Pruning a Honeysuckle vine


I would like to ask you about pruning and overgrown honeysuckle bush but I live in Waterloo, not Toronto. Will you accept a query from me about this with one or two attached pictures?


Dear Gardener, thank you so much for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners about pruning your honeysuckle.

We generally answer queries from Toronto residents only.  There is a  Kitchener Master Gardener group that you may want to be in contact with:

The honeysuckle is a plant that I love, and admittedly, I have left mine to take over most of my fence. I have Googled your question and have found some good advice and some good links for you to follow.

The most important feature of pruning honeysuckle vines seems to be the timing.

There are over 180 different species of honeysuckle. The two most common are: the early and late Dutch honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’ and ‘Belgica’). It grows on side shoots produced from the previous season’s growth and has larger, scented flowers – pink and cream, and crimson and cream respectively. The other is the: Japanese honeysuckleLonicera japonica, which has white flowers that go yellow when they are old.

Prune Lonicera periclymenum immediately after it has flowered in late summer. Unless you are just going to take off a very little of the plant, please postpone your pruning to next year. If you prune now, you may lose next year’s flower growth.

Major pruning of Lonicera japonica should be done in the early winter after all flowering has finished. Also, expect not to get any flowers in the year if you do a severe pruning. I have grown Lonicera japonica for over three decades and it is loved by the hummingbirds. I was shocked to learn that the plant’s stems and vines are poisonous and it is considered an invasive species in many countries. Do take care that your plant is not close to any of our valuable ravines where it may naturalize.

Some interesting websites I found include:

Here is a video from the BBC: