What should be done with Honeysuckle plants when you winterize?

March 29, 2010


I have put in 2 Beautiful Mandarin Honeysuckle plants in one of my gardens. I live in the west suburbs of Illinois.  When I do my “winterizing”, should I cut them down?  Or, do I leave the stems on the trelis?  Please, if you could, an e-mail on this would be helpful.  The
plants are so beautiful,and have a long season of blooming. Thank you,

Anne M. Porcaro

Dear Anne,
Honeysuckle vines are vigorous growers and bloomers.  They can be pruned for shape and size, and will appreciate a hard pruning (down to 18-24″) every few years. Trimming unruly stems to keep the honeysuckle under control can be done at any time during the season.  Hard pruning should be done in late fall or winter and only on healthy plants.

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8 Responses to “What should be done with Honeysuckle plants when you winterize?”

  1. PatOctober 11, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Is it important to mulch a honeysuckle bush in Iowa?

    • chrisOctober 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      Hi Pat, honeysuckle should be perfectly hardy for you. After the ground freezes you should mulch if it was newly planted this year, otherwise it should only need good moisture going into winter.

  2. barbaraOctober 22, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Have a i year old scarlet honeysuckle plant. It has a few flowers on the top but the leaves are turning yellow and falling of. How do I winterize this plant.

    • chrisOctober 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      Hi Barbara, Your honeysuckle plant is a very hardy plant. All you need to do for the winter is to mulch it around the base. You won’t need to prune it until next spring. It’s very natural for the leaves to turn yellow because it’s going dormant for the winter.

  3. JenniferAugust 31, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    I have a coral honeysuckle that’s leaves have turned all brown and crispy from our extreme heat in texas. Can it be saved?

    • Chris KaufenbergSeptember 1, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      Thanks for your question Jennifer. There are several factors that can cause crispy brown leaves. Our first suggestion is to always check with a local garden center as they will be much more familiar with plant care in Texas. In general, honeysuckle require full sun, well drained soil and enough room between plants for air circulation. They should also be watered at the base of the plant and spent flowers should be removed as well as dead foliage around the base. Good luck!

  4. TerryOctober 2, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

    I have a honeysuckle plant in a large pot with a trellis. Its time to put inside due to weather. We have freezing temps from Nov-March- can I put inside the garage which is not heated but warm enough where it will not freeze. Please advise on how to cut down- how low to roots and etc. Thank you

    • Chris KaufenbergOctober 6, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Low winter temperatures will damage the roots more easily since your honeysuckle is planted in a container. You could attempt to over-winter in the garage but it is recommended to winter indoors in frost prone regions. Bring in before the first hard frost and cut back to about 12 inches. Good luck!

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