The Q&A Archives: Yellowing leaves

Question: I purchased a Lonicera Sempervirens from you guys around 2 months ago. The plant is beautiful and growing very well. The problem is that now the lower leaves are turning yellow and falling, making the plant look branchy on the bottom. Is that too much water, lack of sunlight, natural lifespan of the leave?

Answer: What you describe is a normal, natural process for your honeysuckle. As the leaves age, they are dropped by the plant, in favor of producing healthy new leaves and flowers on new growth. After a few years Lonicera becomes leggy in appearance. The best way to change this is to prune it back hard each spring, just as new growth begins. Pruning encourages the development of new shoots. Cut some of the oldest stems down to ground level; others only part way down. This will provide plenty of space for new stems to develop. You'll find new shoots coming from the roots and new stems being produced on the remaining stems. Enjoy your honeysuckle!

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