Lonicera japonica Hall's Prolific
- available to order from autumn
- 3 lt pot (60cm cane)
This climber is semi-evergreen, so it can lose some of its leaves in winter. In colder regions or more exposed gardens, it may lose them all, but then fresh new foliage appears again in spring.
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: April to August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
As its name suggests, this is an especially vigorous and free-flowering variety with masses of sweetly scented, tubular flowers from April to August, opening pure white and ageing to yellow. In milder winters, the handsome, dark green leaves can stay on the plant all year and in hot summers, the flowers may be followed by small purple-black berries. It looks lovely scrambling over an old boundary wall or growing through a robust, mature tree.
- Garden care: Newly planted honeysuckles should be cut back by up to two thirds in their first year in early spring. The resulting new growth can then be tied onto a frame, and then nipped back when they reach the desired height. In subsequent years (again in early spring), thin out congested stems, and prune lanky stems back to healthy buds. Every few years, you may want to renovate your plant, and you can do this by cutting it back to around 60cm above the ground. The subsequent mass of growth will need to be thinned and tied on as before. After pruning, apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted compost or manure around the base of the plant.