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PlantFiles: Bush Honeysuckle, Tatarian Honeysuckle
Lonicera tatarica

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lonicera (luh-NIS-er-a) (Info)
Species: tatarica (tat-TAR-ee-ka) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

Vines and Climbers

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

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By melody
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By Rickwebb
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1 positive
2 neutrals
4 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Feb 11, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Who would want to grow a bush honeysuckle without fragrant flowers? The flowers of this species are small and have no fragrance. If you have a highly fragrant bush honeysuckle, your shrub is L. fragrantissima.

If this grows on your land, odds are good that it was planted by some passing bird and not by conscious choice.

The gang-of-four Asian shrub honeysuckles that are widely invasive in North America (L. maackii, L. tatarica, L. x bella, and L. morrowii) are dowdy shrubs without fragrance. They come with a host of pests and diseases, foremost of which is the Russian aphid that causes disfiguring witches' broom. Most descriptions exaggerate the ornamental value of their flowers.

Planting of this noxious weed species is prohibited in four states. Together with the other invasive honeysuckles and buckthorn, it destroys natural habitat and shades out our native woodland wildflowers. It impoverishes our once rich native flora and reduces its capacity to support wildlife.

Negative Rickwebb On Jan 19, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A very common plant in northern Illinois and much of the midwest from central Asia. It has pretty blue-green foliage and nice pink flowers, but it grows rampantly in such a straggly fashion that it eventually becomes ugly, full of dead wood. It does not have any fall color and it has ugly bark and twigs. It also ground suckers a lot. The Russian Aphid ruins the top growth. The birds have unfortunately spread it seed around, so it is an invasive plant in open woods and fields, helping to clog them, though it is not as nasty as its big brother the Amur Honeysuckle that is more invasive and rampant growing. As an expert pruner, I could massively prune this plant to make it look good, constantly removing big stems to the ground, but it is not worth it. Buy a viburnum or better deciduous shrub.

Neutral outdoorlover On Apr 9, 2012, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Just identified this plant growing in the yard of our new house. There are several of them. They are not too big yet because, not knowing what they were, I chopped them down when we first moved in (stupid, I know). Anyway, they have come back. There were some in the front yard and they are just now blooming and smell wonderful. I think I'll let the ones in the back yard grow larger. They seem to transplant well.

Positive sixrealms On Nov 15, 2010, sixrealms from Schaumburg, IL wrote:

I have a 40 year old hedge of Tatarian Honeysuckles in an area that swings from swamp mud to clay cracked dry. I don't know what else would dry the swamp, tolerate dry clay, and provide a suitably tall hedge. I don't prune them every year, instead at times remove the largest branches. They have not invaded any other area of my lawn or gardens.

Negative Malus2006 On Jun 3, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

It's sad that not more people recognize this plant - it is just as bad - maybe worst than buckthorns into invading woodlands. Birds eat their fruit and spread the seeds all over the region. Will grow dry woodland as well as moderate moisture sites, seem to have troubles in lowland woodland shade - maybe vines choke it to death? Seem to prefer woodland edges and large open areas where they get some sun but can't get in grasslands and compete with grasses. I have only one plant left in my yard - I try to get every fruit it produce before birds get them. Seedlings from wild plants sometimes appear in my yard as they infect heavily a woodland about 1/2 mile away from my house.

Neutral gooley On Apr 25, 2006, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

It seems that the wood is attractive to cats: a couple in Calgary sells both mature branches and slices of them as cat toys. (This species appears to be the only one that cats really like.) If you have some plants to prune back or even to destroy, you might want to save some of the wood. I got a small piece on a visit to Calgary a while back and my cat goes nuts for it...then loses it. When it turns up again she's licking it, putting it in her water bowl... this cycle has gone on for several years.

I don't think I'd plant any on purpose just for my cat, though. Seems to be a weed in most places.

Negative melody On May 30, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Not quite as common, but just as invasive as it's cousin, Japanese Honeysuckle, Tatarian Honeysuckle is another Eurasian plant which has escaped into the wild.

It can be identified by it's pink flowers and maroon stems, which are hollow.

Found pretty much throughout the lower 48 states and Canada along roadsides and thickets. The red berries are attractive to birds and wildlife, and they are responsible for this plant's spread.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Hinesville, Georgia
Schaumburg, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Belfield, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Enid, Oklahoma
Seattle, Washington

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