The Q&A Archives: honeysuckle vines

Question: I have several honeysuckle vines along my fence,they are about 6-7 yrs old and 7 ft tall and @ 7 ft wide and smell wonderful, my problem is that this year they are losing their leaves in the central portion of the plants. Their leaves are not spotted and seem to be healthy, and the blooms are all at the top. Do they need pruning (I sure hope not) or sprayed. Please advise me soonest, it would be a shame to lose them after all this time. Thank you.

Answer: Although honeysuckles are evergreen or semi-evergreen, their leaves last only about 2 years. At that time they wither and die. Sometimes new foliage appears, or new stems and new foliage but usually the branches remain bare. To keep your honeysuckle vines looking attractive, you need to prune them back by at least a third or a half every spring. I don't think you'll lose your vines (no disease or insect problems reported) but I think you'll have to live with the bare stems until early next spring. At that time prune the vines down to promote healthy new growth. Flowers appear on new growth so pruning them back will provide you with many many more blossoms all over the plant rather than just at the top.

Best wishes with your landscape.

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