Lonicera periclymenum, also known as common honeysuckle, is mainly grown for its gorgeous, tubular flowers, often scented, which are followed by clusters of red or black berries.
This deciduous climber has a loose, informal grow habit and provides nectar for pollinators.
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’
If you are looking for early-flowering honeysuckle, Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’ is a good choice. This honeysuckle produces lovely, fragrant, red-white flowers in early summer, maturing into yellow. It will grow to 6-7m tall with a spread of 1-1,5m.
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’ New leaves Lonicera p. ‘Serotina’
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Graham Thomas’
Similar in fragrance and size is Lonicera p. ‘Graham Thomas’, bearing striking white flowers, ageing to soft yellow from July to September. ‘Graham Thomas’ mix well with violet-flowering Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’.
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’
Or consider Lonicera p. ‘Serotina’ with large, creamy-white and dark-red flowers, appearing in late summer.
When to prune Lonicera periclymenum ( common honeysuckle). Mature plants need regular pruning to keep growth within bounds. Shorten over-long shoots by 1/3 once flowering is over.
Drastic pruning. If your Lonicera periclymenum has grown quite large, you can renovate it by drastic pruning. This type of pruning is best performed in early spring, just as growth is starting.
Cut all top-growth back to 50-60cm above the ground. Water the plant well after severe pruning.
Common honeysuckle is a woodland plant, so it likes to grow in moist, leafy soil. Apply a 5cm layer of garden compost or leaf mould around the base of the plant in March. Mulch will keep moisture in the soil.