Pruning/Training a HoneySuckle Vine

jmcnyc(6)May 4, 2012

I planted a honeysuckle vine last year - it didnt do much as it was the first year. This spring it has bounced to life and seems to be doing well. I would like to train it to climb up a pole - see picture below. I have been using rope to train a few branches up the pole. The vine is becoming bush like - and starting to grow in all directions. See photo. Can I prune the unruly branches and leave those that are heading up the pole? How aggressively can I prune? Advice would be greatly appreciated.


Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Photo

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

It needs something to cling to. Could you get some flexible trellis and wrap it around the pillar? Or arrange your twine/rope vertically? At the moment there is nothing for them to twine around. The stems will climb of their own accord but they need something to hang on to. They are not self adhesive! I don't think there is any need to prune it. If you do that now you risk losing any flowers.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 2:23PM
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I have been waiting for the vines to grow 2 or 3 inches and then wrapping string around the pole to support them. Is this sufficient - or is vertical twine preferred?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:28AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

No, it needs something already in position to twine around. Vertical strings/wires or canes (three or four would be plenty). Or mesh wrapped around the pillar. It will not climb if there is nothing to reach for. So as not to spoil the appearance of the pillar how about three vertical white plastic coated wires? BTW it looks very healthy - I'm sure it will shoot up as soon as it has something to aim for.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Try this---at both the top and the bottom of your column, drive in a few small finishing nails. Run heavy fishing line vertically between the nails. The honeysuckle will twine around the fishing line, which is nearly invisible. NO pruning needed---at most, you may occasionally need to guide and errant vine back to the fishing line.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:19PM
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Thanks - all good input - will take action this weekend. I will update the results.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:37AM
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Actually I have an additional question. If I use a vertical line to support the vine - it will grow straight up I imagine. What would I do if I want it to wrap around the pole. The pole is about 9 inches in diameter - so I want the vine to wrap around as it heads up. How would I achieve this?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 2:24PM
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You can *try* placing your nails in such a way that you can string your fishing line in a spiral around the column, kinda like the stripes on a barber's pole---but I don't know it the honeysuckle will cooperate. (*grin*)I doubt you'll be able to achieve the look I think you're wanting.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 12:19AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I have found some honeysuckles to be stronger twiners than others. If that one is a good twiner, it will probably have no problem twining around the pole and climbing on its own. If it is a weak twiner, it may need tying in. Do the stems look straight or are they turning/sort of corkscrewing as they grow taller? If they are turning, all you probably need to do is to let them get to 3-4' and then just wrap them around the pole - make sure you wrap them in the direction they want to twine in!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 2:05PM
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