invasive honeysuckle bush

Cleveland, OH

i purchased 3 honeysuckle bush online 2 years ago and did not know it was classified as invasive. did not know it got to over 10 feet tall. i have two in my front yard and now need to cut them back as they don't flower much anymore, but did when i purchased them. any suggestions?

i was affected by the freeze.

This message was edited Aug 15, 2007 3:24 PM
i am in zones 5 b. i may leave the bushes in, i trimmed the tops because they looked top heavy and droppy with seed heads( i think). they have not escaped, just growing taller and taller. i found a baptisia bush ( purple) which i like and have to determine if it will grow in our sandy soil, we are closer to the lake.

This message was edited Aug 15, 2007 3:35 PM

Thumbnail by athenaminerva
Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

You could send me some cuttings. :)

IMHO, after a little pruning, I don't think it looks so bad. Were you affected by the freezing temps in May, or the drought and high temps now? That might account for the lack of flowering. I'm sure someone much more knowledgeable than me will join in to answer your question.

BTW, I'm really disappointed with all my plants this summer.

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

I would dig them up, set them on the driveway or some other place where the hot sun can dry them completely, then bag them up securely and put them in the trash. Or, if they haven't formed berries yet, cut them into little pieces and put them in the compost pile.
Lonicera maackii, L. morrowi, and L. tatarica are considered severe threats to the native plants of Kentucky, so I wouldn't send them to msrobin, either. Then, I would start shopping for something better. That's what I would do.

There are lots of beautiful shrubs you could replace them with, but you don't say what cold hardiness zone you're in, so it's hard to make suggestions.

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Clapa, guess I better tackle reading the "invasive plants" forum next. (I'm working my way through all of the forums) I wasn't aware of the threat to native plants here. We have 15 acres here, and honeysuckle vine was growing all along our 1200' of highway frontage, when we bought it.


West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

msrobin, chances are that the honeysuckle vine on your fence is Lonicera japonica, same as around here. It has white and yellow flowers, smells great, but it's a real pain - Here's a list of invasive plants for Kentucky:

I didn't learn about the native honeysuckles until I joined DG... I still haven't seen one, though.

athenaminerva, I guess Cleveland is zone 5a or 5b? There are other considerations I probably don't know much about, like the soil, etc. I bet you'll get some good suggestions, but what are you interested in, flowering shrubs, evergreen, what have you.

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

Coral honeysuckle is not supposed to be invasive. Internet searches showed it to be a much more "polite" plant than Japanese honeysuckle. I spend lots of time in the woods with my camera and have noticed that I see the Japanese variety EVERYWHERE but very seldom see the coral variety. I have some coral honeysuckle that I plan to put on a section of split rail fence by my patio this fall.

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Clapa, thanks for that link. I was hoping to find a list.


West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

You're welcome. That Coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, is native to the U.S. and is being replaced by the Japanese honeysuckle. Not to split hairs, but some people say that a native plant cannot be considered invasive, no matter what - but some people consider Trumpet Creeper to be a native invasive. Others call such plants 'aggressive'.


This message was edited Aug 15, 2007 10:37 AM

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Maybe it's a bit invasive in the areas of the US that it's not really native to? We talk about American natives, but in fact, most plants are native only to a particular area of the US and may not be as well behaved if you plant them outside their true native range. I'm not sure where the Lonicera is really native to.

Either that or it's really just aggressive and not invasive--things that are aggressive can take over your garden in a second, but if they escape from the nice watered, fertilized environment of your garden they either don't survive at all, or they become much better behaved and don't spread much. Because they behave like thugs in the garden, many people call them invasive, but unless they also exhibit that aggressive behavior outside of a cultivated garden, they're not invasive. Invasive plants are plants that are aggressive outside of the cultivated garden setting, thus taking over natural areas and crowding out the plants that were supposed to be there. (some things can be invasive but not particularly aggressive in the garden setting--maybe they generate a fair number of seedlings but they're very easy to pull up or mow down in your yard so you never really think of them as a problem, but when the seedlings pop up in wild areas where there's nobody pulling them or cutting them down, they can spread out of control)

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

If you prune any Honeysuckle, then it wont flower for a few years as the flowers are formed on the growth from the year before, the berries are natural to these plants and the birds love them, as the birds eat the berries, it also encourages then to your garden which in turn encourages them to eat all the other insects, grubs, snails and slugs that you dont want near your plants, so sometimes we need to go along with nature so that nature can help us, all goes hand in hand, less chemicals used to kill off the bugs, and what is better, watching birds do some work for you or killing off the plants that help us have a more Eco friendly garden which is healthier for wildlife and people alike, give your honeysuckle a good load of manure if you transplant them, water and let them scramble over some unsightly fence, outhouse or other area if you have them, there real name is Woodbine, as the name suggests, they grow at the edge of woods and bind themselves around trees etc, in their natural habit. Good luck. WeeNel.

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I'm always cutting down honeysuckle that self-sows along my chainlink fence. Probably sown by roosting birds. You dont' even want to let it get started. When we bought our home 19 yrs ago, the backyard chainlink fence was completely covered with japanese honeysuckle. It took me years to eradicate it which was a real struggle. I've had the tartarian honeysuckle grow up in the fence too. I once loved the smell & sight of honeysuckle. Now I see it as a foe. Here's some native shrub/plant links that I reference with nice photos.

I hope that you find these links helpful in selecting replacement shrubs. Let me know if you need help searching these sites. On the U of CT site, I search the plant database. To see the photos, you'll need to click on the thumbnail photos displayed on the left which will open up on the right side of the screen. I also like how you can click on the latin name to hear the correct pronunciation. Also, warns of "invasive tendencies".

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images