Honeysuckles Not Flowering?- Here is The 360 Degree Solution

Have you ever tasted the nectar of honeysuckles? I did that a lot during my childhood. I used to get the sweet floral fragrance way before I saw it, especially at dusk.

However, you may have such memories too & that’s why it is terrible when Honeysuckle stops flowering. But don’t worry. With a little care & luck, you can solve this problem easily by yourself.

And to start, you must know why your Honeysuckle is not blooming?

Briefly, honeysuckles may stop blooming because of several issues like sunlight, poor nutrient & watering, bad pruning, or pot issues.

Good news- this article embraces a detailed explanation & solution of the reasons why your Honeysuckles are not flowering.

So, let’s walk through it to get your Honeysuckles back to bloom again.

Why Honeysuckles Are Not Flowering? [Causes & Solutions]

1. Sunlight Problem

What does Honeysuckles love? Sun or Shade? The answer is- sun. Lack of sunlight is depressing for Honeysuckles. Though it is easy to identify the deficiency symptoms, prevention is definitely the best solution. More details-

Identification

You know, lack of sunlight causes discoloration of leaves due to less chlorophyll production. So, when starting, look for slightly yellowish leaves. Most indoor Honeysuckles show this symptom.

For outdoor honeysuckles, look after other surrounding plants, as any of them can provide some shade.  Another symptom is, the leaf grows smaller than usual & honeysuckle slows down its growth.

Causes

Strictly speaking, blooming is not just a show-off for honeysuckles. By blooming, honeysuckles secure their reproduction & trust me, it costs an enormous amount of energy.

You know that sunlight is the prominent source of energy for plants & therefore, lack of sunlight might be a problem. Additionally, without required sunlight, the genes liable for flowering won’t convey signals to start the flowering process & which may provoke your honeysuckles not to bloom properly.

Control Measures

If your honeysuckle is in the shade, move it to the light with gradual hardening. But this privilege is confined to potted vines only.

So, either you exclude the shade-providing thing or arrange an artificial lighting system (Our Pick: EZORKAS 9 Dimmable Levels Grow Light) for ground cover, supported ground Vine, or indoor Honeysuckles.

Preventive Measures

First of all, choose the best variety according to your hardiness zone. Secondly, Honeysuckles require 6-8 hours of direct sunlight for flowering. So, ensure sunlight availability.

And lastly, in the case of searing sun, temporary partial shade is just fine. Otherwise, the vine may get wilted easily.

2. Wrong-time Pruning

 Honeysuckle is a perennial vine & needs annual pruning to avoid overgrowth & to get abundant blooming. But wrong-timing can be disastrous. Why? Let’s see-

Identification

The bad timing of pruning may not come up with a quick result. But a flowerless blooming period may remind you what you have done.

Causes

Honeysuckles have nearly 180 species all over the world & guess what? According to the variety, they require pruning at different times of the year. So when to prune Honeysuckle vines?

Well, most early growing Honeysuckles like Yellow Honeysuckles, Tartarian Honeysuckles, Henry’s Honeysuckles bloom on the previous year’s growth. So they need pruning just after the flower drops to drive new growth.

On the flip side, summer or winter bloomers typically bloom on to new growth. So for them, pruning in early spring is required.

A compelling fact is, Japanese Honeysuckles tend to bloom both in new & old wood. But its invasive nature often cracks it down to the growers.

In addition to wrong timing, gardeners sometimes prune so hard that Honeysuckles pay more attention to vine growth rather than flowering.

Control Measures

Once you cut down the possible flower-bearing shoots, waiting for the new growth is better or, may I say the only option.

And in case of hard pruning, you can use a pruning sealer (Our Pick: Tanglefoot Tree Wound Pruning Sealer) to enhance the healing process. Otherwise, let it come back by itself.

Preventive Measures

For perfect timing, follow this thumb rule- Prune your Honeysuckles only after flower dropping. And to avoid severe pruning, you must know how to prune Honeysuckle vines.

How you prune your honeysuckle depends on how you want them to be. Your pruning purpose can be to achieve a particular framework or just new growth or, both together. Or else, pruning can be a necessity in case of space limitations. In all cases, you must remember some basic rules while pruning. Such as-

  • Before starting pruning, take sharp pruning shear & disinfect it by rubbing alcohol.
  • First, look for Honeysuckle branches that didn’t produce blooms or leaves lately. Cut them off totally. Cut down dead or diseased branches too.
  • Any branches that are damaged or have wilted leaves should be your next target.
  • For new growth, cut 1 or 2 centimeters ahead of a node of the branch.
  • Avoid pruning one-third of any branches of your Honeysuckle.
  • For pruning, set your pruning scissors or shear at a 45-degree angle and give an angle cut. It causes rainwater to run off & prevents stem rot.
  • And lastly, remove some branches in the middle of the bush to increase light & airflow.

3. Nutrient Imbalance

The nutrient imbalance may occur due to both over or under-fertilization. If you can’t remember the last time when you fertilized your honeysuckles, then this might be the issue.

On the other hand, it can be due to over-fertilization if you face a hard time remembering whether you checked the accurate dose or not.

Identification

Yellow or reddish-colored leaves & poor flowering often indicate a nutrient deficiency as it causes chlorosis. Conversely, wilted & brown tips on leaves may say that the soil is over-fertilized & fertilizer burn is going on.

Causes

The nutrients play an active part in flowering. For example, nitrogen promotes new growth of shoots to form new Honeysuckle buds to bloom. And the phosphorus aids in transferring the energy required for flowering while potassium helps in transporting nutrients to the plant tissues to generate energy. Many other nutrients & hormones are involved in flowering too.

And that’s why nutrient deficiency is an issue. Now you may think, what over-fertilization does?

Well, over-fertilization causes toxicity & root rot which results in a poor supply of nutrients to the plant. Another effect of over-fertilization is, honeysuckles may show vigorous growth rather than flowering.

Control Measures

In case of over-fertilization, soak the soil with water thoroughly & let the water leach away. After that, start applying a perfect fertilizer to your Honeysuckle. (our pick: Nelson Plant Food For All Flowering Vines)

And to overcome under fertilization, start maintaining a fertilizer schedule. That would be all.

Preventive Measures

Interestingly, Honeysuckles don’t require anything special for fertilization. An all-purpose or balanced fertilizer is quite fine to bloom regularly.

But to get more flowers on your honeysuckle vines, you can try a phosphorus-rich fertilizer during the growing season.

Normally, Honeysuckles need fertilization once or twice a year. Once in early spring & another in mid-summer. So, it is easy to be consistent about fertilization.

4. Under-watering

Though Honeysuckle is pretty much drought tolerant, there’s always a limit, right? Under-watering or too dry soil is not good for Honeysuckle flowering.

And I must include that, under-watering is the leading reason behind not blooming of Hall’s Honeysuckle & major wheeler Honeysuckle particularly.

Identification

First of all, look at the soil. If it is dry like ash, your honeysuckles need water.

You can also feel the leaves. Honeysuckle leaves get dry & rough while underwater. And the most common symptom is wilting.

Causes

Honeysuckle loves moist soil, not soggy, not dry. Most frequently, gardeners grow honeysuckles near the fence to get built-in support for the vines. And unfortunately, that is an area where rainwater reaches the least.

In the case of pots & containers, honeysuckles frequently fail to get moisture during hot summer as moisture gets dried out easily.

However, you know, plants uptake nutrients in water-soluble form. So poor water ensures that your honeysuckle is uptaking a poor amount of nutrients too. And that results in poor flowering or no flowering at all.

Control Measures

During the first year, Honeysuckle requires regular watering, probably 1 inch per week. After it gets established, regular watering is no longer necessary.

So, keep a track of your soil’s moisture content & water accordingly. You can use a moisture meter (Our pick: Atree Soil Soil Tester Kits with Moisture, Light, and PH Test for Garden) to keep track easily.

But in case of hot weather, to conserve the moisture, natural mulches may come in handy.

Preventive Measures

Before planting the Honeysuckle, make sure the soil is not too sandy & has a proper drainage condition. Adding organic matter to the soil is a good practice to ensure well drainage.

Anyway, Honeysuckles like sunlight in the leaves but shade in the soil. So stage your vine accordingly.

And finally, maintain a watering schedule or arrange a drip irrigation system to avoid water issues.

5. Rood Bound Honeysuckle

It is mainly a potted Honeysuckle issue. Either bush or Vine type Honeysuckle, both face this problem & might result in stop flowering.

Identification

Look at the drainage holes of the pot if roots are coming out. Another common identification for root-bound honeysuckle is coming out of the soil from the pot due to excessive root mass.

Causes

Honeysuckle vine roots can get surprisingly deep. For example- more than 12 inches into the ground. So often, roots take place inside the pot totally & fail to uptake nutrients properly. And thereby, Honeysuckle fails to flower decently.

Control Measures

Repotting is the chief solution to get over this problem but be careful about root damage while repotting.

Preventive Measures

Pick a proper-sized pot for bushy Honeysuckles or Honeysuckle vines. For bushy honeysuckles, choose pots of 18-24 inch diameter. But for vines, there is no recommended pot size. So, try to grab the bigger one.

How Long Does It Take Honeysuckles To Bloom?

Honeysuckle may not bloom properly if it is not matured enough. You know, Honeysuckles spent their first couple of years establishing themselves. For example- root establishment, twinning with the support & vigorous vine growth.

Interestingly, the Honeysuckle may show some flowers during establishment. but for a profound display, you may have to wait for 2 to 3 years.

What Month do Honeysuckles Bloom?

Many gardeners get confused thinking about when Honeysuckle actually blooms. Why?

Well, it is because different varieties of Honeysuckles bloom at different times of the year. Normally, the honeysuckle’s blooming time can be categorized into 3 segments of the year. These are-

  1. Late spring to mid-summer
  2. late summer to mid-autumn &
  3. Late winter to mid-spring

According to these segments, Trumpet or Coral Honeysuckles, Tartarian Honeysuckles, Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckles, Goldflame Honeysuckles & Henry’s Honeysuckles bloom usually from April to July.

On the other hand, Woodbine or European Honeysuckles & Fly Honeysuckles glows from July to October. And from January to March, Winter Honeysuckles & Evergreen Honeysuckles will keep your garden vibrant.

But wait, I am not finished yet. Exceptionally, Hall’s Japanese Honeysuckles, Italian Honeysuckles & American Honeysuckles blooms from May to September- a long period of the year.

How to Keep Honeysuckle Blooming All Summer?

Before you expect your Honeysuckles to bloom all summer, make sure you have planted a summer variety. And for your concern, Hall’s Japanese Honeysuckles, Italian Honeysuckles, American Honeysuckles & Woodbine Honeysuckles are the best choice to get blooms all summer.

But wait, selecting the right one is not all. To keep it flowering, you have to take some special care of your Honeysuckles.

You know, Vines that flower in summer and autumn, generally bloom on the current year’s growth. So, you have to prune your honeysuckles in early March before growth begins. And also, during the growing season, provide a balanced or phosphorus-rich fertilizer to get abundant blooms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does honeysuckle grow on old wood?

Interestingly, yes. As Honeysuckle vines are perennial, thereby varieties that start flowering in the spring, bloom on old wood means last year’s growth.

How long does honeysuckle bloom last?

Honeysuckles blooms last differently according to the varieties. If all the growing requirements are available, generally, blooms may last from 3 to 6 months.

Does honeysuckle bloom twice a year?

Conventionally, Honeysuckles bloom only once a year. And the rest of the time they stay evergreen without flowering or shed their leaves during winter. So, consider it as a miracle if your Honeysuckles bloom twice or many times a year.

How fast does honeysuckle grow?

Honeysuckle is a fast-growing vine. Depending on the varieties, it may grow from 7 to 30 feet. Most Honeysuckle bushes grow 1-2 feet per year. On the other hand, vines can get up to 7 feet per year.

How tall does honeysuckle grow?

It depends on the variety. Honeysuckle bushes may get up to 15 feet tall. On the other hand, twining vines can grow up to 30 feet with the help of support.

Will honeysuckle grow in shade?

Honeysuckle may show vine growth in partial shade. But blooming might be a problem in the case of long-time shading.

Conclusion

Many gardeners grow honeysuckles for arches or pergolas. Many to hide a shabby front wall & some to create privacy.  But what purpose you may have, their trumpet blooms bring a smile to your face. Additionally, hummingbirds & butterflies will be your guests too.

In this article, I have cut through every possible reason why your Honeysuckles are not flowering.

So, now it is your turn to take action according to the solutions. Very soon, god willing, your Honeysuckle would come back on track. Let me know your progress.

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