If you want to brighten up your garden and at the same time do something good for nature, you make exactly the right choice with honeysuckles. They not only provide a natural screen, but also provide food for birds and insects. In addition, the roots of the shrub spread widely, which can consolidate soil that is too loose. So, as you can see, this is a very useful garden plant that you should definitely consider. Would you like to plant the fast-growing red honeysuckle? If so, our care tips are sure to help!
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This location suits the hedge plant best
Of course, for a plant to feel comfortable and develop well, it is important to give it the best possible conditions, taking into account your requirements. Fortunately, the red honeysuckle ( Lonicera xylosteum ) is an extremely adaptable and low-maintenance hedge shrub , to which even novice gardeners can dare. The following site conditions apply to it in terms of the amount of light and soil conditions:
- sunny to shady – the plant is quite tolerant of light conditions.
- calcareous, nutritious and permeable are optimal characteristics, but the shrub also tolerates other soils very well
When and how to plant the hedge shrub?
Spring is the best time to plant the red honeysuckle, as you will give it enough time to develop its roots well until winter. The hole you prepare for the plant, which grows one to three feet tall and wide, should be twice the size of the root ball when you remove it from the pot. You should allow three plants per meter for a hedge. It is advantageous if you enrich the soil with nutrients. For this purpose, you can work in simple compost. Horn shavings are also very suitable as an additive. Dig the hole after you put the plant in it and water it well.
In the first time the young plant still needs sufficient moisture and especially in the first, still fresh, spring months warmth. You can guarantee it both with a simple layer of mulch.
How to care for the red honeysuckle – watering and fertilizing
After you have fertilized the newly planted red honeysuckle with compost and horn shavings, you do not need to provide it with nutrients this season. From the next year, fertilize the plant only once a year, in the spring. Horn meal is perfectly suitable for this purpose. Make sure that the soil is moderately moist. Especially in the summer you should not neglect watering, because then the soil dries out faster, which is not good for the plant.
Pruning red honeysuckle
If you want to grow the plants as a hedge, the right pruning at the right time of the year is, of course, also important. What should be considered here?
The plant is not particularly sensitive to pruning. This good pruning tolerance therefore makes it easy even for beginners. Small topiary is best given to the hedge after flowering. This is also the best time to thin it out a bit, allowing more light to penetrate inside. If the hedge is to serve as a privacy screen, an opaque growth is desired. You can achieve this by pruning the young shoots every now and then during the first few years.
Is the Lonicera poisonous or can you eat the fruits?
The flowers of the hedge plant are really pretty to look at, despite their rather plain yellow-white color, while also emitting a pleasant fragrance that you can enjoy in May and/or June. Since these flowers really produce a lot of nectar, they are a welcome source of food for numerous insects , including butterflies, which will thus further adorn your garden.
From these impressive flowers, red berries will then form on the hedge in July or August – another beautiful eye-catcher. Families with children or pets in particular may wonder if there are any concerns about the fruit. The bright red berries attract everyone’s attention, look very tempting and can easily end up in the mouths of small children. Is the red honeysuckle edible?
No, red honeysuckle is poisonous to humans as well as some animals and should therefore not be eaten. Birds, on the other hand, love the red berries and are happy to use them as a food source.
What else might interest you: Pests, diseases and propagation
We have already mentioned a few times that honeysuckles are really low-maintenance plants. And fortunately, this also applies with regard to pests and diseases. The biggest problem that could arise with this plant is aphids, but they are quite easy to fight. You can also do something preventive: just give her plant liquid manure, nettle manure has proven to be very effective for many plants.
Propagation is also quite simple. For this purpose, cuttings with a length of 10 to 15 centimeters, simply stick them in soil, but only to the top bud. It is important that you choose a semi-shaded to shaded location for this to avoid drying out from the heat. Afterwards, keep the soil, which is ideally rich in humus, moist at all times.
Tip: If regular honeysuckles seem a little too large for your garden, you can also choose a low honeysuckle. Such a variety is, for example, ‘Clavey’s Dwarf’ (1 – 1.5 meters).