Northern Bush Honeysuckle: A Tiny Sun-Loving Plant

Northern Bush Honeysuckle

Northern bush honeysuckle is a tiny sun-loving plant that can be found in the southeastern region of Canada and the northern part of the United States.

This deciduous woody plant has an elongated, suckering growth habit and produces trumpet-shaped, yellow flowers for a long time during the summer.

It has dark-green pointed oval leaves that are laid out on a variety of stems that emerge from the ground. The flowers are 1/2-inch wide and tube-like.

During the late spring and early summer, they appear in panicles. In the autumn, the leaves turn attractive shades of orange and yellow.

Common Name Northern bush honeysuckle, bush honeysuckle
Botanical Name Diervilla lonicera 
Family Caprifoliaceae
Plant Type Deciduous shrub
Mature Size 2-3 ft. tall, 2-4 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Fertile, well-drained
Soil pH Slightly acidic to neutral (6.0 to 7.0)
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Yellow-orange
Hardiness Zones 3-10 (USDA)
Native Area North America

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • Northern bush honeysuckle prefers full sun to partial shade, and well-drained soil.
  • It is a good idea to fertilize your plants in the spring.
  • Be sure to water your plants regularly, especially during dry spells.
  • You can prune Northern bush honeysuckle in late winter or early spring if necessary.
  • With its cheerful yellow flowers and attractive fall foliage, Northern bush honeysuckle is a great plant for adding color to your garden from summer through autumn.
  • This easy-to-grow shrub is also drought tolerant once established, making it a good choice for low maintenance landscapes.

Lighting and Temperature

This plant prefers full sun to partial shade and protection from the wind. It is quite adaptable to different soil types as long as the soil is well-drained.

Once established, it is drought tolerant. It does best in average to moist conditions, but will tolerate some periods of drought.


Soil type and moisture are important considerations when growing northern bush honeysuckle. It prefers moist, well-drained soil but can tolerate dry conditions.

This plant does best in full sun but will also grow in partial shade. When planting, space the plants 18 to 24 inches apart.

Northern bush honeysuckle is a low-maintenance plant that requires little care once it is established.


Fertilizer isn’t necessary for this plant, as it’s quite adaptable to different soil types. It does best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

Once established, it’s quite drought-tolerant. This plant is an excellent choice for mass plantings, borders, and naturalized areas.


Pruning northern bush honeysuckle is important to control its size and shape. It can be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

To prune, simply cut back the stems that are longer than you want them to be. You can also thin out the plant by removing some of the older stems at ground level.


This plant does not like to be waterlogged, so make sure the soil is well-drained.

Water it deeply but infrequently, and fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season. It’s best to prune this plant in late winter or early spring.


Size is always relative, but when it comes to northern bush honeysuckle, this plant is truly tiny.

Reaching only a few feet in height (and sometimes less), it’s one of the smallest sun-loving plants out there.

Don’t let its size fool you though – this tough little plant is incredibly adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats.


Flowering in late spring to early summer, the bush honeysuckle produces yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers that are about ½ inch wide and grow in panicles.

The fall foliage is also attractive, with leaves turning shades of orange and yellow.

While it shares its common name with true honeysuckles (genus Lonicera), the bush honeysuckle is actually a separate genus with three species.

Propagating Northern Bush Honeysuckle

The plant is sparse and spread out. The plant spreads slowly, but steadily, via small, rhizomatous roots that produce suckering shoots that eventually form loose thickets.

Throughout the year, cut off the expanding suckers and trim back a few of the mature, thick stems to keep your plant dense and full like a traditional plant. This confines and densely packs the plant.

Snow days are the best days. waking up to a winter wonderland can fill anyone with happiness. However, if you have this tree in your yard, you may be in for a bit of trouble.

Under Snow, a Plant Breaks and Collapses. In snow-covered areas during the winter It is not uncommon for this relatively brittle plant to crumble under the weight of the wet heavy snow.

While it is unsightly, it is not harmful to the tree. Consider this to be natural pruning and it will likely stimulate new growth in the springtime.

The best thing you can do is just leave it be until the warmer weather arrives.

Types of Northern Bush Honeysuckle

Northern bush honeysuckle is an excellent choice for a plant to be propagated by rooting semi-hardwood or softwood stem cuttings because of its widely suckering roots, which provide an even more efficient method of propagation.

Here is how: when the growing season begins in early spring, use a trowel to gently dig up a few of the suckering shoots that emerge from the soil around the plant’s base.

Ascertain that a substantial amount of soil remains clinging to the roots.

Plant the suckers in new gardens and keep them well watered. By doing this, you will have taken an efficient method to propagate a plant.

Common Problems With Northern Bush Honeysuckle

Northern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) is a native shrub that can be used in its natural form for landscaping purposes.

There are not many cultivars (varieties) of this plant that are commercially available and widely known by name.

However, there are two closely related species of the genus Diervilla that make excellent landscaping plants.

These are Diervilla rivularis and Diervilla sessifolia. Both of these species are native to North America and have a similar appearance to northern bush honeysuckle.

They are both low-growing shrubs with small, oblong leaves and clusters of small, yellow flowers. These plants are very easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.

They are also quite resistant to deer browsing. As such, they are an excellent choice for landscaping in areas where deer are a problem.

How do you take care of a honeysuckle bush?

Honeysuckle bushes are relatively easy to take care of, as long as you give them the proper attention. For starters, it’s important to plant them in well-drained and compost-enriched soil.

Doing this will help to ensure that they have all the nutrients they need to grow. You should also place them between 3 and 5 feet apart.

Additionally, you need to keep the climbing plants hydrated and mulched using bark mulch.

This will help to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from taking over. Finally, you should incorporate compost into the soil and use it as a fertilizer every spring.

By following these simple tips, you can have a healthy and thriving honeysuckle bush for years to come.

How do you keep honeysuckle blooming?

Honeysuckle is a beautiful plant that can add color and life to any garden. However, getting the plant to bloom can sometimes be a challenge.

One of the most important things to remember is that honeysuckle needs full sunlight in order to bloom. If the plant is in an area that is shaded, it may still grow, but it will not flower as often.

Full sun is defined as at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. In addition to sunlight, proper watering is also essential for keeping honeysuckle blooming.

The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy. Over-watering can actually cause the plant to stop blooming. Finally, regular pruning can also help to keep honeysuckle blooming.

By removing dead or dying flowers, you encourage the plant to produce new ones. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty of honeysuckle all season long.

Is purple honeysuckle invasive?

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a popular ornamental plant, prized for its rich purple-colored leaves. However, it is also an invasive species, native to eastern Asia.

When introduced into new environments, Japanese honeysuckle can quickly spread and crowd out native vegetation. This can damage local ecosystems and lead to a decline in biodiversity.

For these reasons, it is important to replace Japanese honeysuckle with more well-behaved varieties, such as Lonicera periclymenum (Woodbine) or Lonicera heckrottii (Goldflame Honeysuckle).

These plants are just as beautiful as Japanese honeysuckle, but they are much less likely to cause problems in your garden.

When should honeysuckle be cut back?

Honeysuckle is a fast-growing plant that can quickly become overgrown if not properly maintained.

For this reason, it is important to know when to cut back honeysuckle. In general, honeysuckle should be cut back in the spring.

This will help to encourage new growth and prevent the plant from becoming too large.

However, if you live in a climate with mild winters, you may also need to trim your honeysuckle in late fall or early winter.

By regularly pruning your plant, you can keep it healthy and maintain its desired shape.

Why did my honeysuckle stop blooming?

Honeysuckle is a flowering plant that typically blooms in the summertime. However, there are a few reasons why a honeysuckle plant might stop blooming.

One reason is lack of sunlight. Honeysuckle needs at least six hours of sunlight each day in order to produce flowers.

If the plant is not getting enough sunlight, it will simply not bloom.

Another reason for a lack of flowers might be that the plant has been cut back too severely. Honeysuckle can often be found growing along fences or other structures.

If the plant is trimmed back too much, it will not have the energy to produce flowers.

Finally, dry soil can also prevent honeysuckle from blooming. The plant needs moist soil in order to thrive; if the soil becomes too dry, the plant will not flower.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can help ensure that your honeysuckle plant produces plenty of beautiful flowers.

What does the Japanese honeysuckle need to survive?

The Japanese honeysuckle is a beautiful and versatile plant that can be used in a variety of ways in the landscape.

As a groundcover, it can help to prevent soil erosion and provide winter interest.

When planted as a vine, it can add color and texture to walls or fences. And when allowed to grow freely, it can create an attractive screen or hedge.

Despite its many uses, the Japanese honeysuckle does have some specific requirements in order to thrive.

First and foremost, it needs a well-drained soil. The roots of the plant are very sensitive to overly wet conditions, so it is important to make sure that the soil has good drainage.

In addition, the soil should be amended with a small amount of organic material or compost prior to planting.

This will help to provide nutrients and improve the overall structure of the soil.

Finally, a mulch layer of 2 inches should be applied each year prior to the start of the growing season.

This will help to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from taking root.

By meeting these simple requirements, you can enjoy the beauty of the Japanese honeysuckle for many years to come.

Does honeysuckle have invasive roots?

Honeysuckle is a fast-growing plant that can be difficult to eliminate. The vines are cultivated by roots and rhizomes, and they also establish roots at nodes on the vines.

Birds and animals disperse seeds all over the world. Honeysuckle can be invasive in some areas, and it is important to be aware of this if you are considering planting it in your garden.

However, honeysuckle can also be a beautiful addition to your landscaping, and if you take steps to control its growth, it can be an asset to your property.

How do you tell the difference between invasive and honeysuckle?

Invasive honeysuckles are a problem in many parts of the country.

These fast-growing plants crowd out native vegetation, reduce biodiversity, and can even change the pH of the soil.

But how can you tell if a honeysuckle is invasive? One method is to look at the stems. Native honeysuckles have strong stems, while invading honeysuckles have hollow stems.

Invasive honeysuckles also generally have wider leaves and larger flowers than their native counterparts.

If you’re not sure whether a plant is invasive, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and remove it.

How far back can you trim honeysuckle?

Honeysuckle is a fast-growing plant that can quickly become overgrown and scraggly if it is not properly pruned.

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to control the size of a honeysuckle vine through regular trimming.

For an overgrown plant, the most effective solution is to cut the vine back to within 1 foot (31 centimeters) of the ground. This should be done in winter, when the plant is dormant.

The vine will quickly grow back, but it will not produce any flowers until the following spring. With regular pruning, honeysuckle can be kept under control and made to look tidy and attractive.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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