Asked on Jun 25, 2019

How to get honeysuckle to flower?

AmandaNaomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey, Castaic CALynn Sorrell


I have had a honeysuckle vine for many years, never flowered, lots of sun, zone 5..... any suggestions? Thanks.

3 answers
  • Lynn Sorrell
    on Jun 25, 2019

    You do not say what kind you have?? or where you live?Zone 5 watering requirements in AZ are really different than zone 5 in Maine. Good organic compost around base each Fall or give it water soluble fertilizer like Miracle grow 1x in spring( too much too strong fertilizers produce foliage growth not blooms),needs full all day sun and depending on age dry conditions with good drainage. water only when soil/area is really dry, if you get rain don't water at all. are you cutting/pruning it ? Over time, honeysuckles tend to become woody at the base. Cutting back one or two branches near the ground will encourage new replacement growth.

    Although some honeysuckles will flower on the previous year’s growth, most produce buds on current season or new growth. The best time to prune these varieties is in late winter or early spring to give the vine time to produce flowering shoots. This is also a good time to thin out congested growth and remove weak or damaged stems, which will allow for easier training.

    If you want to renovate your framework of branches and start anew, hard prune your plant to about 2 feet from the ground in early spring and tie in the new shoots to your support system.

    • Lynn Sorrell
      on Jun 27, 2019

      exactly what I'm talking about this is world wide site zones are only generalized and basic predictions based on years of weather conditions. I'm guessing not enuf full all day sun This about fertilizers Nitrogen is often required in the largest amount. Nitrogen is an integral part of chlorophyll manufacture through photosynthesis, stimulates green leafy growth and promotes fruit and seed development; Phosphorus supports the transfer of energy throughout the plant for root development and flowering; Potassium is essential for photosynthesis and regulates many metabolic processes required for growth, fruit and seed development.

      Avoid Over-Applications of Phosphorus

      Do home gardeners and landscapers really need to apply high phosphorus fertilizers to get gorgeous blooms?

      Answer – it depends. Most non-agricultural soils (unless acid sandy) contain adequate amounts of phosphorus. A soil test is the only way to know for sure if a flower garden needs phosphorus.

      What harm could it do to apply extra phosphorus?

      Answer - Excess phosphorus (and potassium) can be detrimental to the environment by moving in runoff water and posing a threat to water quality. Aquatic plants are limited by phosphate and the addition of phosphate will induce algal blooms (eutrophication). Algal blooms are followed by increased bacterial activity, resulting in lowered oxygen levels and the eventual death of fish and other animals.

      Also, high levels of phosphorus, either from chemical fertilizers or natural sources such as bone meal or rock phosphate, can inhibit growth of beneficial soil organisms called mycorrhizal fungi. Without beneficial organisms, plants must put additional resources into root growth at the expense of other tissues and functions.

      Nitrogen is much more likely to be limiting in gardens. Nitrogen deficiency is characterized by overall leaf yellowing (chlorosis). Among other things, the lack of nitrogen reduces the plant's ability to take up phosphorus. When nitrogen is restored to optimal levels, the plant's ability to use phosphorus from the soil is markedly improved. It's important to realize that when nitrogen is deficient it does not necessarily follow that other nutrients must be deficient as well.

      So, don’t guess, soil test.

  • Not enough sun, incorrect or too much fertilizer. See if this article helps.

  • Amanda
    on Jun 25, 2019

    Hi Barb. If you are pruning it that would be the reason.The flowers come from the previous years laterals. If these are getting cut off then there will be no flowers. I would prune mine right after it flowered. Good Luck!

    • Barb
      on Jun 27, 2019

      I am not touching it this year at all, will see what happens or doesn’t!


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