First Taste of New Varieties of Honeyberries

zimaJune 12, 2006

My new honey berries are ripening up. Yesterday I had a dozen berries to taste. It is hard to describe the taste, but I'll try. The first sensation is , you are eating blueberries, intence taste of wild blueberries, then something tangy, not blueberry and not black currant as suggested in U of S articles. A very pleasant and overall mild taste,despite initial burst of flavour. It looks that I am going to have a cup of berries from my 4 bushes this year. Considering that I got them from DNA gardens last spring as a 4-6" sticks and am getting a cup of berries only a year later, it is outstanding performance. And today is only June 12th!!!! This is truly amazing. As promised, the first berry to ripen.

My bushes are planted in my mixed bed, they look very attractive. I have two Belle Blue and two Blue Berries. I will do more tasting to see the difference in the taste of the varieties.


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luv2gro(z3a AB)

This is exciting, Ella. I've been thinking about putting these in and you may now have totally convinced me. I have 2 var. of small saskatoon bushes (2 years old) and I am not impressed with their production or the amount of bugs that they seem to be attracting. Most of my berries this year are encased in spider webs and looking just plain yucky. I have seriously been thinking of replacing them with honeyberries and I'm really happy to hear your report. Keep us posted.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 12:47PM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

Ohhh a testimonial... I was wondering about these earlier. I bought some blueberries this spring - didn't read anywhere but do you think the honeyberries would cross with blueberries if planted to close??? I want these... Planting so many fruits I'm going to run out of veggie room soon. LOL

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 6:01PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Agree!....Mine are turning blue also.
Have about a half cup coming on my few little plants! Layered some last year and planted 4 new ones from it and looking good.
I'm also very pleased with it!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 1:28AM
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Konrad, how do you layer your shrubs? Do you leave layered over winter and separate in the spring?


    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 11:43AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

It seems they root very easily! All 4 layered from last year took, 3 of them have some berries on already!
This pic will show you how I did it, [you don't have to follow exactly] at the red tag, the branch is going into the ground, U shape, have broken the twig first a little by bending, have put a rock in the center to keep it down and another rock on the other side to push the plant up.
Yes, I leave it over winter, transplant as soon you can work the ground.

New layered plant from last year with berries.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 1:52AM
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Konrad, thank you. Pictures are better than words. I will try it for sure.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 10:46AM
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sazzyrose(2b Sk)

Thanks for the idea Konrad. It should save me some money. Have you done this with any other plants? If so which other ones root easy. I wonder if it would work with roses.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 5:14PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you all!
Shelley, this is only my second or third year doing this, I have tried on the double flowering plum, or whatever it's luck. I think most of the small fruit shrub will work, what are on there own root system, not sure about roses, I would just try and see, it only takes one season to find out.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 1:38AM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

Ella, congrats on the honeyberries! I think I may have to try some.

As for layering braches, I've had really good success with Forsythia. Have tyied a few times with clematis, but no luck yet. I've heard spireas can do well, but haven't tried them.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 11:19AM
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I have just inherited a honeyberry plant. I have never heard of it before. What can you do with them, muffins, pies, cobblers?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 10:35AM
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luv2gro(z3a AB)

kizmettime, I think all of the baking you have suggested would be good. They would be used just as any berry would be used. However, you will want to get another bush of honeyberries, of another variety. They must be cross pollinated with another variety of honeyberry to produce berries.

Therefore, find out what variety of honeyberry you have inherited, ie. Berry Blue, and then get another variety such as Blue Belle. Then you should have berries next spring.

I've found two lovely plants thru private sale and I can hardly wait to get them. One question that maybe someone can answer for me - the area that I want to put them in has a fairly high clay content. Do they prefer more of a peat based soil? If so, I'd better start amending now.


Here is a link that might be useful: Honeyberries

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:26AM
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Ella, congrats and thanks for the post and Konrad, thanks for the great and very illustrative photos.

Does anyone know how closely I can/should plant the honeyberries to each other? Like others, more planting passion than space for plants...


    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 3:08AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

From one bush planted in 2000, I havested on gallon(!) of honeyberries. That would be the cultivar 'Czech No. 17'(Berry BlueÂ), and the heaviest fruiting of my bushes. It is almost 5 feet tall now. Somehow a bird got inside the net of the others and did some real damage, gluttonwise.

My description of the taste: at first blueberry, then grapefruit.

Let me also reiterate this caution I posted in this thread:
And I have found in my climate 4a, they could be considered invasive. The first few years I allowed the birds to feast, and I had seedlings coming up everywhere. But now that I net them, there is no problem. In your zone 3 they might be just fine. Still, an ounce of caution . . .


    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 5:56PM
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sunshine_amy(z5 - Western MA)

Wow, thanks for these flavor descriptions, very helpful!

For those who still wonder about taste: the place that Shauna linked to for info on Honeyberries, also sells Honeyberry jam!

I can't wait to plant a couple of these this summer. I live in Zone 5, so I enjoy a good variety of plants, but I can't resist a plant that harvests "2 weeks before strawberries." I crave fruit the most during June, so it sounds ideal!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 1:11PM
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Its been a while since anyone posted on honeyberries. Im wondering how you are liking them now that you are a few years down the road? I've been thinking of getting some but hesitant at $19 a plant and I need two varieties.
Are they tasty?
Are they prolific?
Do they gave tough seeds like Gooseberries?
Are you having good success spreading them?
Do you know a less costly source?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 5:21PM
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