The Q&A Archives: Pruning Cape Honeysuckle

Question: I live in Phoenix and am getting ready to do my fall pruning. My issue is this: my cape honeysuckles are getting woody and very leggy. Thay are about 5' high but not full; they are really all over the place. How severely am I able to cut them back without damaging them? Will the new growth come at the cut points? Finally, any suggestions for

Answer: Cape Honeysuckle is a warm season growing plant, and will usually freeze
somewhat during the winter, depending on how cold the winter and how exposed
the plant is. You can prune it back quite hard without harming the plant. Pruning is generally done in the spring, after bloom is over and after frost danger is past. Prune it back far enough to remove any frost damage and to stimulate new growth from the base and lower stems. This will also allow more sunlight into the lower stems and wake up any dormant buds so they will sprout healthy new foliage. After pruning your plant will send out lots of new shoots. I would pinch out the growing tips once the shoots are 6-8" long to encourage additional branching. By this time next summer your cape honeysuckles should be full and compact. Enjoy!

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