How To Spot Honeysuckle Vine: ID Chart, Pics, Honeysuckle Growing Zones

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | March 28, 2024

Woman examining Honeysuckle vine plant after learning how to identify honeysuckle vines and their growing zones, as well as care tips for honeysuckle, flowers, bark, leaves, and which honeysuckle are native and invasive species.

You’re probably familiar with Honeysuckle vine. These native creepers grow wildly around the world, and many children have ‘drank’ the nectar from the delicate flowers in summer.

In fact, Honeysuckle Vine has a lot to offer.6 Their fragrant blooms appeal to pollinators, making this plant a favorite among gardeners.

These hardy attractive specimens are great additions to your landscape because they can help control erosion and unlike invasive species, don’t harm the plants that “prop” them up.

The following guide explains all you need to know about Honeysuckle Vine as well as how to grow and take care of them.

Honeysuckle Vine


Oval framed image of Honeysuckle Vine showing the close up view of honeysuckle vine flowers and leaves.
  • Family: Caprifoliaceae
  • Genus: Lonicera
  • Leaf: Oval or oblong leaves which are sometimes lobed
  • Seed: The seeds are found within small leathery berries
  • Blossoms: Bloom from spring through summer or the whole year when grown in warmer zones. Produce pink, white, and red flowers
  • Native Habitat: Temperate zones of both hemispheres
  • Height: 10 to 25 feet
  • Canopy: Have thick canopies over wooden trellis
  • Type: Perennial
  • Native Growing Zone: 4 to 9

Image Credit: Jessica Arnold (RaesHollow)12

Honeysuckle Vine Facts

Here are some Honeysuckle Vine facts:

  • Honeysuckles fall under the genus Lonicera in the family Caprifoliaceae.1,7 They are native to Asia, Europe, and North America and at the moment have more than 180 identified species.
  • Their main characteristics include long flowers, shaped like a trumpet, that come in bright colors such as orange or yellow. The flowers have a bright yellow center and some cultivars produce cream-colored flowers.
  • As the flowers bloom, they occur in clusters of two or more at the stem end. Some flowers are scentless while others have a rich fragrance depending on the species.
  • You can get either vining or shrubby Honeysuckles.
  • The vining Honeysuckles can climb up a trellis or other support and grow to create vast canopies.

Landscapers often use these plants to cover walls that are unsightly or make privacy screens or arbors that are beautifully flowered. You can use a honey suckle shed on a patio that has a pergola and create an excellent spot of siestas.

You can also choose to leave them trailing along the ground.

How To Identify Honeysuckle Vine: American Honeysuckle vs Japanese Honeysuckle

There are over 180 species of Honeysuckle, each with its own unique characteristics making it difficult to identify the plant. Some of these species are invasive and may affect the life of other plants in the landscape.

For example, the Native American trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is among the well-behaved subspecies of Honeysuckle while the Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), is an invasive plant that can destroy your garden.

Graphic of Honeysuckle Vine Identification, showing on how to identify the height, leaves, flowers, fruits, and leaves of a Honeysuckle Vine.

You can differentiate these two plants through:

Honeysuckle Vine: Leaves

American Honeysuckle grows in zones 4 through 9 while Japanese Honeysuckle grows in zone 4 through 10.8 As such, it’s hard to differentiate between the two with their local climate. In areas with mild winter, both plants are evergreen and their leaves appear similar.

Both Honeysuckle Vine leaves are compound with leaflets that are oval-shaped and range from 2 to 4 inches.

If you look closer, you can see a slight difference in the color of the leaves. The leaves of the Japanese Honeysuckle have a deep green upper and underside while the American Honeysuckle leaves have a bluish-green underside and a medium-green upper side.

Another less subjective indicator is that the Japanese Honeysuckle varieties have variegated leaves.

Honeysuckle Vine: Flower (Honeysuckle Flower)

Once the Honeysuckle Vine blooms, it’s easy to differentiate between American and Japanese Honeysuckle. The American Honeysuckle has flowers that are 1 to 2 inches long that are tubular shaped.

The flowers are red or pink on the outside and have yellow or orange inside the tubes.

Close up view of Honeysuckle Vine flowers.

On the other hand, the flowers of the Japanese Honeysuckle do not create a complete tube. Rather, the petals flare into two lips.

In this flaring, you can see the stamen, and this gives the flower a frilly appearance.2 Additionally, these flowers are often white and have pink, purple, or yellow tinges depending on the subspecies.

Honeysuckle Vine: Seeds

After blooming, all Honeysuckles produce berries that are a food source to garden creatures and birds. You can identify a Honeysuckle Vine by their berries. For example, the Japanese Honeysuckle produces black berries.

However, the American Trumpet Honeysuckle is red. The American Honeysuckle fruit is smaller than the Japanese Honeysuckle fruit. The fruits have small round brown fruits in them.

Non Invasive Honeysuckle and Other Honeysuckle Types (Honeysuckle Bush)

You need to avoid the invasive Honeysuckle Vine subspecies because, in North America, they are a considerable problem. They usually choke out native trees and cover large land patches with ground cover that is nearly impenetrable.

Close up view of Honeysuckle Vine flowers and leaves.

Birds and other garden creatures continue to spread the plant by eating the fruits and dropping seeds in new locations.

Therefore, you should avoid causing an unintentional infestation by staying clear of the following Honeysuckle subspecies:

  • Japanese Honeysuckle: Lonicera japonica
  • Bell’s Honeysuckle: Lonicera bella
  • Amur Honeysuckle: Lonicera maackii
  • Morrow’s Honeysuckle: Lonicera morrowii

A few other Lonicera species are invasive in other locations. Before planting Lonicera vines, you should check if there are any invasive species in the area.

The most recommended Honeysuckle varieties include:

Gold Flame Honeysuckle

The scientific name is Lonicera heckrottii. This plant produces fragrant yellow, pink, and purple flowers on the arbor or trellis.3

American Honeysuckle

The Lonicera Canadensis also called the trumpet Honeysuckle Vine is a Honey suckle that is a bush rather than a vine. It has pale flowers and is native to the New England area.

Coral Honeysuckle

The Lonicera sempervirens are native to North America.9 It’s perfect for a flowering or climbing display because its vines grow up to 10 to 20 feet.

Some other uncommon wild Honeysuckle include:

  • Major Wheeler Honeysuckle
  • Honeysuckle Yellow
  • Honeysuckle Dropmore Scarlet

How To Plant Honey Suckle From Seed

Honeysuckle growing from seed is a bit complicated. First, hybrids don’t grow true from seeds.

You should not worry though because many cultivars and species do. You can get these seeds from most local nurseries.

Graphic of Honeysuckle Vine Growth Chart, showing the growth chart of Honeysuckle Vine plant from year 1 to year 10 and beyond.

First, the seeds need cold stratification before they germinate and you can do this in two ways.

First you can put the seeds in the ground in fall and let Mother Nature take over. Bear in mind that if the seeds come out early during a February warm snap, they can die when colder temperatures return.

Alternatively, you can trick the seeds into thinking they have gone through winter though this requires some extra work. Despite the extensive process, this is the most reliable method.

You start the process two to three months before you intend to plant the seeds.

Fill a bag that can be sealed with wet sand. The sand should be so wet that if you squeeze it in your hand, it does not crumble apart, rather it stays together.

However, you do not want it to be so wet that it’s muddy. The next step is to mix the seeds with the sand.

Then, seal the bag and put it in the back corner of the fridge where it won’t be affected by changing temperatures of the fridge. You should make sure that the sand stays moist and add water if it dries out.

Most gardeners recommend checking every week. Finally, after two months, you can plant the seeds. The best time to plant is the spring or fall.

Once the seeds are stratified, it’s time to prepare the soil. Honeysuckle Vines thrive in a wide variety of soils but gardeners recommend working in some compost to make the soil well-drained and loamy.4

The seeds should be placed 1/8 inch deep.

The soil should be moistened with a water bottle or hose. Even moisture should be maintained during germination which takes a couple of weeks.

Remember, you will not need to start Honeysuckles inside the way you do other veggies, to get a jump on the growing season. Honeysuckle seeds take off once they are on the ground.

If often flowers earlier than other outdoor plants.

That being said, you can still start your seedlings indoors. If you choose this route, place the seeds 1/8 inches deep in peat pots (full of seed starting mix) six weeks before the last predicted frost date.

The seeds should remain moist until the seedlings sprout and produce one set of true leaves.

This next part explains the process of growing Honeysuckle Vine from seedlings. The first step is to harden the seedlings off.

You need to bring them outside for one hour and put them in a sheltered spot. After one hour bring them back in.

Then repeat the process for seven days adding an hour each day. Finally, the plants are ready to go to your desired location.

How To Propagate Honeysuckle and How To Grow a Honeysuckle From a Cutting

The propagation of Honeysuckle is very easy,10 however, you need to identify the plant growing in the wild before taking cutting and trying layering.

You do not want to increase the spread of an invasive spirit.

Close up view of Honeysuckle Vine leaves.

To figure out the variety of the Lonicera, snap off a hardwood piece. At the center of the stem of an invasive species, there’s a hollow channel.5

Species that are US natives have solid stems.

The first step of growing a Honeysuckle Vine from a cutting is to obtain the cutting from softwood growth in spring just before the plant flowers. You should cut off a branch that has two leaf pairs.

The branch should be snipped just above the uppermost leaf pair, then pull off the lower leaf pair. You should place the cutting in a rooting medium with upright-positioned leaves and a water well.

You can cover the plant with a plastic baggy to maintain the warmth and moisture of the cutting. Prop up the bag with a chopstick to create a support structure for the cutting to climb up if it’s a vining species.

You should remove the bag to check on things every few days. The soil should stay moist and the air remains humid.

If the cutting feels dry, mist it by adding water to the soil.

After a couple of weeks, the cutting will form roots. Tug the cutting and see if it resists.

Resistance is an indication that it’s ready to be transplanted. Before placing the plant in your desired location, make sure you harden it for seven days just like planting a seedling as explained above.

Honeysuckle Layering

Layering Honeysuckles is easy. All you have to do is choose a branch and place it flat on the soil.

You should not detach the branch from the parent plant.

Get rid of any leaves from the middle of the branch then insert it in about an inch of soil leaving just an inch or two of the tip exposed. If the branch does not want to stay in place, then you can use a rock to pin it down.

If the soil dries out, then you should add water. Otherwise, all you need is patience to make it grow.

In about a month, you should see a stem and new leaves coming out. This indicates that the branch is a new plant and you can sip it from the main plant and dig up the buried section.

You will have roots that are ready to be transplanted. You can plant the Honeysuckle with plants such as Angel Wing Begonia or some fast-growing trees.

Honeysuckle Transplanting

The first step before planting the seedlings is to dig a hole. This hole should be slightly deeper and wider than the container holding the seedling.

Then, add some compost into the removed soil and put some more comfort on the base of the hole. Place the seedling in the hole and make sure it sits on the same level as in the container.

Close up view of Honeysuckle Vine bark.

Remember to put the trellis and other support in place if you are growing a Honeysuckle Vine from a seed (growing a Honeysuckle Vine from a seedling). When planting the seedling, remove the plant from the container gently and cut off any dry or dead roots.

Then loosen the soil and straighten out any tangles or circling roots. Finally, place the plant in the hole and surround it with soil and compost mix.

Water the seedling well to help it grow and settle in the soil.

Once the seedling is in the soil, trim the backs of the branches by about a third to promote bushier growth. As the seedling continues to grow, wind it around the support structure or tie the tendrils with rope and twines to help them grow in your desired shape.

Tips To Care for Honeysuckle

Here are some tips to care for Honeysuckle:


These vines enjoy full sun on leaves and stems but the roots should be placed in a shade. They grow best in hot regions.


If you put too much fertilizer, the plant develops fewer flowers and more foliage. If you have already amended the soil during planting, then you do not need to add fertilizer in that year.

After the plant is established, then experts recommend adding only a single layer of general purpose fertilizer in the middle of spring.


You should not prune the plant heavily for the winter because you may prune the flowering part. Additionally, you should prune the plant only after the flowers drop.

You should prune lightly to encourage more flowers to appear in the following spring.

Each subspecies of the lonicera has different pruning needs. You need to know the species beforehand or otherwise, you may prune the stems responsible for the blooms of the following year.

Even so, you are encouraged to prune away dead wood because it causes no harm and makes the plant look better overall.

Potting and Reporting

Did you know you can grow Honeysuckle Vine in a container? What you need to do is choose a pot with excellent drainage and fill it with potting soil.

Then before you plant your Honeysuckle Vine, add support to the container unless you’re planning to place the opt near a fence or any other structure that the vines can climb.

Another option is to place the container on a pillar or table so that the vines fall over the sides. You should create a hole a few inches deep, plant the vine, and place soil firmly around it.

Then sprinkle a balanced granular fertilizer on the soil then water it. If you want to repot the plant, do it in the fall while it’s dormant.

Honeysuckle Vine Disease Prevention

Spider mites, aphids, and other pests love to feed on Honeysuckle Vine.11 To prevent infestation, you need to identify and treat the problem quickly.

You can also learn other ways how to get rid of aphids. This is the best Honeysuckle Vine disease prevention.

Close up view of Honeysuckle vine and leaves.

The vines are also prone to powdery mildew and fungi-caused cankers which result from soggy soil. You can choose to discard the plants that are damaged or relocate them to a part of the garden that has better-draining soil.

To summarize, you will love growing Honeysuckle Vine because of its wide foliage and bright flowers. These plants thrive in well-drained soil and areas that receive a lot of sun.

When planting or caring for Honeysuckle vine, just remember that the plant is very hardy, and you can obtain the benefits of having an attractive and sweet smelling pollinator by adding it to your yard or garden.

Frequently Asked Questions About Honeysuckle Vine

What Are the Best Honeysuckle Vine Growing Zone?

They grow best in zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Honeysuckle Vine Symbolism: What Does Honeysuckle Vine Symbolize?

Honeysuckle Vines symbolize growth and progress.

What Is the Honeysuckle Vine Growth Rate?

They grow 9 to 12 feet each year.

What Do I Need To Know About How Long It Takes To Grow Honeysuckle Vine?

They grow within the first year and last 20 years.

What Is the Best Area When To Plant Honeysuckle Vine for the Best Yield?

Plant them in areas with a lot of sun.

What Are the Growing Zones for Honeysuckle Vine: Where To Grow?

Zones 4-9.

What Are the Companion Plants for Growing Honeysuckle Vine?

You can plant Honeysuckle with herbs and vegetables.

What Is the Best Growing Conditions for Honeysuckle Vine?

They grow best in hot non-humid areas.

What Are the Watering Needs for Honeysuckle Vine Plants?

They need to be watered regularly to keep the soil moist.

Are There Any Planting Tips for Honeysuckle Vine?

Grow the plant in moist well-drained soil.

What Is the Best Distance To Consider How Far Apart To Plant Honeysuckle Vine?

The plants should be spaced 3-5 feet apart.

How Much Sunlight Does Honeysuckle Vine Need Each Day?

Honeysuckle vines need 6 to 7 hours of sunlight daily.

What Are the Common Pests of the Honeysuckle Vine?

The most common types of pests for Honeysuckle Vines are aphids and watermites.

What Do I Need To Know About How To Stop Honeysuckle Vine Disease?

Cut the part of the plant that is affected and throw it away.

What Are the Natural Pest Control for Honeysuckle Vine?

The best pest control for Honeysuckle Vine is to keep the soil well-drained but not soggy.

What Is Climbing Honeysuckle Vine?

These are types of Honeysuckle plants that grow in vines rather than shrubs.

What Are Honeysuckle Growing Conditions?

They grow best in warm climates and moist well-drained soils.

What Is the Coral Honeysuckle Trellis?

Coral Honeysuckle is a native US vine that provides great cover for fences and trellises.

What Are the Honeysuckle Varieties?

The Japanese Honeysuckle and the American Honeysuckle.

What Are Some Other Vine Plants?

Other vine plants include the bougainvillea and wandering jews.

Why Are Mulberry Trees Illegal?

To answer the question “Why are Mulberry Trees illegal?” is that they are invasive, have high pollen amounts and their fruits stain sidewalks and streets.

Read More About Honeysuckle Vine


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3Patterson, S. (2022, April 24). The Honeysuckle Plant – Growing And Caring For Honeysuckle Vines. Gardening Know How. Retrieved July 3, 2023, from <>

4Neveln, V. (2023, May 16). How to Plant and Grow Honeysuckle Vine. Better Homes & Gardens. Retrieved July 3, 2023, from <>

5Wilcox, A. (2023, May 3). Honeysuckle: How to Grow and Care for Honeysuckle Vines | The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Retrieved July 3, 2023, from <>

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8Hartzler, B., & Anderson, M. (2023). Bush honeysuckle | Integrated Crop Management. Integrated Crop Management. Retrieved July 5, 2023, from <>

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11Wikipedia. (2023, June 23). Aphid. Wikipedia. Retrieved July 5, 2023, from <>

12Honeysuckle, Vine, Nature Photo by Jessica Arnold (RaesHollow). (2021, May 18) / Pixabay Content License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Pixabay. Retrieved June 30, 2023, from <>