National Park Service]"

There are native honeysuckles that can be planted.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2004 at 4:08AM
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angelsmell(Fullerton, CA 1)

What is the difference between the scent of the Purpurea
and the regular honeysuckle? Do you find honeysuckles all have a little differnt scent? I just bought a goldflame and a purpurea and am trying to see the difference, my goldflame is blooming now but the purpurea is not. The goldflame only seems to get it's scent when the sun is out.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 7:22PM
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velda(z5-6 MI)

My honeysuckle produces 2 flushes of fragrant, yellow/white blooms every year. After the first bloom this spring, leaves began to wilt and turn yellow. I saw no signs of insect infestation, and while it has been a dry summer, I have kept the plant watered. Now most of the leaves have turned brown and died, especially those closest to the vine. The leaves on the tips of the branches are yellow and wilted. The only green comes from a new shoot. Any ideas as to what is the cause?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 8:43PM
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Hi Velda,

Your honeysuckle sounds like the invasive Japanese one. I would say to trash it and plant one of the recommended natives. It will be healthier and not cause problems in the environment. :)


    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 3:44PM
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I have a honeysuckle (yellow flowers, haven't noticed a scent yet) planted early this year which is growing great. Can I propogate by sticking some cuttings in the ground?? Also, it's late October in Colorado - we've even had one snow already, and this thing is still green and fairly lush. Is this the time to prune or should I wait, or, does it not matter? Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 12:15PM
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You might ask on the Plant Propagation Forum.

Best luck!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 9:02PM
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I am looking for some Japanese honeysuckle vines to plant on a piece of large acreage I own to use as browse for my deer herd. They love the stuff.
can anyone tell me where I can purchase some?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 10:31AM
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I'm writing because I need advice about the pruning and care of my vining honeysuckle.

Life would be simpler if I could tell you for sure what I have. We got our vine from a friend-of-a-friend, who got HER start from the woods of Tennessee while returning from Florida. I suspect it's a Hall's honeysuckle, but we've never, ever seen it form a berry.

We have it on a trellis attached to the west side of our garage. It has grown well over the top of the trellis to the point that it has cascaded over the top and hangs now about half way down the length of the trellis. That part is full and lush growth, but the parts interwoven in the trellis itself are thick, woody, and not at all pleasant to the eye. We'd like to have the trellis covered in a more even (and more attractive) blanket of growth.

The vine produces a huge crop of white, and very fragrant blossoms during the last 2 weeks of June. Over the course of a week or so the blossoms turn yellow, but seem to retain their fragrance until they fade. Through the summer it continues to produce an occasional blossom, but we get a slight increase of blossoms as the weather cools in the fall. As I noted earlier, there are no berries. I can, however, propagate the plant by burying and watering a segment of vine for several weeks until roots form, cutting it loose, and relocating the new start. I've done that a couple of times. (If it will help the reader to understand the plant and its behavior, and thereby identify it, we live in the south suburbs of Chicago.)

And so, my questions:

1. What kind of honeysuckle do I likely have?

2. When should it be pruned?

3. How can we get it to cover the entire trellis?

4. Is this a hearty plant that will take severe pruning?

5. Have you any suggestions about watering or other treatment that might increase blossom production during the summer?

If I have no response by early April, I'm thinking of just cutting off all of the overhanging part to see what happens. I doubt that that would kill the vine; I'm just not sure that it would be the best treatment to get what we want.

I'll check this site periodically, but would welcome an
e-mail response (where I'd likely pick up more quickly) at spmgm@aol.com

Many thanks,

Steve & Pat Rinkenberger

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 12:54AM
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ahh, the sweet smell of honeysuckle, the lovely flowers...everywhere....covering my grasses, my trees...everywhere honeysuckle. i need to get rid of this stuff pronto!! any suggestions? i've seen references to bleach, but that sounds pretty...non-fragrant. do i just have to rip it out with my bare hands? any and all suggestions welcome, including bleach, if i must.

not new to gardening, but new to the forum- so exciting to read all of your postings :)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 1:32PM
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catnipmouse(z7 OR)

I've had two of the purple-leafed honeysuckle with the pinkish/yellow flowers for about 5 years now. They have never spread and have not grown more than 7' over my arch.
We are putting in a new arch, and though I would have liked jasmine over it, it is not frost hardy here (or so the tag says).
So I bought the Hall's honeysuckle that looks very different from my purple leaved japanese. How can they be the same that everyone is saying they are?
I hope I didn't make a mistake and should have stayed with the purple leaf that I know has not spread.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 1:29PM
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I know someone asked this earlier but I must have missed the answer to the question. I have 2 Japanese honeysuckle vines that were doing great but we moved and I transplanted them and now they are woody at the bottom and the leaves are turning yellow and brown (almost like they are burnt)and are falling off.They get plenty of water and sun. Does anyone know why that is happening? Are they just settling in to their new enviroment or could something be wrong?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 1:15PM
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Hi all...I am amazed at how many of you are discussing the honeysuckle! Early summer I decided to try an experiment and bought a honeysuckle at Kmart which was about 12-15 inches high (not knowing anything about the different kinds). Mine is called a purple leafed honeysuckle. I then bought a huge plastic container for it and three tall one by ones which I put in the dirt and pulled together at the top, to serve as a "trellis" for my plant. I have this container at the corner of my deck. It has grown beautifully, and this way it does not bother other plants or spread all over my yard. I know if it gets too thick or out of hand, I can trim it. The blossoms gave off a nice scent and I noticed that on the same branch I got both white and yellow blossoms whereas the directions on the tab said I would get reddish ones (??) I am not complaining...just curious. When winter approaches, what should I do with it? Trim it back? Thanks for reading and sharing! BTW I live in Central NY.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 10:49PM
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For those looking for a fragrant vine, may I suggest sweet autumn clematis? Fairly strong grower and lovely white sweet flowers starting in late August. I don't know if it's native or not, but I don't think it's invasive.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 8:51PM
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I am always looking for easy to grow plants but honeysuckles sounds like a monster! lol! Thanks for the tip on clematis, katheric!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 2:07AM
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i am confused and need clarification, sory if someone already answered this. I bought a purple leaf honey suckle. is it the same as japanses honey suckle, i saw both at the nursery today but online i don't see that there is a difference

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 9:23PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Hello new.

Lonicera japonica is your basic japanese honeysuckle.
Lonicera japonica 'purpurea' is the one with purple leaves in that 'family'.

It's a variety of the species - like strawberry yoghurt is a variety/variation of basic yoghurt :-))).

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 11:41PM
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Hi, I've read all the posts and I'm so confused! I bought a Purpurea today to plant in a container to grow up a trellis to provide me with some privacy from the neighbor. I am having visions of this thing reaching out and taking hold of everything in sight and growing over the roof! In a container, should I be able to contain this thing..or should I go back and get a refund? How quickly can I expect it to grow from 1 ft. to 6 ft. or so?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 11:26PM
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I have a honeysuckle vine that is over 30 years old! It came with the home I bought in 2003. It has yellow/white flowers and is very fragrant. I believe it to be a Hall's Honeysuckle, but I can honestly say it is not invasive as others say. It grows on part of my chain link fence that surrounds my property. It is about 7 ft. high and is about 8 ft. wide. It hasn't grown anywhere else in my yard, nor does it get out of hand. I have done nothing to it, except to enjoy the lovely frangrance. I live in Arizona, 4600 ft. above sea level and it is hot and dry without rain until July. Since I'm disabled, my fiance' takes care of my gardens. The honeysuckle has not been watered until this year, when he has been putting in more plants for me. Yet, it continues to grow and flower, again, staying put where it was planted. I have a neighbor who just moved in this year, who's insisting on cutting it down on her side of the fence, but my fence is six inches in from my property line and it hasn't invaded any of her gardens and yard. She just doesn't like the looks of it because it is rather bare at ground level. This is the only challenge I have, wanting to figure out how to make it green again in the lower part of the vine.

Do you know when your honeysuckle was planted? How old it is? Perhaps your honeysuckle isn't giving out the fragrance because it needs more water and sun, plus mulching it. Probably wouldn't hurt giving it some fertilizer that will give your honeysuckle it's ph level in the soil in the range of 5.5 to 7. Good nitrogen supply and high water retention of the soil is required for healthy growth of honeysuckles. Using decaying manure for mulching honeysuckle vines will help see that the vine's requirements are effectively met.

My honeysuckle is in full sun, even though it can tolerate some shade. However, full sun gives you more flowers and a better chance of having a wonderful fragrance. But, if you still want another vine with lovely fragrance, then a Jasmine vine will do the job, too!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 2:08PM
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I have honeysuckle - sempervirens - not much bloom this year - last year was great - can I force a second bloom by dedeading.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 11:04AM
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I have a Hall's honeysuckle, a cutting given to me from a family member. I love it, the neighbour loves it, and passerby's stop and wonder where the sweet, sweet smell is coming from. I need the invasiveness to cover my bare fence and it does so beautifully. Cut it down every spring and it reacts the same year after year. Love it!!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 9:15PM
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