Thursday, April 22, 2010

Coral Red Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

Coral Red honeysuckle or Lonicera sempervirens is the honeysuckle you want - I mean really want- not the other kind. You probably have honeysuckle somewhere near you right now. It's white, smells pretty good, and it may even be right behind you as you read this, don't look! It knows you are there, it's waiting to spread and take over everything when you aren't looking - or even when you are it really doesn't matter! You see that honeysuckle that fills the air with it's heady fragrance isn't from around here. It's an overseas immigrant (from Asia) who is naturalizing itself and pushing out it's American cousin Lonicera sempervirens. Don't encourage the foreign invader, instead plant the native honeysuckle! The only thing it lacks is the fragrance of the foreign flower. Hummingbirds love coral red honeysuckle, it looks great, it's very tame, and isn't hard to propagate if you want more.


Don't get me wrong, I like the scent of Lonicera japonica just as well as anyone but the problem is it just doesn't know any limits. It's kind of like another foreign vine you might be familiar with named kudzu - AKA "the vine that ate the south". You wouldn't plant kudzu would you?

Honeysuckle on My Arbor
Why should you plant Lonicera sempervirens?
It's a native to the United States
It's coral red flowers attracts and feeds hummingbirds.
Lush green foliage when not in bloom.
Doesn't become invasive.
Works well on fences, trellises, and arbors.

How can you propagate honeysuckle?
Greenwood cuttings taken in late spring and early summer after flower bloom are finished. For more on cuttings please read this post.

8 comments :

  1. Love this plant and can't imagine not having it in the garden...The other I pull out everyday! gail

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  2. I planted this in my garden just last fall...it's beginning to bloom now! I'm so glad it is a native not invasive! Your arbor is looking great.

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  3. Dave,

    I have found this growing wild in my woods, too shady to bloom most of the time. I'll have to move some into the garden. Two post back I featured a photo of this honeysuckle from the Seeds garden.

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  4. Dear Dave you make me want this plant ! I had a Honeysuckle years ago and it was totalled by aphids before I knew anything about gardening .. it threw me off of the plant .. but I might reconsider with this one!
    Joy

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  5. I have some type of trumpet vine coming up in my yard. I've pulled it other years and it always comes back, leading me to believe it's a bad one. Think I should let it go until it blooms so I can identify it? I'd love to put the coral vine on my neighbor's chain link fence!

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  6. I love the sunset effect of these blooms, it will be gorgeous on your arch. Plus you can't go wrong with natives. :)

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  7. That is a nice looking plant of which I may consider having. I have the yellow wild one {not planted by me} that is running on my chain link fence. I plant to get rid of it as it overtakes all. Pretty but nasty.

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  8. Is is possible to grow red honeysuckle in large pots? How long does it get?

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Dave

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