Honeysuckle vine propagation is an easy way to attract bees and hummingbirds to the garden while adding a vibrant, fragrant and versatile living showpiece. Honeysuckle is most often used along a trellis, deck or rail, but can be used as groundcover or a freestanding shrub as well. It is easy to grow and tolerates a variety of adverse growing conditions. Once established, it requires little maintenance and is nearly indestructible.
The most common methods of growing honeysuckle are by root cuttings or by layering. Both of these techniques utilize green “soft wood” areas of new growth on an existing plant. Spring is the best time to start outdoor propagation, but new plants can be rooted indoors any time suitable growing stock is available.
- Cut green tips four to six inches in length for rooting.
- Choose pieces with four or more nodes.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom pair of nodes.
- Gently scrape the stem near the cut end and apply rooting hormone.
- Plant the cutting in a container of quality potting soil or other growing media.
- Water well, and seal the pot in a ziplock bag. This will maintain a humid atmosphere around the plant.
- Place the pot in an area with moderate light.
The cutting will root and have visible growth in 25 to 80 days. Be sure to gradually “harden off” the young plant before transplanting it outdoors. It will need some time to adjust to the changing growing conditions.
Rooting can be done in water as well.
- Cut the tip and remove the lower set of leaves as before.
- Place the cutting in a vase, bottle, or glass of water.
- Change the water every other day to prevent root rot.
- After a couple of weeks, roots should be visible. When they are about one inch long, the cutting can be planted.
Propagation by layering honeysuckle vine is probably the most foolproof method available.
- Take a stem of new growth on the plant. Bend it to the ground, and pin it down.
- Allow six to nine inches at the tip to point upward in a “U” shape.
- Gently abrade the stem at the ground level.
- Apply rooting hormone, and cover the stem with soil.
Where it has been buried, the stem will grow new roots. When these are large and strong enough to sustain the new plant, it can be cut free from the parent and transplanted. If started in the spring, it should be mature enough for transplanting by the growing season’s end.
Honeysuckle is a very forgiving plant. It is tolerant of many soil types, and grows well in full sun or partial shade. For best results, prepare a site with good drainage. If a trellis or arbor will be used to support the honeysuckle, position and anchor it before planting.
- Leave six to eight inches between the plant and its support to allow for growth.
- When securing the vine to the structure, use a stretchy material looped in a figure "eight" to prevent the stem from being strangled or chafed against the support.
- At the beginning of the growing season, and again after the bloom, apply a balanced fertilizer 10-10-10.
- Take care not to over-fertilize the plant.