June 22, 2017

A Vine to Twine

Lonicera - Honeysuckle

Janine Pineo Photo | Lonicera – Honeysuckle

For centuries, a honeysuckle vine has had a romantic image, perhaps fueled a bit by Shakespeare, who wrote “I will wind thee in my arms./So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle,/Gently entwist.” The traditional Lonicera plant is a sturdy vine that is probably best known for its honeylike scent, which is quite intoxicating when the plant is in full bloom. The tubular flowers come in a variety of colors from white to pink to red to yellow, and in combinations of shades. Honeysuckle is an adaptable plant that seldom has insect troubles. Most varieties like moist, loamy soils, and other than cutting off dead growth, little pruning is recommended until the vines get unruly. Honeysuckle can be shaped after flowering by trimming older stems back to young lateral stems closer to the ground, which encourages the new vines.