The Q&A Archives: Goldflame Honeysuckle

Question: My son bought me Goldflame Honeysuckle plant for my birthday at end of June and we think we have taken very good care of plant, but it does not thrive. We think something is wrong with it.

Answer: You didn't describe the problems you're having with your plant so I can only offer general growing guidelines.

Honeysuckle prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial sun, and even some light, afternoon shade. Once established, Honeysuckle needs only moderate watering, unless the summer is very dry. If the planting area is properly prepared and mulched, your Honeysuckle will be satisfied with a light annual applicaton of a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) at the beginning of the growing season, and then once again in the middle of the blooming season.

Honeysuckle should be planted in early spring, as soon as frost danger has passed. Prepare the planting area as for any perennial and set the plants a minimum of two to three apart. (2 feet if you are using them as a ground cover) Water the plants thoroughly, and follow up with repeated soakings until the plant shows signs of new growth. Mulch the plant with heavy cover of leaves, to protect the roots from freezing as well as to conserve moisture in the summer. When your plant has finished blooming, you can prune for shape. (Only lightly prune plants until they are well established at about 2 years old)

If your Honeysuckle is to be grown on a trellis or an arbor, put it in place before planting, to avoid damaging your vine. Then plant your Honeysuckle 6-12 in. away from the support to allow enough growing room for developing stems. The vines should be tied to their support using strong, stretchy materials that won't cut into growing branches. Strips of old nylon hosiery work very well for this. Loop each tie into a figure 8, with the crossed portion between the stem and the support to keep stems from rubbing or being choked.

Honeysuckle generally is trouble-free so be sure to double check the above growing guidelines to make sure you're giving your plant the correct exposure to sunlight and water.

Best wishes with your plant!

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