En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 16, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs, Trees, Vines
Title: Climbing options for a Coral honeysuckle in Austin Texas
Answered by: Leslie Uppinghouse

QUESTION:

Regarding Coral honeysuckle, what is the best support to encourage continued spread, chicken-wire/fencing? Currently the plants and vines are on fencing and beginning to fold over. I'd like to add chicken-wire above the fencing if that's appropriate.

ANSWER:

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is an easy vine to please. In nature this cheery plant would grow into the trees as a vine, or on the ground as a mounding shrub. You might also find it in the wild as a meandering ground cover. It chooses its own path so if this plant has climbed successfully up your fence then yes, you can add to that fence and it should continue to climb. However if you don't want a higher fence then it is fine for the vine to fold over and start to spread out back onto itself. 

If you do choose to add the chicken-wire fencing to the top of your existing fence then you may need to weave a few strands into the holes to get it going. Chicken-wire is a good option but has small holes. The honeysuckle will take the easiest route so if the ground is easier than up and through the tiny holes then it will continue to fold over and go down. To convince this plant to travel up, just take a couple of young sprigs and weave them into the chicken-wire. Be careful not to weave it too tight. It is important that you make sure the tips of the vines are woven into the holes.

Also keep in mind you can prune a Coral honeysuckle. If you like the height of your fence or if you add to your fence and the vine out climbs that addition, just trim back the vine. They respond well to pruning and it helps keep them thick and fluffy so don't be afraid to keep your Coral honeysuckle in check.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

More Pruning Questions

Decorative Trees for Scenic Bench in Fairhope IL
June 10, 2012 - I am looking for a recommendation for a pair of small trees (does not grow taller than 18-20 feet) that can provide shade on either side of a stone bench. The site is in full sun, western exposure an...
view the full question and answer

Need information about pruning Persimmon trees in Buda, TX.
November 29, 2010 - Mr. Smarty, We have many wild persimmon trees in our yard. Some I want prune to bush size. What is the best way to prune these trees and to what extent can they be safely pruned. Thank you for shari...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native oxblood lilies from Austin
March 27, 2014 - My Oxblood Lilies flowered quite late last Fall. Their foliage is still very green. Can I cut it down now or do I have to wait until it goes brown?
view the full question and answer

What is a lawn broom from Cibolo TX
February 15, 2013 - Concerning gulf muhly grass you mention using a lawn broom to get rid of the dead stalks. What is a lawn broom? What does it look like? Where can I purchase one?
view the full question and answer

Cutting back salvia greggii in Birmingham, AL
February 23, 2010 - When is a good time to cut back salvia gregii and how much can you cut it back. We will probably still have frost. Will it grow in sun and shade?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center