Lonicera Japonica

(Question)

Hi there

Can I find Lonicera Japonica in Toronto?

Are they strong enough to surviv weather outdoor?

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(Answer)

Lonicera japonica, Japanese honeysuckle is a vigorous hardy twining woody evergreen to semi-evergreen vine that can be found either trailing or climbing to over 24 m in length. It is native to eastern Asia and hardy to USDA zone 4. They prefer fertile, humus rich, moist but well-drained soil. Though they will flower best in full sun, they will tolerate partial sun. Plant produces fragrant white flowers form June to October.

Honeysuckle plants will benefit from a light annual applicaton of a balanced fertilizer such as  10-10-10 at the beginning of the growing season, and then once again in the middle of the blooming season. Regular pruning is required to keep this vine in check.

Even though this vine can be found at most garden centers it is on Ontario’s invasive species list due to its ability to dominate the area and out-compete native plants : Invasive Species . You may wish to consider growing the folowing non-invasive species : American Wisteria ( Wisteria frutescens), Climbing hydrangea ((Hydrangea spp.), Goldflame honeysuckle (Lonicea x heckrotti), and Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). The latter honeysuckle  was voted wildflower of the year in 2014. As the name implies the vine features  bright coral red tubular flowers with orange throats. It will grow to be about 3m tall at maturity, with a spread of 60cm. This vine tends to be leggy near the base and should be underplanted with low-growing plants. As with all honeysuckles it flowers best in full sun and has the added bonus of being mildew resistant.

You may wish to check out this valuable website for more information on growing non-invasive plants for your garden : Brochure – Grow Me Instead (Southern Ontario)