Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Toxicity of non-native red-tip photinia to fish from Friendswood TX
April 10, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have seen several questions on Red Tip Photinia (RTP) concerning toxicity to horses, dogs and children. We recently lost over 100 gold fish and 6 large KOI in our man made back ...
view the full question and answer

Hedge shrub for shade in Jacksonville FL
January 17, 2013 - Looking for shrub or hedge ( no Azaleas please )to line front of house that is full time shade in Jacksonville Florida ( something different, on the lines of tropical if possible).
view the full question and answer

Evergreen flowering shrubs for AZ
May 16, 2010 - I need to know about evergreen flowering shrubs no more than 3 to 4' height.
view the full question and answer

Pruning cherry laurel in January in Austin
January 07, 2011 - Do trust I checked Q&A first. Can Cherry Laurel shrubs be pruned earlier than late winter in Austin? I foolishly planted 12 native Cherry Laurel standards on our suburban property line 5 years ago. I ...
view the full question and answer

My Mock Orange fails to flower in Redmond, WA.
July 06, 2011 - I planted a Mock Orange shrub about 5 years ago. The first few years, it only produced leaves but no blossoms. Then, last year, it finally produced 4-5 blossoms on 2 of the branches. This year, it a...
view the full question and answer

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