Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Sunday - April 26, 2009

From: Westerville, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Care of Northern honeysuckle bush
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a honeysuckle bush, I have had it for about year to two years. I would like to know if I should cut the brown parts off. There are some vines that do not look good, but some of the branches have green growing on them. I just would like to know how to better care for my bush, if I should trim it up or what. Please help, before my husband gets to it.

ANSWER:

We are assuming that you have Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle), which is native to Ohio. It is deciduous,  forms thickets by suckerinig, and is short-lived. You can follow the link above and learn more about it, including the fact that it is a low water use plant, and needs shade (less than 2 hours of sun daily) or part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun) to thrive. Without more information about possible insect infestation or other environmental problems, we can't say what is causing the browning of some of the branches. However, most woody plants will benefit from some trimming up. Any vine that is detracting from the appearance by looking brown or straggly can be clipped off, right at the ground, if you wish. Dead ends can easily be pruned off below the dead area. Most woody plants will come back fuller and more vigorous after a good pruning. For further information and pictures, see this Connecticut Botanical Society website Diervilla lonicera.

 

From the Image Gallery


Northern bush honeysuckle
Diervilla lonicera

Northern bush honeysuckle
Diervilla lonicera

More Shrubs Questions

Need an evergreen shrub to hide a concrete wall and not attract bees in Cedar Park, TX
February 07, 2011 - I am looking for an evergreen shrub that I can plant in our yard to hide a 3' concrete wall. The area receives full sun during the day, and we would like something that is drought resistant. We also ...
view the full question and answer

Texas native plants for cemetery site
February 09, 2005 - I am trying to landscape my mothers gravesite located in far East Texas (just outside of Nacogdoches) and I am looking for some evergreen bushes or any other decorative plants for that area. I am thi...
view the full question and answer

Two Holly Cultivars for a Texas Front Landscape?
February 22, 2016 - We are starting a new with our landscape. All existing 30-year-old plants are going to be removed. We would like a focal point at the front door area and are considering 'Savannah' or 'Nellie R. St...
view the full question and answer

Removal of honeysuckle bushes from Coaldale Alberta Canada
July 30, 2010 - I have 2 honeysuckle bushes that I want to get rid of. I am wondering if Honeysuckle bushes have very deep roots (are they hard to dig out?) I am 70 years old and didn't know if I'd be able to dig ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a school garden in College Station TX
July 20, 2011 - I need to plant some things in my school garden. Green plants and plants with some color. Hardly ever rains here. Please give suggestions.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.