Can You Cut Honeysuckle Down to the Ground?

Honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.) Contain both vine and shrub varieties and produce their signature accent flowers, which are often fragrant and attract hummingbirds and bees to your lawn. When these plants may be satisfying to the senses and attract wildlife, most honeysuckles are vigorous plants that frequently outgrow their designated area, and some could become invasive. When this occurs, you may cut honeysuckle into the ground, and it should not kill the plant. If you want to eliminate the plant, then cutting it isn’t the way to go.

Invasive Honeysuckle

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a number known to be invasive and grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 though 10. This extremely vigorous variety can easily take over an whole area. Since cutting it to the ground, even, is not likely to kill the plant, then you will want to have a different approach. Digging out the plant’s crown is the very best way to eliminate this plant. Once the crown is removed, the plant won’t grow back.

Effects of Serious Pruning

Because cutting honeysuckle into the ground does not kill it, you can severely prune overgrown or scraggly honeysuckles by cutting them into the ground before new spring growth starts. Following a serious pruning, the honeysuckle will continue to grow rapidly, but won’t bloom the following season. If you want the vine to blossom, leave some of the older plant growth. Shrub varieties of honeysuckle may also withstand severe pruning and will send up numerous new shoots that require pruning to maintain the bush’s natural shape.

Care After Serious Pruning

Honeysuckle vines and bushes that have undergone serious pruning or that have been cut into the ground require special care as they work to grow new shoots. As the honeysuckle grows new shoots, make certain that the plant is well nourished and utilize an organic mulch, such as bark chips, around the plant’s base to help retain moisture and to inhibit weed growth. You can feed the plant using a general fertilizer once the plant’s earliest shoots develop full-sized leaves.

Regular Pruning

Since honeysuckle grows rapidly, it will not require pruning to thin vines or bush growth. You should prune to thin plants after the plants have been finished blooming. Thinning includes cutting back long shoots and removing broken or weak stems. Honeysuckles utilized as ground covers require pruning to thin out the dense canopy and keep the plant within its boundaries.

See related