Honeysuckles grow as crawling vines, shrubs, and even bushes. People love them because of their sweet fragrance. Not just humans, but birds are attracted towards them because honeysuckle flowers happen to produce nectar for them. Honeysuckle flowers are often used for decorative purposes, especially in the form of hedge along the compound walls and fences.
Besides beauty enhancement, they have also been used for medicinal purposes as well, especially in Chinese medicines. Being versatile, they don’t prefer any particular type of soil to grow.
Although it is quite easy to grow honeysuckle, you need to know a couple of things before you get to work.
Find the Right Spot
Honeysuckle plants want the full sun to flourish, but they can also tolerate some amount of shade. Make sure that the location you choose receives considerable sunlight. Without enough exposure to the sun, the leaves of honeysuckle flowers will start to shed. Although it does not require any particular type of soil, it must be able to drain off any excess water content in it. Since the honeysuckle plants attract butterflies and hummingbirds, choose the spot where people don’t walk.
Take Care of Watering
When it comes to watering, you must understand that honeysuckle plants are sensitive to the moisture and water it receives over the time. During the initial stages, they need you to consistently water them so that the soil remains evenly moist. Once they establish and start to bloom, you only have to water it when the temperature gets too warm, and conditions of drought arise. Watering at the same rate throughout the process can harm the health of honeysuckle flowers. To maintain the moisture retention of the soil, you can add a layer of mulch to it. A 2-inch layer of either leaf or shredded barks would be sufficient for the purpose.
Plant them in your garden once the threat of frost has made its way out of your area. The ideal weather to grow them in is spring of the colder climates. This keeps their roots shaded and cool. You need to plant them at a soil depth of about 18 inches. It must be noted that an adequate amount of air is given to the plants so that molds and powdery mildews don’t develop on their surface.
These flowers don’t require a lot of fertilizer to grow. Do it with a controlled release variety in the beginning. A balanced fertilizer around the base of the plant is what is crucial for honeysuckle flowers to grow. To encourage the blooms of honeysuckle flowers, use a balanced liquid fertilizer for the purpose. Be careful that you do not fertilize it more than it requires. The signs of excessive fertilization don’t show up at first, but it renders the growth of flowers in a long run. All this while, keep measuring the pH of soil and maintain it between 6 and 8.
Provide them with Support
If you grow them as ground cover, they don’t require any support. However, if you desire the honeysuckle flowers to climb up, they certainly need some sort of support to get going. If there’s a wall near the plantation area, then there’s nothing to worry. But if there’s nothing around, you must insert a support structure prior to planting the plants. Don’t do it after planting because this can damage the roots of the flowers.
Time for Pruning
Let the honeysuckle plants establish properly before you take out the tools to prune. Doing it too early can have adverse effects on the number of blooms. It can sometimes kill the entire plant as well. The growing period for honeysuckle plants before pruning the old and bloomed out flowers is generally two years. It is necessary to prune the honeysuckle flowers so that the later flowering can be encouraged.