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

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

Privacy Hedge for Maryland Porch
July 03, 2014 - I am working on a screen/fence, which is a barrier hedge between our house and our next door neighbor's house to add privacy to our screen porch and dining area, especially in winter. The fence would...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Canyon Lake, TX
February 07, 2014 - I need some help. I live near the Guadalupe River in Canyon Lake, TX and my backyard faces a busy street. I need a fast growing thick shrub for my backyard for privacy since I cannot afford a fence at...
view the full question and answer

Is slow growth of young Tx mountain laurel normal?
July 02, 2012 - My Texas mountain laurel is 2 or 3 years old and is about 4 feet tall. It seems quite healthy but has grown very little, if any, and has never bloomed. Is this normal? Although I don't want it to gro...
view the full question and answer

Florida shrub with tiny green pumpkin-like fruit
July 23, 2008 - I live in Central Florida and have a fast-growing shrub with long stems. The leaves are similar to sassafras and from a distance the red flowers resemble those of a geranium. It has pods that look l...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
June 19, 2010 - We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty fee...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center