Honeyberry

newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)August 30, 2002

Anyone growing Honeyberry (Lonicera Kamchatika or edible Honeysuckle) for its fruit? It is available from both Raintree and One Green World Nurseries out in Oregon, so I ordered two from Raintree to be delivered this Fall.

I currently do have blueberry bushes in my yard and was thinking the culture for the Honeyberries might be the same. Catalog said it needs part shade.

I like to try new fruit. The only thing is that some of the native shrubs of the northwest do not grow well here on the humid east coast.

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lostman(z7a/b GA)

I thought about growing the honeyberry myself, but I was told by Edible Landscaping that the plant
like well defined seasons. As soon as there is a hint of warm weather the plant will break dormancy.
My weather is in late winter and early spring is unpredictable. I can get temps in the 70s followed by a
hard frost a week later.

Good luck

    Bookmark   August 31, 2002 at 8:50AM
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oldherb(z8 Oregon)

I grow it here in my zone 8 garden with success. You do need two diff. types to get a good fruit set, just like with blueberries. Here they appreciate a bit of shade in the afternoon as they get tosted by that hot PM blaze.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2002 at 9:19PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

The Honeyberry arrived today so I am going to get it planted over the weekend. They really do look like any of my other honeysuckles that I have growing for their flowers with typical honeysuckle leaves. The bottom part of the stems seem like they MIGHT be alittle thicker. I hope these are shrubs as they are supposed to be. I am planning for them to grow shrubby.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2002 at 5:33PM
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PatRuth55(central VA, z7)

I just received a catalog from Miller Nurseries, from which I've bought plants in the past, and saw the honeyberry bush being advertised. Knowing nothing about it, I ran a Google search and found this forum. That explains why my reply is much after the initial discussion. Anyway...I'm wondering if this Honeyberry bush, being native to Siberia and, according to the description of One Green World Nurseries, not being bothered by any pests and diseases, could turn out to be as invasive as the Japanese Honeysuckle vine here in the warmer climate of central Virgina. Has anybody given this any thought or know for certain one way or the other?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2002 at 10:42PM
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moontraveler(7GA)

This berry bush caught my attention too! I'd like to hear from anyone growing it in zone 7. I was thinking it would do well at the woodland edge. How do the berries taste?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 10:32AM
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maryliz(5b/SE lower MI)

I notice that everyone here talking about the honeyberry is in zone 7 or warmer. Will honeyberry survive zone 5?

    Bookmark   December 25, 2002 at 11:17AM
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PatRuth55(central VA, z7)

The Miller Nurseries catalog says that it's native to Siberia, so I expect you can grow it in Michigan!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2002 at 9:16PM
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Corrie(2b MB Canada)

One of my 2003 catalogues shows a lonicera that is supposed to have sweet, edible berries. The picture shows a dark blue/purple "berry" that is long rather than round, sort of almond shaped. Is this the honeyberry? Is there a stone or pit in the berry, or can they be eaten whole? I was considering buying one, but couldn't find any information. Hate it when catalogues don't give a proper latin name. Corrie

    Bookmark   January 7, 2003 at 7:10PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Sometimes they just call them Edible Honeysuckle instead of Honeyberry.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2003 at 11:53PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Has anyone tried the berries? What are they like?
Lori

    Bookmark   February 17, 2003 at 12:29AM
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amwaite(z5 quebec)

Its a zone 3 for sure, maybe even 2, I'm not positive though. I'm thinking of planting some also. I was mostly wondering if they have a good texture. I've read it tastes somewhat like blueberries but not as sweet or tasty. They would certainly be good for cooking, wouldn't they?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2003 at 4:59PM
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maryliz(5b/SE lower MI)

Here is a snippet of what I found online:

"Crops of large, lovely, turquoise tasty berries ripen ahead of strawberries and are very nice eaten fresh with cream and sugar. Flavor reminds you of wild blueberries but without the seeds..."

    Bookmark   April 8, 2003 at 9:26AM
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Geoffrey_1(z5 OH)

The only independent information that I have run across on honeyberry is by a grower in the North American Fruit Explorers group. He said that he did not find the taste particularly good. Still, even he admitted that it was his first season with them so there might be features he was unaware of.

Personally, I'd guess that it either has to be eaten semi-unripe when there might be an attractive tartness or eaten very ripe, perhaps even drying on the bush. Since it belongs to the honeysuckle family there is a good chance of bitterness though much of this is presumably bred out with the honeyberry.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2003 at 10:10PM
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BackWoodsBear(Z3 NWWisc)

My 3rd spring with 4 plants I got from Raintree. 2-Earlibird(?), 2-Bluebird. The growth habit is incredibly different tho they all arrived the same size: Earlibird is just that; leafing & blooming before the other variety -- and very compact bush with smooth leaves, rounded shape. Bluebird is MUCH larger, very vigorous and branchy with FUZZY blue-gray leaves blooms later. I fret cross-pollination isn't likely. The first variety is blooming now, so I'll see if fruit results this year.

Still these seem to flourish way up here by Lake Superior (Z3). Planted next to a native stand of wild blueberries under an oak, they decidedly like acidic, clay soil. If nothing else, Forest Tent Catapillars which defoliate everything left these untouched, and Deer ignore them!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 4:09AM
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Avena

I have grown the honeyberry in the PNW- it is the first ripe fruit of the year , which makes up for the lack of snappy flavor. The yields have never been what you could call heavy. The bushes are upright in stature and undemanding.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2003 at 10:40AM
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ltwolf(sw Wisconsin)

friend of mine has two honeyberry plants that the fruit is ripening now. Does anyone know how to propagate these plants, seeds are small and tried planting them with no luck so far. Tried hardwood cuttings and softwood cuttings which don't work for me.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2003 at 1:24AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Mine flowered this spring but never did set fruit as the two varities flowered at different times. The shrubs seem to be growing just fine.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2003 at 4:06PM
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reginak(z7 Maryland)

Is it fragrant like other honeysuckles?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2003 at 9:22PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

The leaves look pretty much like other Honeysuckle leaves but if you are looking for beautiful Honeysuckle flowers or fragrance, you'd better look elsewhere. The flowers are small and not at all noticeable unless you are looking for them.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2003 at 3:37PM
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nurblet(z5/6 Upstate NY)

I have 2 blue belle from Raintree and 2 Blue Velvet (I think) that I planted last fall. the leaves look just like honeysuckle. Like nyrita said, the flowers weren't much to write home about. I was very surprised though--one produced a handful of long skinny berries early May. No pits or seeds. They are like a bland blueberry, not super sweet, but not mouth puckering either. Actually they remind me of some serviceberries. I have them in part shade, broken up clay soil, near an ugly side of the house I'm hoping to cover up. I didn't need to make the soil sandier or acidic like I did with blueberries. (soil is very clay up here)

They don't seem to grow very fast or sucker. , I was also worried about them being aggressive like Tartarian and Amur honeysuckles. I picked most of the berries and didn't see birds check them out. They did survive our wonderful 6 month long winter and several ice storms. Perhaps that's what keeps them in check. They survived the sudden bolt to 80 degree temps that we had (unfortunately a couple of my blueberry bushes didn't, grrrrr)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2003 at 6:21PM
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gkadams69(z8 WA)

Planted honeyberry last fall, and got a small handful of berries this year. To my mouth, they taste very similar to the wild blue huckleberries we used to find in the woods as kids.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2003 at 10:50PM
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alison(6b/OH)

The latest copy of Gardener's Supply has honeyberries at what seems like a decent price.

I'm a little more interested in the Seaberries, another Russian fruiting shrub. I really liked the bottled seaberry juice and seaberry jam I had in Russia; I think it was an important source of vitamin C during the Cold War.

Here is a link that might be useful: Honeyberry

    Bookmark   September 4, 2003 at 6:17PM
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Buartnut(z5b Ontario)

My inquiries from people not on these forums resulted in one respondent who had tasted these berries in their native area, the Kamschatka Penninsula, (sp?) and said they were sweet and deliciously unique, unlike blueberries. Another grower in the mid USA said he didn't like them raw but that they were excellent in jam. Seeds are very tiny. They don't need very acid soil like blueberries. They need moist but well drained soil and half shade. They are available in Canada from Dominion Seed House, Ontario or from McFayden's of Alberta.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2004 at 1:38PM
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oklahawg(NE OK z6-7)

My first attempt with honeyberry didn't go well. They managed to get about a half day of Oklahoma summer sun and even a transplant to a shady site didn't work. I'll try again and see what happens.

A concern for some of us: it sounds like finding compatible blooming periods is a concern. It'd be a shame to have to have 4-5 different varieties to insure pollination.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2004 at 8:28PM
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subuch(z9CA)

For those who want to try a different fruiting honeysuckle, the winter-blooming variety has delicious cranberry-colored fruit. It won't bear many until the plant is 3 or more years old. Some years the yield is very light. The delicate winter blooms running the length of new growth scent the entire yard with a perfume not unlike daphne. It roots wherever you stick a cutting in the ground, and requires no care here in Zone 9.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 8:30PM
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oklahawg(NE OK z6-7)

The rather fragile honeyberry I planted last year flowered and has tiny (and I mean tiny) blue fruit. It has withstood a transplant. Strangely, the fruit appeared with only a single honeyberry in the yard, likely in the neighborhood and maybe in the whole dad-gum county. Dare I mention state of Oklahoma? I was under the impression it required a pollinator in the form of a different variety.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 9:54PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Your lucky getting fruit. I have two Honeyberry shrubs and last year they flowered at different times. The one was so much earlier than the other that all blooms were gone by the time the second shrub flowered. Still, it was the first year flowering and only afew blooms.

This year they are both flowering although the one shrub did start flowering sooner than the other. I don't think much of these shrubs.

I ordered Winter Honeysuckle mail order this spring because the fragrant factor sounded wonderfull to me. I did not realise the fruit would be edible too, another bonus!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 10:22PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Rita - It seems like with many of my shrubs/trees, they have a longer bloom time as they mature. I guess it would make sense that all the flowers do not open on the same day so maybe your honeyberries bloom time will overlap after they mature a bit. I'm sure they were expensive so I hope they do better next year for you.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 8:42AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I just went and looked at them. I think there are fruits on the early blooming one, which is almost finished blooming. I would think if they were not fertile, the little green nublets at the base of the flower would dissapear but some are getting larger.All this for less than a dozen fruits on the shrub. The other one is blooming away and has many more blossoms than the first shrub did. I guess they can't do any worse if they mature.

Of every shrub I have planted in the last few years in my garden renovation, this is by far my least favorite. When I look at them, I don't know what posessed me to buy these shrubs. I guess I fell for the descriptions of wonderfull blueberry like fruit. What a crock !!!!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 1:50PM
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Tiffz8b(z8b FL)

I planted 8 of the same variety (blue velvet) this spring and despite a downpour during their bloom cycle, they actually set some fruit. The fruit was tiny and I didn't even know they were there until they were too soft to eat. I wasn't expecting any fruit at all for a while.

I think planting the same type works because they will bloom together. I am no expert, however.

They are definately not that pretty.

It is true about them breaking dormancy at the first hint of warm weather. I couldn't believe how fast they greened up. Where I am at, we have wild fluctuations, so I figure I won't get fruit some years.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2004 at 3:03PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

You have to carefully lift up the branches to see the fruits as they are on the underside of the branches under the leaves. Raintree Nursery says you need two types for fruit set.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2004 at 6:21PM
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Tiffz8b(z8b FL)

I know. Raintree's catalog states that two types are needed to set fruit, but I read that after I bought them from Parks. They said in their catalog that you could plant multiple varieties or more than one of the same for fruit set. Since I was growing a hedge, I bought all of the same variety. I am pretty confident that there are no honeyberry plants nearby. Perhaps they will set fruit, but not as well as with two varieties.

I guess I will be finding out. Of course, Raintree specializes in fruiting plants more than Parks, so I kicked myself when I read the conflicting advice.

How big have your "shrubs" grown since you got them? Do they look like shrubs or straggly wannabes? Mine are pretty unruly and I think they could benefit from a good pruning.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2004 at 11:07PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

They have filled out but not gotten much taller. They do grow like shrubs but I can't say these things are very attractive. I mostly just ignore them.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2004 at 10:40AM
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stephtheogre88(z5/6 PA)

hey newyorkrita, where can u buy winter honeysuckle?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2004 at 8:49AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I got my Winter Honeysuckle from Fairweather Gardens this Spring. It is also called Fragrant Honeysuckle. Other places might have it under that name.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fairweather Gardens

    Bookmark   May 31, 2004 at 11:15AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Well, shock of the century. Both my Honeyberry shrubs are actually blooming at the same time!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 6:23PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Mine are now 4 years old and still only about 2 feet tall. Never seen a single berry, and just a couple of blossoms. Because I had ordered from different sources, I can't tell if I have two types growing. At least they don't take up much space as I would have pulled them by now.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 11:05AM
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gswilkent(z3 Canada)

I have 2 honey berries they are amazingly different from each other. They almost look like 2 differnt types of plant not just variety. the one blooms earlier than the other though so I have not gotten much fruit. The fruit I have got has been very good though it tastes very similar to a wild low bush blueberry only slightly more tart. I have just got 2 more so hopefully more fruit will come. They are the first thing to leaf out every year and the one is the first thing to bloom in our yard, they have been buried in over a foot of snow and had well below freezing temperatures when in bloom and I still get the same amount of fruit, so for all the people in this forum from zone 7 who are worried about spring frosts, don't be.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 10:26PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Honey berries for me have not grown any berries. I think that even though I supposedly got two types planted, they all seem to be the same size and appearance. I just don't want to devote any more space to an otherwise low quality fruit producer. Their space is not an issue, but at some point, I might just dig them up and plant a small ruit tree there instead.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 4:51PM
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oklahawg(NE OK z6-7)

Two of my three are painfully scraggly. The other is growing aggressively in comparison. I've had some tiny blue things follow the blossoms but never have had fruit stick around. At some point they may well be purged in favor of something more interesting and productive.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 11:25PM
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murkwell

I saw these at the Portland farmer's market at the One Green World stand and was intrigued. One Green World had a fruit tree sale a few weeks ago (the last day they were open to the public for the year). They were offering samples and one of the things was honeyberry.

The berries were thawed and unsweetened. They were very tart and the flavor didn't seem very complex. I decided Iw as glad I hadn't bought them, although maybe these weren't fully ripe or weren't a particularly tasty variety. These were the ones that the nursery chose to share with prospective buyers though, fwiw.

They did have a very good price on evergreen huckleberries (compared to Raintree) I think they were 3/$21 compared to $18 apiece or something like that. I now have one from Raintree which is maybe 25% bigger than the others and 6 from One Green world. I'm fortunate in that I live about halfway in between the two. Well, under an hour to One Green World and just under 2 to Raintree. If I owned my own truck or van I would have visited Raintree this season. I just can't bear the thought of driving 2 hours there in my sedan only to see a balled and burlapped tree that I must have.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 5:01PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

This year, has been the first time I have seen the long blue berries. Just a few dozen per plant, and most near the tops. I tasted several and found them to be a bit tart and lacked any kind of decent flavor. Compared to a blueberry, these don't even come close. I'll leave the 4 bushes there, as they are small at about 2 foot height only and have not had any problems as far as pests bothering them. With the few I have, they can't even make a single jar of jelly.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 2:34PM
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winter_unfazed(USDA Zone 6, MO)

The honeyberry, native to Siberia, is hardy to zone 3, and some varieties may be hardy to zone 2.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 9:01AM
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mersiepoo_yahoo_com

I bought two honeyberries and planted them 2 years ago. I don't know if it's the location or what (they have pretty good soil, and some shade), but they haven't grown hardly at all! The one (I got bluebird and blue bell) died this year, but I think it came back near the end of the season. I'll find out if it's still living in the spring, I guess. I think they don't like being fertilized though, I know that at www.parkseed.com they say they don't need it (maybe that's what I'm doing wrong, I don't know). I don't think they like a higher ph soil either, this could be the culprit as I sprinkled some lime on the soil near them too. The 2nd year after planting them, I got 3 flowers on the one larger bush, but microscopic fruit. Not sure if some strains are just better than others. I just wish seed companies would give better horticultural info on some of their plants. Hopefully they will do better in 2007. We are having such a mild year this year in Pa, even my p nigra (henon) bamboo will probably do great!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 1:52PM
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propag8

There are two main kinds of honeyberry: early blooming and late blooming. If you look in the One Green World catalog (or possibly on their web site www.onegreenworld.com), you'll see the varieties sorted by early and late. Last year's catalog also had advice on which is better to plant in which part of the country. There is some variety of the growth habit and appearance even among the early and late blooming cultivars.

To propagate, you have to take cuttings at the correct time. Take green cuttings when there's a lot of new growth, but don't use the softest tips. Wait until you have some material that isn't terribly flexible, but isn't yet rigid. They require mist and bottom heat, a coarse prop soil--don't let them get too hot, and don't let the soil dry out. Thicker cuttings will have a better rooting percentage, but not if they're woody.

The fruit varies in sweetness, depending on the cultivar. Some people like it tart, some prefer sweet. It makes wonderful jam and juice. It's one of the first plants of the season to bear fruit, but the birds know that too. Robins love it and will pick the plants clean before you even know you have fruit.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:59AM
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george_23

I'm not a plant expert, but the true honey berry (celtis australis) is a tree that gets to about 60 feet tall. I have one I ordered and planted about 10 years ago from Oregon Exotics when they were still in business and it's about 30 feet tall. I have also planted the blue honeysuckle plant (lonicern caerulea edulis) that you refer to it's fruit as "honeyberry". The fruit was like an over ripe cherry - it was juicy, kinda sweet, but not something great, just a novility.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 10:11PM
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marbles_n_the_garden(DownEast Maine, Zone 5)

I purchased a few honeyberry plants in the summer before last ('04). Not much going on yet, but they put up with being stuck in pots and nearly drying out before I got them in. They came back in spring ('05), and I plan to move them, but I'll wait to see blossoms or fruits first.
Robin

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 11:28PM
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lkz5ia

Honeyberry seems to lack vigor. I don't have patience for lame plants, so we'll see if my two decide to survive.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 6:38PM
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carol17_gardener

I planted 2 honeyberry shrubs a year ago& got a few handfuls of fairly nice sized berries; They are a bit tarter than blueberries, but i liked them. A neighbour who grows fruit for sale has some, and I really liked their taste in a pie, so I'll be planting more.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 9:48PM
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mulchwoman(metuchen,nj)

Hi
I hope this didnt get posted twice.
I just ordered 2 honeyberry plants (Blue Belle and Berry Blue).
Hoping to find our further news about them and how they have performed since the earlier postings.
Any advice welcomed.
Pat

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 9:15AM
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dkgp_earthlink_net

We planted two honeyberries last fall (Blue Belle and Berry Blue, I think). They tolerated being stuck in a pot for several months after arriving bareroot in the spring. Then I hurriedly planted them in a spot in my lower meadow where they have moist soil, somewhat decently drained, and put a bit of torn up old rubber mulch mats around their bases to help keep the weeds down. They survived a TOUGH winter here in MN (-30F) just fine, and I'd say they were even in a frost pocket. They are small, but have probably doubled in size since planting, and they are quaint looking. Nothing showy, but not ugly by any stretch. They seem to compete pretty well in tough conditions, (weeds, weather, pots, neglect), and whether or not they are prolific fruiters, if the berries are reasonably tasty, I'll plant more. We Minnesotans are fruit starved by spring, and even a bland garden berry is better than a store bought berry!

Please note, it is not unusual for any fruit tree or shrub to take 2-3 seasons, or more, to set fruit, and often the first fruit set is small. I get excited about any oddity that fruits in the first season or two, but I don't expect it, and I don't worry much about those that have light yields for the first few harvests, as they often take time to ramp up. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 11:20AM
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denninmi(8a)

I planted 2 honeyberry bushes a few years back. I can't remember the exact varieties. One is MUCH larger than the other, and, ironically, the smaller bush has the larger berries.

But, I really like this fruit. Yes, it is slightly bitter tasting when raw, but it makes a fantastic pie. Honeyberry pie has become an annual tradition in my house. I make it with half Splenda and half sugar, since I'm a diabetic, and I only get a small slice, but, yum.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:58AM
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cmmwiebe_gmail_com

I have about 150 plants most of which are seedlings. Seedlings from a japanese seed source fruited this summer and we had them in pie, jam and as a fruit filled deep fried dough (my favourite). They were a little tart but I did harvest early to ensure that I would get fruit from all the plants that had some. Robins and Cedar Waxwings are big enemies as they are very persistant even with netting. I am looking forward to next year as a second group of seedlings will fruit which are a cross with Blue Belle, Berry Blue and Blue Velvet. To me they really do have potential but the selection process is still early in the North American context. They are well known through most of Europe and into Western Russia as a garden plant but the source is Eastern Russia and Northern China and Japans' Hokkaido Island.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Honeysuckle Blog

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:38AM
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cmmwiebe

I am wondering if anyone kept some berries from their harvest (ie; frozen) and would be able to send me a few seeds. I would want to have some idea as to the source and if another pollinator was present.

Clayton

Here is a link that might be useful: My Honeysuckle Blog

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:41AM
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nononoall

Michigan Bulb has an Arbor Day Sale on thru April 27, 2009 on Wild Honey Honeyberry 10.39, and Honey Sweet for 12.99. This is the lowest price on the web I could find. I don't like spending a lot on trying something out. I hated the $18.99-19.99 prices I found all over the web on the honeyberries. I do intend to try them out but overall the forums have been more negative than positive on these new introductions. I still like to decide for myself however and I am going into this with eyes wide open. Barbara

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 6:32AM
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lilrdhen

I have two honeyberry bushes and love them. They have produced an abundance of berries that have quite a bitter taste. I have been trying to find a recipe for making jelly with the juice and have been unsuccessful. Does anyone have any suggestions how to get rid of the bitter taste, or does this go away once it is cooked?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 5:32PM
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denninmi(8a)

I've found that further ripening of the berries off the bush, on the kitchen counter, for one to two days after picking, helps to minimize the slight bitterness. Just have to watch out for mold developing, since the fruit is soft and fragile. Helps to carefully pour them out on a single layer on a cookie sheet, so that the air can get to them. Although I haven't tried this, I suspect that putting the cookie sheet in a plastic bag with a very ripe bannana or apple would help ripen them even faster, due to the effects of the ethylene gas.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 9:46PM
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yielder

Looking for info?

Here is a link that might be useful: Edible Blue Honeysuckle Gardeners

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 5:57AM
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anutichek_yahoo_com

I see that a lot of comments are somewhat dated, but I thought I leave my comments just in case. I'm from Siberia living in Chicago now, and Honeyberries are very dear to my heart. after a long search I 've found out their name in English and very excited to plant them in my garden. Several people were asking about their taste, well from the first person experience they are wonderful. they are the first of the edible berries to ripen. in the place people grew their own food, berries so early in season are treasured. they do have bitterness in them, but it is not unpleasant, it actually adds the sophistication to their flavor. in my home country, people usually just eat them fresh while they last ( as they're believed to be full of vitamins)and freeze them whole for later. I would recommend everybody interested to give them a try. the bushes do have ornamental interest as well. Depending on the variety some have more silvery leaves, and others have larger fruits which look beautifully on the bush, but again form my experience, the best tasting fruits come from a regular green leaved variety with smaller fruits , which have more of that bitter taste compared to the larger sweeter honeyberries.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 12:16AM
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lkz5ia

I've ate some for first time this year, and can say I rather call them blue honeysuckle than honeyberry. Honeyberry name makes it sound like they are going to be sweet, but I have not found that to be true. I think they would be good utilizing like people utilize sour cherries, not for fresh eating, but baking and cooking.etc.

A read one person described the taste as when first bite into it, has blueberry taste, then quickly turns into grapefruit flavor. That sounds about like my experience with them. I do love them though, cuz its my earliest fruit, so its worth having a sour explosion in my mouth, if it means I get to have fruit in May.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 5:05PM
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cmmwiebe

This is sure an old thread. Completely forgot that I had posted here at one time.
We were up to about 350 plants this year but are thinning out as I have made selections for further work in trying to find some marketable plants.
This year here in the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan area was very wet so the plant growth was phenomenal. In many cases I pruned as I wen to get as many berries as I could. The flavours were probably more tart than they would have been on a normal year as we were wet and cool which draws up the tannins(as in tea) which are strong flavoured. Still the fruit made great jam and jelly and pies. Also good in a fruit crumble but it can give a very intense flavour. My wife has made pies with a mix of EBH (Edible blue Honeysuckle) and blueberries and that is very good!

Note some comments about growing further south and you will certainly find the plants do funny things as they really need the cold to hot to cold for proper growth. They tend to shut down during summer heat but will start up again if the temperature drops to 10 Celsius (50F)or less and then warms up; even flowering and producing fruit if the season carries on long enough.
Anutichek I have sent you email.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Blue Honeysuckle Blog

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 11:29PM
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sarah93

I have two bushes left by the previous owner of our property. They're both about 5 feet tall and quite vigorous; apparently quite happy with our upstate NY climate. One is a Blue Belle; the other is not labeled. I can't say I'm terribly impressed. The Blue Belle produces a few berries; the other shrub almost none. The berries are good but somewhat bland. I'll let them stay, but I won't plant more.

Interesting, I was in the Altai Mountains in Siberia in July, and at a certain elevation, these bushes are everywhere and at the time were producing tons of berries. I tried a lot of them, and every single one was (to me) inedibly bitter, but many of the Russians with whom I traveled seemed to like them. I asked our guide (a local woman) about them, and she said that her mother has 3 bushes in her yard---one is incredibly sweet, one is horribly bitter and the other is way too sour. I guess they vary quite a lot in taste!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 11:07PM
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yielder

Clayton,

Interesting that I had a couple of my Haskap plants flower for a second time in early August and produce berries in early September. Not many and certainly not enough to consider saying that I had a second crop.

Interesting, nonetheless. The longer I have these plants, the more I see unusual behaviour.

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Edible Blue Honeysuckle

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 11:03AM
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cmmwiebe

Sarah93 - can you hide me in your bag next time. That is exactly what I would like to do to find gardeners who might have selected or grown from seed in the Russian villages and farms. I think it is not uncommon that good plants get missed by researchers just because they cannot be everywhere and the local folks don't realize they have a good find. Lucky you to even get to try them in their home zone! And the old varieties are not much better than what you would find in the wild. I think the flavours, at least from our experience, are determined by soil and temp to a great degree.

Mike - They are prone to do this and if the frost does not get too severe they will finish. I noticed here that the black currant bushes have triggered new buds and will likely leaf out if the weather continues to moderate. We had some serious cold nights but little frost. Just like spring! As a side note about the EBH, I am seeing new growth on the stumps of plants which I pruned right off to discard. This probably was stimulated by the cold nights and cool days of the past several weeks.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 9:58AM
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njbiology

I'm all-for unsual fruits, even when they don't taste that great. Yet, with honeyberry, the fruit is 100% replaceable and, thereby, upgradeable by the blueberry; I see no unique advantage to this bitter, less-flavorful "blueberry" taste-analog.

I have 3 popular cultivars - is it the soil? or am I right about this?

Steve

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 6:37PM
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leeduigon_verizon_net

My 2 bushes are still alive and this year one of them is looking pretty good. I have not had blossoms or fruit from either of them.
Maybe next year.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:00AM
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leeduigon_verizon_net

Hooray.. one of the bushes has a lot of nice blossoms on it. The other one however has no blossoms at all and no sign of any. At least it's some progress. Hope to get some fruit this year as these were planted in 2008.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 9:06AM
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nanokitty(6b NJ)

We got a nice crop of honeyberries this year (Blue Moon, Blue Velvet). They're not bitter or sour at all - in fact, Blue Moon tastes a lot like some european plums I've had. The trick is to not pick them too early -- they turn dark blue WAY before the berries are ripe. If you bite one in half, the the berry and juice should be solidly blue/purple throughout. If there's any green or pink they aren't ready. For me, these bushes are definite keepers.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 10:14AM
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lkz5ia

haha only problem is that birds get them if don't pick them soon enough. So far ones I've tried have been sour, so either picking them too early, or just are like that. I've seen them fall to the ground though, so I think that would seem ripe stage, unless wind was doing it.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 6:17PM
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mrfarrell_alaska_edu

Interesting reading everyone's experiences with honeyberries. I'm in Fairbanks, Alaska, and have 4 plants (each one a different variety) that are now 6 years old. They all look slightly different and the berries taste different. They make a fantastic jam or pie filling. But the best thing (imho) is how fast they produce berries. Mine began blooming the 3rd week of May this year and we picked the first crop on Father's Day in June. We got about 1 quart of berries per bush (not counting all the ones that went into our mouths while we picked!) There are that many again on each bush that are ready to pick now. They are delicious but you do have to let them ripen otherwise they are sour. The bushes take no care whatsoever EXCEPT you have to net them or the robins will strip you clean in a few hours. We are completely sold on these berries and look forward to them every year (ours set fruit beginning in year 2). I would love to see a nutritional analysis of them.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 7:54PM
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mulchwoman(metuchen,nj)

I planted mine in 2008 and have had zip. I had blossoms on one this year well before the other one blossomed. I sternly told them if I don't get anything this year they are history as my garden is so tiny I don't have the room for anything that doesn't produce. I have the 2 recommended varieties and they are most definitely healthy, but as far as producing any fruit...nope.
Pat

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 3:02PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

mulchwoman. What varieties did you get (so one can avoid them if they're shy bearing)? Are you sure they bloom at the same time or that they are not the same variety (a nursery mix-up) I just ordered one myself (I know I need two)...

offer them up for trade, perhaps you will get a taker...

~Chills

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:40PM
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nicknick119

How much space would honey berry typically need for the roots? I have a couple places in mind for where I could put them, but the place I am thinking of is right next to sidewalk. Is 1-2 square feet of soil enough as long as it has room to grow down, or are the roots shallow like a lot of desert plants? And would the roots be invasive like tree roots, or would they stop if they came up to sidewalk?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:01AM
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muriel129

I have 2 honeyberries different varieties both fruiting. (can't remember the names but I think one began with a "K") The fruits are now about 1 cm long and blue. I tasted one and immediately spit it out it was horrible and bitter. Does anyone know if they sweeten up if I leave them on the plant

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 6:57AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Hi muriel,
I have two different varieties also,that are the Japanese type,Haskap.
The first year they fruited,I had about the same reaction and wondered why the name,Honeyberry.
This year though,the berries on one plant do have a more sweeter somewhat honey-like flavor.
The other plant's berries are more sour,probably because it lost a good part of the leaves for some reason.
I waited until just barely touching the fruit made them fall,so maybe your will sweeten with time.
Remember though,they are not Blueberries. Brady

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:02AM
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charlieboring

I purchased two compatible honeyberry plants (celebrity and another unknown variety), that I have temporarily placed in pots while waiting the completion of my patio. Yesterday, I completed the raised beds on the border of my patio where I will plant the two honeyberries and three (male and 2 female) fuzzy kiwi plants. The Kiwis will run up chains near three of the 4 pergola posts and cover the pergola (eventually). The honey berries will be place near the two patio walls.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 8:44AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

That's cool Charlie.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 10:29AM
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fignewbies

Hi:

I live in Ontario, Canada.
I am new to Honey Berry or Haskap?
Right now, I am turning the soil to prepare planting the Honey Berry.
Could anyone please tell me what fertilizers are good for this berry?

For now, I am thinking of puting a lot of grass clipping, kitchen waste into the soil. When autumn comes, I will be putting a lot of
fallen leaves into the soil for preparation.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 3:37PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

They are not too particular with fertilizer.10-10-10 is what I use.Honeyberry USA states,"Most soils are adequate to sustain honeyberry plants. Composted manure may be applied in the spring".Brady

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 7:29PM
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