Japanese Honeysuckle

computergardener(z7 NC)May 16, 2008

As a kid growing up, I have such fond memories of Honeysuckle plants. I have looked into buying one called Japanese Honeysuckle, but a quick Google search shows the plant as invasive. I can not tell from the search if the plant is invasive due to seeds floating around and little seedling popping up everywhere in the yard or if once establish the plant just grows wild and I have to prune it 3-4 times a year or it takes over. Can anyone share their experience? I live in Zone 7, North Raleigh.

Also, if it grows up the side of a lattice wall, will it destroy the lattice over time? The lattice wall is wood.

Thanks in advance...

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Tammy Kennedy

Please, DON'T!!! It is one of the very worst invasives we have! It spreads by runners, seed and any other means it can. It won't destroy your trellis unless it just gets so heavy it knocks it over, which is likely after a while. It doesn't have suckers; it climbs by twining. If you're hankering the scent, find some by a roadside and pick a bouquet every now & again to enjoy it indoors, but don't grow it, please.

Some of the other honeysuckles we have are not invasive, much more manageable and smell just as nice- like goldflame honeysuckle, which is the icon on the carolina page. Coral honeysuckle isn't fragrant, but is stunningly pretty and is a native. They both bloom on and off most of the summer well into fall.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:09AM
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First off, kudos to you for researching and asking in here before planting. That sort of conscientious gardening doesn't seem to be as common these days. To answer your question--if you cherish your garden even a little bit, don't plant this horrible exotic menace! It spreads by runners, literally creating an underground carpet that can sprout even through grass. It laughs at pruning!..."3-4 times a year" will quickly turn into 3-4 times a month. If this wasn't bad enough, it also produces small fruits the birds eat and disperse all over the place. It is truly a tenacious SOB that will never, ever die if you plant it and give it half a year to establish.

To get the fragrance but not the invasiveness, try the native goldflame honeysuckle (lonicera x. heckrottii). Niche Gardens has it in Chapel Hill for a reasonable price (www.nichegardens.com; they also mail order). Goldflame isn't quite as strong as japanese; but you can always go to your local woodland edge to smell that invasive monstrosity! It certainly has no place in a garden.

Any honeysuckle twines up through lattice and should last as long as the lattice itself. Best wishes for your fragrant garden!

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese Honeysuckle

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:10AM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Ditto what the others said... and wait till you see the native honeysuckles!! Goldflame is a beauty and smells nice. The color of the coral H. is so intense it's incredible and the hummers are all over it!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:42AM
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I spend about $100 a year on sprays and WAY too much time trying to control the honeysuckle on my land. Sounds like fun eh? I hardly put a dent in it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 1:19PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I like honeysuckle too. Although I have several varieties, nothing compares to the japanese variety.

I have tons in the woods surrounding our yard so I do get to enjoy it, but I wouldn't plant it because it would make all the native plant people irate (and me too if it ever invaded the "yard"))

So, seek out other amazingly fragranced plants. I always have something at all times of the year that smells good and as much as possible, wafts.

Today, I admit the wild invasives in the woods are intoxicating, however, in the yard, as of today, roses are going strong and most Dianthus gratianopolis is still in bloom.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 2:35PM
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computergardener(z7 NC)

Thanks for all the comments. I think I will look for a Goldflame or Coral H variety to feed my fix.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 8:57PM
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