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How to Prune Honeysuckle? The Best Vine for Your Garden!

Have you ever wondered about what kind of plants make for good nectar plants? Or one that smells as sweet as its nectar tastes like? Honeysuckle is one example of such a plant since it is well-known for having a sweet, aromatic smell, owing to its nectar. They are attractive plants and are a great addition to your garden. Their colors are a combination of pink and yellow, with dark green leaves. They are part of the shrubs and twining vine family. But why should you plant honeysuckles? What sets them apart from other plants?

Honeysuckles also have a lot of benefits. They can be used for medicine, and when ingested, they can treat certain disorders, like digestive disorders. They are also soothing for areas in your body that have inflammation like swelling, and they can help with headaches, diabetes, among others. This plant is also attractive on its own, so this can be a wonderful addition to your garden. Because of this, learning skills such as how to prune honeysuckle is very important.

Pruning is important for your honeysuckle, but why is it important? How will pruning your honeysuckle help it? To answer this question, we first must look into what is pruning. Pruning is the practice of selectively removing some parts of the plant. While this practice may seem that it is harming the plant, but this practice is for the “greater good” for the plant. Pruning involves removing some dead or dying parts of the plant as they are only a burden, which in turn keeps the plant healthy and productive. As for the case of your honeysuckle, the pruning is mainly done to control its growth and its health secondarily.

Brief Facts: Honeysuckle Vine

Growing plants such as vines can be attractive yet a bit challenging. Because they grow to certain lengths, they are sometimes difficult to control. Unlike normal plants that grow only up to certain sizes, vines such as the honeysuckle vine can grow at rates that are greater than non-vine plants. Despite this, they can also serve as great additions and decorations to gardens, since they can cover more space.

Honeysuckles come in more than one type of species, and not all of them can be considered as vines. Those that are not vines grow more into a bush and can have different management needs according to their type. To grow a honeysuckle vine, the first thing to consider would be the soil and the area you choose to plant it in. For honeysuckle vines to grow, you need to choose soil that is moist and easily drainable. You should not choose soil that does not allow water to seep through, since this could be detrimental to your honeysuckle vine.

The next step would be to choose the right area in which to place the vines since, without sunlight, the honeysuckle would most likely die. Though honeysuckles can grow with a little shade, they still need to be placed in a location that is generally exposed to sunlight most of the time. For maintaining the honeysuckles, it is important that they be watered at least once a week when the roots have not yet grown maturely. 

How-to #1 – How to Train Honeysuckle

As with any type of vine-like plant, it is important to know how to train it to grow in the way you want to. After all, we don’t want vines growing in places that we don’t want them to! Growing vines without the proper training and control can lead to unwanted consequences, which is why learning how to train honeysuckle is the next skill you need to learn in order to properly grow honeysuckles in your garden.

To train your honeysuckle, the first step you need to do is choose a wall or surface in which you would want your honeysuckle vines to grow. Once you have chosen that, you need to train your honeysuckle to grow in said area by tying the plant with tape or other stretchy material to the wall or support in which you want it to grow. The type of tie you need for training honeysuckles should be safe enough so that the plants will not be cut from the tie’s material. Thus, it would also be helpful if the tie is knotted in such a way that it supports the entire plant without allowing it to sag.

How-to #2 – How to Deadhead Honeysuckle

Learning how to deadhead honeysuckle is important since plants such as these tend to grow in a wider amount of space as compared to other types of plants. Deadheading a plant is similar to pruning, wherein the diseased or overgrowing portions of the plant must be removed or cut-off to keep the plant healthy. This is also done to control overgrowth and to create the shape that you prefer when it comes to your plants. However, if in case your honeysuckle is of the sort type, then learning how to deadhead them as well is also important since shrubs can also grow to quite a length that might be difficult to maintain if overgrown.

To prune or deadhead your honeysuckle, you must first identify the portions which are overgrown, dead, or diseased. These portions do not help in maintaining the health of your honeysuckle, which is why it is better if they are removed regularly so that the healthier portions of the plant will have lesser trouble growing and getting sunlight in. For items that are neither dead nor diseased, they can, instead, be corrected by moving them in the direction that is its ideal growth. Next, for stems that are overgrowing, cut them at the point in which they are joined with another stem, and shorten them as need be. 

You also have to make sure that the scissors or shears you are using to cut the honeysuckle are sharp enough to produce a clean-cut so that no unnecessary damage is done to the other healthier portions of the plant. When you cut, hold your scissor or sheers at a 45-degree angle and make a clean cut through the stem. Cutting at an angle will prevent diseases and pests from harming the plant. Make sure that the tools as well are clean to reduce the spread of diseases to the plant. Wash your tools with alcohol or bleach and afterward rinse them with running water.

Trim your honeysuckle vine in late summer to curb its growth. Honeysuckles are known for their speed of growing and spreading, and this is especially true in its blooming season. So once the blooming season is over, trim the plant to a more manageable size. In its earlier years, avoid pruning more than ⅓  of the stems as doing so can cause the plant to die.

At times, the stems might get entangled against each other. If so, remove them as they can stunt the growth of the vine. These entanglements are usually located in the top portion of the vine. Remove only the stems that are entangled starting from the top and work your way down to the bottom.

If you have overgrown honeysuckle, wait until winter comes to prune it. Winter is the best time to prune your honeysuckle since the plant is dormant. Since your honeysuckle has been left untamed, don’t hesitate to give it a heavy pruning. Pruning in the winter also gives time for the honeysuckle to completely heal before the blooming season comes. Only do heavy pruning every 2-3 years as over-pruning will kill the plant instead.


Honeysuckles are great additions to your garden, especially since they can grow in vines or shrubs. They also have a great color combination of yellow and pink, coupled with the dark green-colored leaves that they have. Having honeysuckle is also beneficial, since they give off a sweet, aromatic smell, due to the sweet nectar in each flower. They also have a lot of health benefits as well, making them a very versatile plant.

Maintain a schedule as to when you are going to prune your honeysuckle. This plant is incredibly invasive, so make sure to continually stick to the schedule so that the plant won’t overflow to your garden and your neighbor’s garden.

Maintaining honeysuckle requires knowledge of certain skills. An important example would be learning how to prune honeysuckle. Pruning or deadheading are synonymous terms, since this requires the cutting-off or removing of dead, diseased, or overgrown portions of the plant. This is important for the maintenance and upkeep of healthy honeysuckle. Thus, making sure that your honeysuckle is healthy is the first step to growing a great garden, and daily upkeep and checking on it is ideal.

Do you have any more thoughts or tips on this topic? Any questions perhaps? Feel free to comment on them below! We also offer other guides on our website such as When to Harvest Leeks and How To Prune Avocado Tree.

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