En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Shrubs Questions

Living fence of native plants for Ojai, CA
September 20, 2008 - I would like to build a "green fence" about 10-15 feet tall. I live in Ojai, CA where we have VERY hot summers and it goes below freezing every winter. The soil does not seem to drain well..it is e...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification and advice about moving it
March 10, 2010 - I have a plant (a thick stalk about 4 foot tall with yellow flowers on it) that blooms in the morning and the flowers fall off at night. I have searched for info on this plant and have come up short. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming Dwarf Shrub and Agave Flowers
February 18, 2013 - I have two questions. I need a symmetrical dwarf shrub for full sun in Austin area that is non-flowering. Can you recommend some? And do agaves always flower when they are about 10 years and then die?
view the full question and answer

New Jersey Tea shrub wilting and losing leaves
December 30, 2013 - I have New Jersey Tea shrubs transplanted last spring from nursery stock (18 tall, grown local) I live in SE WI. They are planted in part shade. There has been 6" of snow on the ground for weeks now...
view the full question and answer

Pest damage to Yaupon shrubs in Austin, TX
September 18, 2011 - I have noticed pest damage in our 4 ft. yaupon. There are circular holes eaten on 90% of the leaf growth. Trunk & branches look untouched and healthy. Could this be leafminers? How can I care for it?...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center