Halls Honeysuckle fragrant?

charlene_in_iowa(5 Zone)May 24, 2005

I am thinking about getting a Halls Honeysuckle and from what I read they are fragrant. I wanted to see if anyone here has had, or has now, any of these? I am looking for fragrance so I came across this name. I haven't seen this one mentioned so I had thought I'd better ask before I try.

Thank you in advance.

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This is most definitely fragrant, and also most definitely invasive -- both in the sense that it will take over your garden if you don't chop it back, and it will set seeds that may crowd out native plants.

Lonicera periclymenum is also fragrant, and not invasive (so far); l. heckrotti has a light fragrance, but is everblooming and not invasive.

Hall's is a cultivar of lonicera japonica; check with your state agricultural agency on the web to see if it's a no-no in your area.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 8:52AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Agree with Jim. The "Halls" or "Halliana" is a landscape cultivar of the invasive L. japonica, which are quite fragrant. There are native or native X non-native hybrid fragrants that are not aggressive, eg., L. heckrotti ("Goldflame") that have flowers that are a million times more gorgeous but also fragrant - although mostly in the morning and evenings and you might best do a sniff test before you buy just to make sure.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 9:17AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

As far as the vining honeysuckles are concerned, Lonicera japonica and its cultivar 'Halliana' are tops for strong, delicious, wafting fragrance that is especially heady in the evening through early morning hours. L. periclymenum definitely has much showier, more colorful flowers, but the spicy, deep fragrance, while wonderful, does not waft very well. L. x heckrotti can be hit or miss for fragrance, since some people claim it to have a heady evening scent while other people (like me) can smell nothing at all from it regardless of the time of day. I consider it to be a dud, since a honeysuckle with no fragrance is just about as useless as a scentless rose.

Among the shrub honeysuckles, none has a more delicious or pervasive aroma than L. fragrantissima. This species has one of the best floral aromas I have ever smelled in my life.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 7:10PM
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What Ispahan said!

I would (and do) make a pigrimage annually to the closest l. fragrantissima blooming, and am trying to grow a l x. purpusii, a hybrid of it, on my deck. It is a late winter/early spring bloomer however, and the flowers are not especially showy, but who cares with a scent like this!


    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 11:29AM
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I have a very leafy halls honeysuckle that I have had for 2 1/2 years. Is it supposed to be blooming now? If so there is something wrong with it becuause it has never bloomed although it is now cascading down the whole western side of the house...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 9:39PM
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charlene_in_iowa(5 Zone)

paula I really couldn't say what could be wrong. I am currently nursing 2 purchased Honeysuckles, that aren't doing well AT ALL. The thing is I hear most times they can be weed like and just take over an area. I even have a woody weed killer spray that kills honeysuckle, I can't believe that. I wish I could be so fortunate to have some, even one that I have to prune back. I think I just have to wait and see, but that is the hard part. I received some very good info from the folks above, about one that I had hoped to purchase as a replacement, so maybe someone will answer you soon. Wish you luck :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 11:42AM
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I broke a few starts off a broken rail fence(with the owners blessing) and started them at my driveways end.That was 3 years ago and they have taken over.They are very invasive but since there is nothing else around them it doesn't really matter.The smell is more than worth it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 6:45PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Any recently transplanted honeysuckle, regardless of the type, is going to take quite a while to settle in and start growing. When I first planted my Lonicera japonica 'Halliana', I was disappointed to find out that it just sat there and got progressively sicklier as the season progressed. I did, however, keep it well watered and tried to be patient. Sure enough, the next season it sprang to life and produced loads of gloriously fragrant blossoms. I have had the same experience with all cultivars of Lonicera periclymenum that I have tried, as well as with Lonicera fragrantissima. I do not nor will not grow any of the scentless honeysuckles, regardless of how beautiful their flowers are... What is the point? LOL! :-)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 7:44PM
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charlene_in_iowa(5 Zone)

I think the problem is that they are soooo sickly and tiny I just can't imagine they will make it. I strongly feel one of them has not made it. It started with some green coming out of two of the nodes, then down to one and now none are left. It hasn't made any progress. The other I am glad to say now has green toward the ground that is getting a smidge bigger each day. The last time this one did that it was fragile looking and then fell off. This time it looks like stronger growth and I hope the 2nd will make it if anything. I, like you Ispahan, planted them for their fragrance so I just have to try to be patient----but it's so hard!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 10:05PM
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I have a Halls (trained into sort of a tree) and a Burmese honeysuckle. The latter is really floppy but smells sooo sweet. Big attration for bees, hummingbirds, and the like.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 3:59PM
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I have a thriving vining honeysuckle. My problem is that I'm not sure WHAT it is, and therefore I'm not sure how to treat it.

It is fragrant with white blossoms that turn yellow as they age. Here in northern Illinois it is LOADED with blooms in late June, but offers a smattering of blossoms through the rest of the summer. We have it on a trellis, but it has cascaded well over the top, now flopping about half way back down the height of the trellis in a "free-fall". The free-fall part is lush and full; the part on the trellis (being shaded by the rest) looks woody and not very attractive, since the trellis itself and the thicker parts of the vine are quite exposed behind the lush overlapping growth.

I got my vine by word of mouth. A friend at church had a neighbor who got HER honeysuckle from the woods of Tennessee while on vacation. Her plant was consistent with my memory of what a honeysuckle should be, so that's whence my vine came - - pretty much out of the wild. I suspect it's a Hall's honeysuckle, but things I've been reading imply that the Hall's variety produces "fruit" that birds eat and carry to other locations, thus causing massive invasion of the plant. I have yet to see a berry or fruit of any kind.

And so, my questions: (1) WHAT variety of vining honeysuckle do I likely have? (2) More importantly, when and how do I prune it to get better trellis coverage so that it will become both nose AND EYE candy?

A response here would be welcome, but I'd be more likely to see it via my e-mail at spmgm@aol.com.

Thanks for any help.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 9:42PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

It sounds like you do have Lonicera japonica. It can be pruned hard every spring to keep it from becoming straggly (they flower off of new growth). Some people may disagree with me, but it is not likely to become an invasive problem in northern Illinois. I can sometimes find a plant here and there that is growing wild, but none of them had been choking out native wildlife like plants I have seen growing farther south. The cold winters seem to take at least some of the vigor out of it.

I am trying a new experiment: growing L. japonica 'Halliana' as a houseplant! It does not need a dormant period and can take hard pruning. My cutting is still too small to bloom, but it will be fun to see how it develops.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 8:43AM
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I bought a goldflame which was fragrant -- unusually so -- during the day -- at the nursery where I purchased it.

Subsequently, I let it dry out and it had a setback and was no longer fragrant. It has been growing on Long Island for three years now and has not been fragrant either at night or during the day. It also is not too happy in the sandy soil. The whole thing is a puzzlement. This year I am going to try soil moistening crystals, since I read it likes moisture.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 12:55PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I also love the fragrance of the shrub winter honeysuckle. Mine starts blooming very early when we have relatively warm spells during the winter. It is blooming now and seems to continue for longer than most spring blooming shrubs. We had below normal precipitation by 12 inches from a normal year in 2005 and 3 inches for 2006. I was so encouraged to have a shrub bloom on time as if nothing was wrong. You have to take care of it for a few years to get it started but then it is tough. It is not a pretty shrub, but I want it close to my door. My Hall's honeysuckle and even the less invasive purple kind was a big mistake. It has taken over shrubs that I used to enjoy every spring. I have it growing on a barbed wire fence where I thought it couldn't hurt anything and it is going out in the field. I have a long driveway where I have planted daffodils from old home sites. The honeysuckle is covering them. Not all of it blooms either. I can't get rid of it, so I wonder what I could do to make all of it bloom.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 11:03AM
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Nell Jean

That delicious fragrance comes with a price.

Hall's Honeysuckle really does matter in the environment. It really can turn into a problem. Once the fragrant blossoms fade, little berries take their place. Birds love them and scatter them everywhere. I noticed several honeysuckle plants about 6 inches tall in the MIDDLE OF MY FRONT LAWN today. Deer are good about keeping them pruned back, but enough bloomed last summer at woods edge to cause a problem. The lawn mower will take care of these, but it takes vigilance to keep them out of shrub borders and flower beds.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 9:12PM
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Yes, it is fragrant. We have some on our property that my inlaws planted 50 years ago. No one has taken care of it for at least 30 years. It still blooms and smells heavenly. It has spread down the fence and on both sides into the ditch, but has not spread anywhere else. It's not in our fields, our yard, or on neighboring properties. Perhaps it depends on where you live? Now that we have the property I plan to transplant some within smelling distance of our patio and to prune back the older plant.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:58AM
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Some people may disagree with me, but it is not likely to become an invasive problem in northern Illinois.

The Chicago Botanic Garden disagrees with you.

And according to this Illinois Cooperative Extension article, not only is lonicera japonica a designated noxious weed in illios, but it is among "a few plants that can not be legally grown in Illinois." So by growing it you are actually breaking Illinois state law.

I agree completely that the scent of lonicera japonica is heavenly!...but there are ethical boundries to an educated gardener's choices, and fragrance doesn't trump that.

I do not nor will not grow any of the scentless honeysuckles, regardless of how beautiful their flowers are... What is the point? LOL! :-)

Lonicera x heckrottii 'Goldflame' is usually scented, so I assume you will grow that, then. And a wonderful vine it is--in many more ways than its invasive cousin. It, like most less fragrant and non-invasive honeysuckle vines, blooms almost non-stop from last frost through first freeze, and with a multitude of color palettes to choose from (including bi- and even tri-color blooms). There are also cultivars with purple or variegated foliage to further diversify your design choices. And all honeysuckles are hummingbird magnets, so with the greatly extended bloom time of the less scented honeysuckle vines you'll enjoy these garden visitors much more frequently. In fact, "scentless honeysuckles" are generally regarded as indispensable for the hummingbird garden. But perhaps growing native and well-behaved exotic vines for the benefit of wildlife doesn't interest someone who is solely interested in "LOLing" for four weeks of bloom with a vine that can take down oak trees if given enough time.

There are hundreds of other heavenly fragrances we can grow in our gardens without breaking the law. And yes, Charlene, lonicera japonica--or "Halls Honeysuckle"--is invasive in Iowa also.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:30AM
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charlene_in_iowa(5 Zone)

ks_sandy. My honeysuckle has finally established enough and blooms, yes they are fragrant :) and in the evening it is so nice to be outside.
Chicago Botanic Garden, my plant is in a specific location without anything around it. My plant is in an area that I can control, so I'll be OK.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 1:40PM
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