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

Friday - May 31, 2013

From: Fort Wayne, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Will a Honeysuckle Shrub Damage a House Foundation?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I'm thinking about buying a honeysuckle bush. I would like to plant it close to my house. Can the roots of this bush cause any damage to the foundation to the house?

ANSWER:

Many honeysuckle shrubs and vines (Lonicera sp.) have shallow and fibrous root systems that will not damage a house foundation if the foundation is structurally sound.

There are three native honeysuckles in Indiana that are shrubs, vines or vine-like shrubs. They all would make great garden companions.

Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle) is noted to have a tap root but it should not be a concern for your foundation. Many people have mentioned that they have never seen hummingbirds in their garden until they planted this honeysuckle. Our website has the following information on this vine:

This beautiful, slender, climbing vine is frequently visited by hummingbirds. Not too aggressive. Good climber or ground cover. The species name refers to its evergreen habit, especially in the South. Coral honeysuckle requires light, good air circulation, and adequate drainage to prevent powdery mildew. Some structural assistance may be necessary to help it begin climbing. Flowers best when given more sun. Tolerates poor drainage for short periods.
This species is named for Adam Lonicer (1528 - 1586), a German botanist noted for his 1557 revised version of Eucharius Rösslin’s herbal. He became professor of Mathematics in 1553 and Doctor of Medicine in 1554, becoming the town physician in Frankfurt-am-Main. His true interest though was herbs and the study of botany.

Here are the three native Indiana honeysuckles:
 
Lonicera canadensis (American fly honeysuckle)

Lonicera dioica (limber honeysuckle)

Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle)

 

From the Image Gallery


Limber honeysuckle
Lonicera dioica

Limber honeysuckle
Lonicera dioica

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

More Shrubs Questions

Hedge border for Boynton Beach FL
September 21, 2009 - Seek recommendations for planting in zip code 33437: 2-2.5' high, dense formal hedge border: minimal care, full sun, sandy, 1-2x/wk irrigation. Is Ficus Green Island Microcarpa suitable? Other rec...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy screen in San Antonio
April 30, 2012 - I am looking to plant native fast-growing evergreens that will provide privacy (growing taller than our fence). We live in San Antonio and the Red Tip Photinia seems to be everywhere! I heard that t...
view the full question and answer

Further question on sprouts from holly tree in Surprise AZ
November 16, 2010 - Thank you Barbara Medford for your response to my question about the sprouting holly tree in Surprise AZ. I took for granted that the tree I was talking about was a holly tree. I looked at pictures of...
view the full question and answer

Poison Ivy in Semi-wetland Massachusetts
June 27, 2013 - You answered this question for Tennessee, but I would like an answer for a Massachusetts semi-wetlands area: What can I plant to discourage poison ivy, or at least make it very clear that it is poison...
view the full question and answer

Steep slope from Charlotte NC
May 03, 2012 - I live near Charlotte, NC and I have a very steep sloped area from the edge of our front yard down to the road. It's a huge eyesore mainly because it is red clay dirt and has nothing growing on it. W...
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