Lonicera Species, Honeysuckle, Japanese Honeysuckle

Lonicera japonica

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: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Caprifolium chinense
Synonym:Caprifolium japonicum
Synonym:Lonicera brachypoda
Synonym:Lonicera fauriei
Synonym:Lonicera shintenensis


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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


Bessemer, Alabama

Irvington, Alabama

Midland City, Alabama

Salem, Alabama

Morrilton, Arkansas

Peel, Arkansas

Elk Grove, California

Garden Grove, California

San Diego, California

Berthoud, Colorado

Loveland, Colorado

Brookfield, Connecticut

Bartow, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Decatur, Georgia

Hinesville, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Mackinaw, Illinois

Westchester, Illinois

Macy, Indiana

Lawrence, Kansas

Ottawa, Kansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Benton, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Melbourne, Kentucky

Taylorsville, Kentucky

New Orleans, Louisiana

Violet, Louisiana

Brookeville, Maryland

Cumberland, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

Avon, Massachusetts

Fall River, Massachusetts

Milton, Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts

Marietta, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Marshall, Missouri

Perryville, Missouri

Henderson, Nevada

Roswell, New Mexico

Himrod, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Jay, Oklahoma

Cottage Grove, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Washington, Pennsylvania

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

Cleveland, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Huntsville, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Tomball, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Palmyra, Virginia

Woodbridge, Virginia

Bremerton, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Charleston, West Virginia

Falling Waters, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 4, 2015, Mark_B from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

I first tried growing this plant from cuttings, but because of our drought-stricken climate in So. California, it's very difficult. My cuttings died in a few days. I ordered a rooted plant, and had no problems with it at all. Just start it out in bright shade, and slowly get the plant accustomed to full sun. Mine is potted to prevent it from getting out of hand.

This December (2015), I took several cuttings and placed them in water. They are all rooting. So in Southern California, the best time to root cuttings begins in December.


On May 29, 2015, crobles04 from Tomball, TX wrote:

Although pretty, this plant is invasive and can be easily spotted during the summer when it flowers.


On Oct 19, 2014, grtroes2 from Loveland, CO wrote:

Dry, cold winters, and hard-packed alkaline soils seem to prevent this vine from spreading or reproducing in this part of Colorado. So we have the wonderful fragrance and attractive flowers without any of the downsides. In fact, during drought, the vine grows poorly and produces very few flowers. So I recommend it for this area.


On Aug 6, 2014, cazort from Jenkintown, PA wrote:

I live in Southeast PA, and this plant is one of the worst invasives in this region. It absolutely blankets the ground, and often climbs vegetation, strangling trees. I have seen it grow out into lawns, cover gardens, and invade forests. It is not quite as bad as Kudzu but it is almost that bad.

I do not under any circumstances recommend planting this plant...it is one of those plants I try as hard as I can to eradicate whenever I see it on my property.


On Feb 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Japanese honeysuckle spreads aggressively in the garden by underground rhizomes and aboveground runners. It also strangles and distorts the growth of any tree or shrub it twines around.

The European woodbine (Lonicera periclymenoides) is a well-behaved substitute for the thuggish Japanese honeysuckle. It is highly fragrant (especially in the evening) and looks very similar, but with much showier fruit (red not black). It is neither aggressive in the garden nor a threat to natural areas.

Japanese honeysuckle is semi-evergreen and leafs out exceptionally early in the spring. In wild areas it shades out all the native woodland understory wildflowers, ultimately killing them. It has become a threat to natural habitat through much of eastern North America, especia... read more


On Jan 18, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This twining vine does have pretty white flowers that are very fragrant and its summer foliage looks good, but it is a very invasive, noxious woody weed from East Asia. Its evergreen or semi-evergreen leaves don't look good in winter and it is very straggly and rampant growing, happy to grab everthing around it and cover over stuff. It infests different spots of open forest and field in southeast PA and all through Delaware. I actually have a photo of it as a groundcover in northern ILL at a park where it looks good in summer, but it is not a good plant in North America.


On Aug 1, 2013, sandnsea from Zephyrhills South, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a vine and likes to wander...you have to keep a watchful eye on it....BUT the hummingbirds LOVE it! So do the butterflys and bees. It is very fragrant. I keep it running along my fences and near the bird bath. Like someone else has said the grandkids love to remove the flowers and suck the nectar lol.


On Jun 11, 2012, Hikaro_Takayama from Fayetteville, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I hate this plant with a seething passion! It's the Yankee version of Kudzu: I've lost track of how many native Black Cherry and other trees this pernicious weed has strangled to death in the woods behind my house, but it's pretty bad! I've tried repeatedly cutting it off at ground level as soon as it leafs out in the spring (and therefor should have less energy reserves), pulling it up by the roots and just generally going after it tooth and nail, but to no avail: It either just pops back up from some miniscule root fragment left in the ground or some birds that ate a berry from a mess of vines 2 miles away just crap some more seeds and the whole process starts all over again.

The only plant I've seen that is able to withstand this menace is my Yellow Groove Bamboo, whi... read more


On Feb 15, 2011, Bobart from Willits, CA wrote:

I live in an apartment above a retail store. I have 600 square feet of deck (lots of sun) surrounded on two sides with a six foot wood fence. Both sides of the fenced deck overlook an alley.

Recently purchased two Japanese honeysuckle plants in pots with about three feet of vine growth. I plan on putting the pots next to the fence and start the vines under the fence which has an inch opening between the deck and bottom of the fence.

I will need some kind of trellis on the outside of the fence so the vines will grow up to the top of the fence on the outside and along the top of the fence.

Does this sound feasible? What kind of trellis would work? I don't see any chance of this invasive plant to become invasive on my deck.

I am ... read more


On May 19, 2009, Agaveguy from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

An aggressive, foreign, invasive plant. Should be banned.


On Nov 7, 2008, wandygirl from Brookfield, CT wrote:

When I was a kid living in New York City (Queens) someone taught me to pinch off the narrow end of the honeysuckle flower and pull the pistle out. Attached to it would be a drop of nectar which was delicious on the tongue. I love the heavy fragrance as well. Yes, I have a sweet tooth. It is an awful invasive though, so as a responsible gardener I have to give it a negative rating.


On Oct 15, 2008, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Awful stuff!

This grows all along our side yard at the property border which is next to a farm field/meadow field. We've been dealing with the hundreds of vines growing in our direction for over a decade now.

In the Spring, the smell (scent) of the flowers are very 'sickening sweet' to the point of making me sick to my stomach with the smell. Very overpowering smell!

Extremely invasive and fast growing! We've had vines come up from underneath our grass, as well as, spread on top of our grass in search of something to do its clinging and/or wrapping around.


On Jul 10, 2007, zbest4me from Violet, LA wrote:

While I would not reccomend planting this plant in your yard as it is very invasive, it does make a wonderful container plant. I have a huge pot of this on my porch, right by the front door. Everyday I look forward to opening the door and smelling the sweet scent that totally fills the porch.


On Apr 29, 2007, KyWoods from Melbourne, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Actually just finished removing a few so I could plant a garden. We have thirty acres of mostly honeysuckle. Yes, it's an invasive weed that takes over everything. If we could just keep a few, it would be nice, because the scent of the flowers is just wonderful, and they draw hummingbirds. Unfortunately, they spread by runners, and they're everywhere.


On Jul 11, 2006, kman_blue from (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a horrible invasive smothering vine. It's taking over and killing forest understories in many places in Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri. It will grow over and kill just about anything in it's way. I'd never tolerate, much less plant, it in my yard.


On Feb 5, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is an illegal species in Illinois.


On Aug 31, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love Honeysuckle and the scent is heavenly especially in the evenings when we go to visit the garden and take in the beauty of the of the flowers.
Japanese Honeysuckle is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.


On Aug 30, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

It's terribly invasive and impossible to get rid of, and I'd never actually plant any on purpose, but this plant does have it's uses.

It is necessary shelter for all sorts of birds and small mamals. It's berries provide food...and it's one of the few things that stays green all winter.

I love to gather an armload and bring the scent into the house....and like others, still take a quick nip of the nectar when I pass by some blooms.


On Aug 19, 2003, Thaumaturgist from Rockledge, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

The most interesting part of this invasive, fragrant and
pretty flower is how it changes color, right in front of your eyes almost, from white to yellow as it goes from a
bud stage to a fully open flower.

It is a perennial spreading, trailing or climbing woody
vine that spreads by seeds, underground rhizomes, and
aboveground runners to create dense tangled thickets.
It spreads rapidly and outcompetes native vegetation
by vigorous above- and below-ground competition.

Once established, the vine may literally engulf small
trees and shrubs, which collapse under the weight, and
few plants survive beneath its dense canopy.

It has hardly any natural enemies in North America.

... read more


On Mar 1, 2003, Greenknee from Chantilly, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is an introduced plant, and here in the Mid-Atlantic states it is a pest. Birds scatter the seeds, and it creeps into, on, and over any plants, esp. shrubs, fencerows and shaded areas. It is very hard to eradicate - I spend a good portion of every year just keeping it at bay, but never defeating it. I have given up on fencerows, as the roots are impossible to get at, and they break off below ground, and resprout stronger than ever in days. Last fall I hauled a pickup load of roots away from one 2,000 s/f groundcover area. I first mowed it to the ground, after Hostas and Convallaria were dormant. The Ivy area and the Vinca areas will regrow, but it is a real pain to seperate the good roots from the bad. A couple of weeks work, just to keep it under moderate control.


On Sep 29, 2002, FranG from Brighton, MA wrote:

It's on the invasives plants lists in the Northeast as it takes the place of other plants and leads to loss of diversity.


On Sep 28, 2002, ohmysweetpjs from Brookeville, MD wrote:

Even though it may be invasive, I grew up wishing to have some in my backyard. Now that I'm 17 and we've moved, I discovered that we have TONS after going out and buying some. It sweeps in and out of the white prairie roses and is very pretty with splashes of yellow here and there and it's crisp green foliage. I consider it a definate plus, especially when the Japanses beetles devour the roses, the honeysuckles are still standing there indestructable and smelling a little bit like tangerine scented heaven.


On Aug 31, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A pest in this part of the country, it tends to smother out the native plants. Learning how to "drink" the "honey" is a rite of passage for most kids, but I wouldn't intentionally plant it in my garden.


On Aug 16, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

The vine's sweet-scented flower attracts bugs, bees, hummingbirds and even kids. Children have long delighted in picking the delicate white and yellow flowers. They carefully pull the flower apart and hold the stem to their mouth for a golden lick of nectar.


On Aug 31, 2001, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Flowers spring to late summer, berries autumn. Foliage evergreen, leaves sometimes lobed. Fragrant tubular white flowers with soft purple staining. Blue to black berries.