Growing coral honeysuckle on shrubs and trees.

EimerSeptember 1, 2012

I have rooted several honeysuckles, specifically Lonicera sempervirens or coral honeysuckle or trumpet honeysuckle of the Major Wheeler cultivar. And I want to experiment growing these on shrubs and trees. The rootings are each about one foot tall, clearly growing from spring, early-summer cuttings.

Last fall, I already tried this by planting honeysuckle rootings beside, underneath, some hollies (Nellie R. Stevens and Blue Princess) with mixed results: those with the most sun did fine growing up the shorter Blue Princess hollies and did bloom this year frequently. Those by the much taller Nellie R. Stevens did not grow much, did not bloom, probably because of much less sun, but may after some slow steady growth bloom eventually.

Now I want to try it with other plants including dwarf "Irish Eyes" Leyland cypress, which are less dense than than the common full-size Leyland cypress. And with Jane magnolias, lilacs, forsythia, nandina, some small white pines, more hollies, large box wood, and possibly butterfly bushes (perhaps pruning the Buddleia much less to grow them as small tress).

I would much appreciate any suggestions, advice, descriptions of experience at this, warnings, etc., any comments at all. Thank you.

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While sempervirens is much better behaved than the dreadful Japanese honeysuckle, I still think that your shrubs will eventually be overcome by the honeysuckle. Is it worth losing your shrubs and trees? That's your call to make.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Will the sempervirens actually kill the shrubs and trees? I have seen it and other honeysuckles growing aplenty among shrubs and small trees in the wild and in gardens, and have not noticed any fatal consequences.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Coral Honeysuckle,Scarlet Honeysuckle,Mailbox Honeysuckle,Lonicera sempervirens grows wild in the South.
I have seen it in many shrubs & small trees without harming them or covering them.
But you have the Major Wheeler cultivar that could cover & shade/choke the host plant.
I agree with lisanti07028. Please post pic's when the plant is in bloom & keep us up dated on the experiment.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 12:04PM
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The only distinction between 'Major Wheeler' and any other selection or cultivar of Lonicera sempervirens is its profuse bloom potential. Doesn't get any bigger or is any more denser than any other L. sempervirens and so should not "overcome" any reasonably sized shrub or tree. But it is important to match the right shrub/tree with the vine. I would suggest the lilacs and forsythias first, then the magnolia. Forget the nandina and the boxwood unless the box is already quite large. And growing a more or less evergreen vine on any conifers is not a great idea. You will shade out the foliage or needles under the vine and cause dieback. It can also encourage foliar diseases due to excessive moisture and lack of air circulation. Stick with larger, well-established deciduous trees and shrubs.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Thank you for all the comments. I planted the honeysuckle starts by a large boxwood set (about 6 feet high and about 15 feet wide at the widest), as well as beside a Leyland cypress. There is room for the Lonicera sempervirens to sprawl on the ground, which is sloping, as well as grow upward.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 3:34PM
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