Facts about the Yellow Honeysuckle
To add beautiful bright color, sweet fragrance and an influx of bees, butterflies and birds to your outdoor flower garden, yellow honeysuckle is an excellent choice for planting.
Honeysuckle plants can be in shrub form or have a climbing habit. Either type can achieve heights of over 10 feet if allowed to grow uninhibited, with the shrub varieties gaining width as well as towering heights. Climbers are superb used as scented hedges and privacy screens when grown against trellises, fences or unattractive walls. Invasive varieties, such as the Japanese or the tartarian honeysuckle, should not be used despite their beauty as they will soon take over entire garden areas. A lovely specimen that closely resembles the Japanese honeysuckle without the invasive quality is the Lonicera flava, or yellow honeysuckle.
Where to grow
Several states in the United States play host to the wild growing Lonicera flava, from the Midwest to the southern eastern seaboard. It can be found in rocky soils within woodlands, along rock ledges and bluffs and bordering meandering streams. This flowering vine will climb upon any upright surface such as trees or rock walls, but in the absence of vertical supports will also creep along the ground. While it may not be a native plant to the remainder of the United States, it can certainly be grown with great success in most, with a hardiness that matches USDA growing zones 4 through 9. It is not, however, able to be grown anywhere else in the world
To plant the Lonicera flava in a home garden, choose a location that receives part to full sun. The roots should be kept protected by mulching, which will shield them from hot summer sun and reserve moisture. Providing a support upon which the plant can climb will allow it to quickly establish itself as a barrier, but allowing it to maintain a low profile will provide a lovely dense ground cover.
The beauty of the yellow honeysuckle is one of its most endearing characteristics. The vine begins with stems that gradually become woody and foliage that is ovate in shape and grayish green in color. As it creeps, the stems send out trailers that will root and begin new growth; making this plant invaluable as a ground or wall cover. In the middle of spring, buds that have formed at the ends of stems open to reveal orange-yellow, tubular blossoms that emit a delicate yet intense perfume which intensifies in the heat of the sun. The scent beckons to hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, as well as a number of flying insects that feed upon their nectar. As the flowers fade, orangey red berries appear in their place late in the summer. These berries are poisonous to humans, but serve as a delicious treat for a number of birds.
Care of the Lonicera flava
A secondary desirable trait of the yellow honeysuckle is that it requires very little care. If desired, the vines can be pruned back after flowering and berry productions to limit its growth. Areas with harsh winters will note that the vines die back and reappear the following spring. Though many insects enjoy the sweet honey of the blooms, the Lonicera flava suffers few insect invasions. It is a perennial that both reseeds and propagates itself through stem roots.
Few climbing plants can offer as much in the way of beauty, fragrances and the attraction of birds and butterflies to the garden as does the yellow honeysuckle plant. Versatile growing habits can provide privacy screens or ground cover, making it a plant that is beneficial in a number of situations and growing conditions. Undoubtedly, the honeysuckle is an excellent choice as a landscape plant for most any yard.