When you walk through the garden or sit on your balcony in the evening, honeysuckle embraces you with a delectable sweet fragrance that makes you think of sultry summers and far-off places.
Fairytale at dusk
Honeysuckle is everything you could hope for in a trendy garden plant. It’s a natural-looking shrub with a slightly wild look thanks to the long vines. It blooms vigorously with flowers that you never get tired of looking at. And as a botanical bonus it also offers a fabulous sweet fragrance that is particularly released in the evenings – just when you’re sitting comfortably on your patio or balcony. They already knew it 5000 years ago: when the honeysuckle flowers, summer truly has arrived.
As the plant of love, honeysuckle is said to stimulate the libido and prompt erotic dreams with its ‘midsummer night scent’.
Climbing, trailing and flowering
Honeysuckle (the scientific name is Lonicera) is an extravagant shrub and climbing plant that easily wraps itself around other plants, trees or a fence post. The flowers are spectacular: a group of tubular petals accompanied by a variety of stamens that surround and hang from them like a fringe. The flowers are often dark pink and golden white, although they also occur in other shades. After flowering the plant produces red, blue or black berries. Honeysuckle is available as climbing species and as deciduous and evergreen shrubs. The plant will reach a height of between one and four metres, depending on the species, and flowers from June to the end of September/beginning of October.
5 reasons for choosing honeysuckle
- It’s an easy garden plant that grows and flowers readily.
- The flowers attract bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies and moths.
- Can be used both as a container plant and planted in the soil.
- Honeysuckle’s botanical look is bang on trend!
- The flowers are a guaranteed hit on Instagram.
Honeysuckle is a member of its own honeysuckle family, and grows mainly in the northern hemisphere. There are some 180 species, of which 100 occur in China, where many poems have been devoted to the plant. Alongside the cultivated garden varieties, honeysuckle also occurs extensively in the wild, particularly on the edge of thickets where the plant can get plenty of sun. The strong, flexible vines were being used as far back as the Bronze Age to make rope. Remains of this have been found.
- Honeysuckle is also called ‘goat-leaf’. That corresponds to the French ‘chèvre-feuille’, German ‘Geißblatt’ and Italian ‘caprifoglio’.
- The name ‘honeysuckle’ is derived from hummingbirds that love the sweet nectar and can fit neatly into the tubular flowers with their narrow beaks.
- Honeysuckle’s sweet scent is released during the summer months at the time when the moths come out. The fragrance tells them exactly where they can find food.
“The sweet scent of honeysuckle mingled with the earthiness of recent rain. Summer rain. She’d always loved that smell.” Kate Morton – The Lake House
- Honeysuckle likes a spot where the roots remain cool and the flowering upper part gets sun. The more sun the more flowers!
- Because the plant can easily wrap itself around other plants, it’s important to think about its neighbours and whether you’d rather have a vertical green carpet or some space left in the garden. In the latter case it’s best to place honeysuckle in a more spacious spot.
- The soil should always be slightly damp. Placing attractive stones around the stems both helps to keep the roots cool and prevents the unnecessary evaporation of water. Planting a low shrub in front of honeysuckle also helps keep the roots cooler.
- Adding some plant food once a month during the growth period (March to May) helps keep the flowering going.
- There’s no need to prune, but you can prune the plant if necessary. The plant will then reshoot.