Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: May 3, 2007

Coral Honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens
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Species Native Range: Eastern US
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-9
Mature Size: 7-15 feet long
Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Soil: Rich soil that is moist but well-drained
Ease of Culture: Easy

Coral Honeysuckle is an outstanding native vine that deserves more attention by nurseries and gardeners alike. The semi-evergreen vine is covered with brilliant red thin tubular flowers in the mid spring that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Sporadic flowers will appear throughout the season. In the fall, orange to red ornamental fruit will cover the vine attracting other birds.

Coral Honeysuckle should be planted as a well-behaved alternative to the non-native and highly invasive Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica ). Nurseries that sell Japanese Honeysuckle are acting irresponsibly and should be told so.

Grow Coral Honeysuckle in full sun to light shade in rich, well-amended soil. Flowering is better in full sun. This is a twining vine, so it will need a sturdy structure to climb upon in addition to some assistance to get it started. Prune Coral Honeysuckle after it finishes blooming in the spring. Coral Honeysuckle grows well on a fence, arbor or pergola and can be mixed with other sun-loving shrubs or perennials. Alas, the flowers have no fragrance.


Although I have seen this plant in the nursery or catalog listed below, I cannot guarantee that it will be available at the time this newsletter is published.

Buck Jones Nursery: Grayson, Woodstock
Native Plant Sources: Georgia Native Plant Society
Nearly Native Nursery: Fayetteville
Niche Gardens: mail order
Randy's Perennials: Lawrenceville
Sunlight Gardens: mail order

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