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When's the earliest I can plant "purple leafed honeysuckle"?

When's the earliest I can plant "purple leafed honeysuckle"?

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  #1  
Old 01-09-07, 09:34 AM
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When's the earliest I can plant "purple leafed honeysuckle"?

I put up some lattice for the vine to grow all over and can't wait to get started. It's January in the Washington DC metro area and I'm wondering when I can start planting and the vine starts growing?

I'm told that the purple leafed honeysuckle does not attract bees, wasps, and other pesky insects, true?

I appreciate any insight,

thks,

-MC
 
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  #2  
Old 01-09-07, 04:09 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
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Hi Michael,

Fall and spring are great times to plant. Since the weather will be turning cold in a couple of days and the ground could freeze, it would be best to plant in spring in your location. Do you already have this honeysuckle or are you planning on getting one? I'm asking because the purple leaved honeysuckle you have/want is probably the invasive Japanese honeysuckle aka Hall's honeysuckle aka Lonicera japonica 'purpurea'.

The invasiveness in the environment comes mostly from the berries that form in the fall. The birds love them and spread them all over the enviornment in their droppings. Then the honeysuckle takes over and smothers everything in it's path. It smothers out other plants that feed other animals and makes a general mess. Many reputible growers no longer sell this monster that smells lovely but is listed as an invasive pest on most state lists. Here's some info on it from the invasive plants site.
http://www.invasive.org/eastern/srs/JH.html

From The National Park Service site:
http://www.nature.nps.gov/biology/ipm/manual/exweeds2.cfm

"Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica [Thunberg]) is a high climbing or trailing vine in the family Caprifoliaceae. It was introduced into the United States from Asia. Distribution in the United States is from the central Atlantic states to Missouri and Kansas, south to Florida and Texas. Japanese honeysuckle stems are glabrous to densely pubescent. Leaves are 3/4"-2 1/2" long, evergreen, oval in shape, with a rounded base. In spring the leaves of new shoots are often lobed. The flowers are very fragrant and occur in pairs. They are white or pink when they first appear and fade to yellow with age.

This vine, originally planted as an ornamental and to stabilize road banks, has invaded woodlands, fence rows, and fields, outcompeting and killing native wild flowers, shrubs, and tree seedlings. It is common to abundant at low altitudes, but can spread into uplands. It grows best in full and partial sun but t olerates partial shade. This species is considered a major pest due to its ability to outcompete and shade out native vegetation."

Consider planting a native honeysuckle. Most will rebloom and not invite the bees or wasps. I grow Lonicera sempervirens 'Blanche Sandman' and the hummingbirds love it. It blooms for me, just north of you in Maryland, from the beginning of June until hard frost. Mine is still blooming now with this warm weather. It won't overwhelm your trellis either.
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/plant.asp?code=B934

The native honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens is fragrant and would be lovely for you too.
http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.plantDetail/plant_id/418/index.htm

There are many native varieties. Here's another that's orange - Lonicera sempervirens 'Magnifica'.
http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.plantDetail/plant_id/419/index.htm

Lonicera x heckrotti 'Goldflame' is variable in fragrance. It's a repeat bloomeer, but if you want it for fragrance, purchase one that is in bloom and smells good to you. Some plants have no fragrance at all while others are wonderfully fragrant.

Btw, you mention "other pesky insects". The Japanese honeysuckle aka purple leaved honeysuckle will need constant pruning to keep it under control as it will grow to great heights. The constant pruning will cause a flush of tender new growth that will attract aphids.

Newt
 
  #3  
Old 01-10-07, 07:29 AM
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great info. I'll print this out and take with me when I buy the vine.

I want something that grows fast because I'm using the lattice and vine to shield myself from the lowlifes on the other side of the fence. Since the lattice has wide openings I'd like the vine to quickly "fill in the gaps".

At the same time since I'll be spending quite a bit of time out there I'd rather not have to deal with additional bees, wasps, and mosquitoes that the vine may attract.

Those are my goals and if I can achieve that without harming the environment then all the better.

Also I'd rather not have to replant each year. I'd like to plant once and leave it. If the flowers go away in winter, no problem as long as the vine is still there and the flowers come back in spring.

thanks for the tips,

-MC
 
  #4  
Old 01-10-07, 10:39 AM
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Michael, you are so very welcome! Now that you've given me more info you need to know that perennial vines can take 3 years or more to establish their roots before they really take off. My suggestion would be to plant a native honeysuckle in the spring along with an annual vine that will grow quickly to fill in the empty spaces until the honeysuckle establishes. An annual vine that comes to mind that would grow large and quickly would be hyacinth bean. You would easily be able to harvest the seeds and plant it for the next 2 or 3 years until the honeysuckle matures enough for you. It doesn't attract the insects you don't want and is even edible. It would be my first choice for an annual to do what you require. Start the seeds indoors to get some growth on it early. You should be able to find the seeds easily or order over the internet.
http://msucares.com/news/print/sgnews/sg04/sg040715.html

You may get recommendations for morning glory. I would caution you against planting those as they self seed prolifically and can be a nuisance once you don't want them anymore. The seeds can stay dormant in the soil for 5 years or more and can sprout when you don't want them.

Newt
 
  #5  
Old 01-10-07, 12:20 PM
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Talking

I think that last post combined with the first gives me everything I need to start this project.

If the guy at the nursery can't tell me how to get the vine started indoors, I may repost.

thks,

-MC
 
  #6  
Old 01-10-07, 01:25 PM
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Location: Maryland zone 7
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Michael, no need to depend on the guy at the store. Here's how to start your seeds.
http://www.richters.com/newdisplay.cgi?page=./OnlineSeminars/seeding/demo.html&&cart_id=5440704.22962

You can see the seedpod, seeds and seedling here. It's the first one - Lablab purpureus - Hyacinth bean vine
http://theseedsite.co.uk/db12.html

Have fun at the garden center. If you have any problems finding a native honeysuckle just let me know.

Newt
 
  #7  
Old 01-10-07, 01:36 PM
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awesome, I'll repost if I have further questions, thanks for all the advice

-MC
 
  #8  
Old 01-10-07, 01:54 PM
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Michael, you are so very welcome! I'm grateful you are willing to plant a native that isn't invasive.

Newt
 
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