The Q&A Archives: pruning a cape honeysuckle

Question: Hello! I have an orange cape honeysuckle that has grown to about 15' by 15' along my 5' fence. How far down to the fence height can I prune it without killing it? And will it grow back to 15' high again? I love it large, but my neighbor cut it back to the fence on their side, so now would be the best time to give it a good trim on my side to start it growing evenly. As always, thanks for your time! Nanc

Answer: Cape Honeysuckle will grow into an 8' shrub if pruned regularly or into a 20' vine if left unpruned. Yours will respond well to pruning, but don't take off more than about one-third of its growth in any pruning session or you'll send it into shock. You can prune now, or wait until spring to reduce its size. If it requires extensive pruning, prune it back some now and some more in the spring, until it is the desired height. If you prune it lightly each year, you can maintain it at the right height. Best wishes with your garden!

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