The Q&A Archives: Mandarin Honeysuckle

Question: I recently purchased a Monrovia Mandarin Honeysuckle for my daughter. It appeard woody with many yellowing leaves but, there was what appeard to be new green growth at the top. Nursery where purchased said this was normal. Now the entire plant has yellowing leaves and the plant looks awful. Is this normal wintering or am I loosing this plant? I have had it for only two weeks. I live in central, southern California.

Answer: What you see may be normal for the plant considering it is winter. Mandarin Honeysuckle is a semi-evergreen vine that requires support in order to climb. Stems are often red to purple turning greenish brown with age. Leaves are rounded and opposite. Typical, honeysuckle-shaped flowers are not fragrant, but do attract hummingbirds and the occasional bee. Flower color is deep reddish orange exterior and light yellow-orange on the interior, and occurs late spring to early summer. If this vine gets too large, cut it back as much as necessary - it's a fast grower and often recovers within a single season. Wonderful when trained over an entry, arbor, or to soften the top of a privacy fence. Not picky about soil, but does not do well in standing water. Give full sun for best flowering.

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