The Q&A Archives: Choosing a Honeysuckle

Question: I would like to plant a honeysuckle that will grow as a shrub, attract hummingbirds, and produce berries for other birds. (I know that some do not produce berries). I will be planting it in a partial shade, woodland environment.

What types of honeysuckles grow as shrubs (as opposed to vines)? Also, do I need more than one variety to cross pollinate in order to produce berries?

Answer: There are two honeysuckles that might fit your needs: Lonicera alpigena, the Alps honeysuckle, and Lonicera pileata, the privet honeysuckle. Both are hardy in your gardening zone and both have a mounding rather than vining habit. The Alps honeysuckle grows 4'-8' high, developing and erect, much branched habit. Flowers are yellow and fruits are red. The privet honeysuckle has larger leaves and flowers, and has a spreading, mounding habit. The berries are blue-black and round. Only one honeysuckle is necessary to produce fruit. As with all honeysuckles, provide as much sunshine as possible to avoid powdery mildew and other fungal diseases.

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