The Q&A Archives: Goldflame Honeysuckle Has Lost It's Color

Question: I bought a Goldflame Honeysuckle in bloom it is about 3 foot tall I haven't repotted it yet but I am going too soon. I put a bloome fetelizer on it... 20-20-20. It changed the smell of the flowers to a spicy bad kinda smell. The worst part is the color... the flowers are completely white now. Help me what should I do for the soil??

Answer: Although honeysuckle vines such as this will adapt to being grown in a pot, it is important to provide them with as large a pot as possible to allow for an ample, healthy root system. For this reason I would suggest repotting it as soon as you can, using a top quality potting mix.

Then, make sure to keep the soil evenly moist yet not sopping wet. This will mean watering often when the summer temperatures hit. You might also want to use a mulch on the soil surface, and if possible shade the pot so that the roots stay as cool as possible during the summer heat.

In terms of fertilizing, you could use a water soluble fertilizer such as the 20-20-20, however when you apply it avoid contacting the flowers. It is also better to apply it when the sun is not too intense to avoid "burning" the foliage. Also, do not exceed the amount in the label instructions as too much is not better than too little.

You could also apply compost to the soil surface and or alternate the fertilizer with a seaweed-based feeding to try to provide as many minerals as possible. This should help keep the plant healthier in the long run.

In my experience, the flowers of most plants change color as they age and many do fade somewhat so I think what you are seeing is normal. I am not sure about the odor, but if it is truly offensive to you you could deadhead (remove) the flowers once they are past their prime. This will also help the vine keep looking its best.

Enjoy your honeysuckle vine!

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