Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 12:42:09 -0600
From: MiriamLDavey <athena@INTERSURF.COM>
Reply-To: BB for Hummingbirds and Gardening for them in the Southeast
Subject: Re: [HUMNET-L] Care of Vines - prunning?

>Be careful fertilizing coral honeysuckle; I killed two this year by
>putting out too much. All the salvias and cupheas responded
>beautifully, but the adjacent honeysuckles croaked.
>R. Scott Knaus

Scott is right. I wasn't going to say anything, but Coral Honeysuckle
(Lonicera sempervirens) can be kind of finicky, esp after a coupla yrs in
the ground.

It is native to sandy pine hill soils, so is somewhat sensitive to poor
drainage, and I suspect also resentful of Ph that is not to its liking. It
is not a particularly rampant grower in its native environment, but in the
garden, will cover a trellis nicely within a few years.

In B.R., most of which is just outside its local range, I have lost them
probably to fungal infections, twice. One was eight years old and formerly
magnificent. It died a slow death over 2 or three years, despite various
treatments, finally covered in white foamy material oozing from cracks in
its woody stems. (Hey John McGregor, what does that sound like????)

On the other hand, my mother-in-law has a 20-yr old extremely healthy
specimen completely covering an abandoned gas well just outside their
living room window. It never has any sign of disease, and takes a yearly
severe pruning. Their property is in the plant's native range, however.

The time to prune this plant, should it need it, is in late summer/early
fall. At that time, blooming has ceased or nearly so, and old leaves are
falling, though it will not ever go completely leafless. Pruning now will
remove flower heads beginning to form, and may result in little or no bloom
for this spring.

This is a great plant and I am still a fan, despite a few problems.




Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2002 21:49:10 -0600
From: Lanny Chambers <lanny@HUMMINGBIRDS.NET>
Reply-To: BB for Hummingbirds and Gardening for them in the Southeast
Subject: Re: [HUMNET-L] Care of Vines - prunning?

Here in the frozen tundra of Zone 5, L. sempervirens earns its name by
remaining evergreen (more or less) throughout the winter. There's almost
no die-back at all, and our vine is quite exposed to west winds. Last
fall, it bloomed long after first frost, finally going dormant when
nights reached the low teens; I think there's still one one frozen flower
out there. It's almost as hardy as the invasive L. japonica, with no care except avoiding it with the lawn mower. L. sempervirens grows slowly
here, but flowers well and is one of the most-defended hummer plants in
my yard. Most hummers visit it first, then the trumpet creeper next to
it. Robins and catbirds fight over the orange berries.

This year, we're planning to see what happens if we fertilize it a little.

Lanny Chambers
St. Louis, USA