Hummingbirds flock to trumpet honeysuckle

Hummingbirds flock to trumpet honeysuckle

Trumpet Honeysuckle Care and Growing Tips

Courtesy Christy Winter
Trumpet honeysuckle is a native vine that attracts pollinators.
  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Lonicera sempervirens
  • Common Names: Trumpet or coral honeysuckle
  • Growing zones: 4a to 9b
  • Citizen of: East Coast and Southeastern United States, naturalized outside
  • Size: Vine grows up to 20 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide
  • Light Needs: Full sun to partial shade
  • Water requirements: average

You can plant trumpet honeysuckle in spring or fall in acidic to neutral soil. It prefers humus-rich, well-drained soil. Mary Phillips, head of native plant habitat and certification for the National Wildlife Federation, suggests using compost when planting and mulching. This honeysuckle prefers moisture, so be sure to water it during hot periods. You'll see the best flower display in full sun, but will still grow in partial shade.

“By providing a few basic elements, you'll keep your vineyards happy for years to come,” says Lauren Carvalho, horticulturist at High Country Gardens.

The key ingredients for success, she says, are providing well-drained soil and full sun.

As for maintenance, “minimal pruning is required to maintain your Lonicera “It looks beautiful,” Lauren says. “Remove dead or damaged branches and any unruly shoots that extend beyond desired limits. Pro Tip: L. sempervirens The flowers are on new growth so postpone pruning until after the flowering period.

Mary says she prunes her vines in late fall after they bloom and thins them out in early spring, mainly to get them out of her way.

Check out the 10 best vines to grow for hummingbirds.

Wildlife benefits

Trumpet honeysuckle and hummingbirdCourtesy Mark Fahringer
Female ruby-throated hummingbird with trumpet honeysuckle flowers on its beak

When bathed in crimson-red blooms beginning in late spring, hummingbirds find trumpet honeysuckle vine almost irresistible. Although this native vine is not fragrant, it is easy to grow, blooms abundantly, and supports an array of beneficial wildlife.

In addition to feeding hummingbirds and bees with its flowers, it is a caterpillar host for butterflies such as the spring blueberry and supports quail and songbirds with its red berries in the fall.

“It's native to the United States and that benefits our wildlife, and it's widely available to consumers,” says Mary. “It also remains evergreen in temperate climates, and it actually flowered in February when it snowed (in Maryland).”

Plant more nectar-rich native plants for hummingbirds.

Trumpet honeysuckle varieties

Bnbbyc17 Jackie Wenzel 1Courtesy Jackie Wenzel
Hummingbird and Trumpet Honeysuckle 'Major Wheeler'.

While there are many selections of varieties on the market, including Major Wheeler, Blanche Sandman, Leo and Magnifica, Mary grows and loves the original.

“It was amazing to see all the hummingbirds come,” she says. “They fly everywhere and hover and come and go, it's really beautiful.”

The most popular cultivar is 'Major Wheeler', which High Country Gardens says has proven in trials to be the most prolific and was named 2010 Farmer's Plant of the Year.

What is the main difference between cultivation of “Major Wheeler” and species? According to Growing Wild Nursery, if you want your berries to feed songbirds, you'll have to grow a second, different set of berries. L. sempervirens To allow the two plants to cross-pollinate.

Among the species and selections, the long tubular flowers are usually shades of red ranging from coral to crimson with yellow anthers. The leaves, which are usually evergreen in USDA zones 8 and above, are an attractive blue-green color that beautifully complements the sunset blooms. Trumpet honeysuckle usually begins blooming in late spring, which can be as early as March in the South, and continues intermittently during the growing season.

While choosing your plants, double check their botanical name L. sempervirens Other honeysuckles are also called trumpet, such as L. Hairy, honeysuckle native to the Northwest. If you purchase a trumpet vine, you will likely have a different species – Campsis Radicals.

Is trumpet honeysuckle invasive?

Many people wonder if to.Evergreen They are considered invasive like some other non-native species, e.g L. japonica, Maybe. Fortunately, trumpet honeysuckle is not considered invasive, but it does need plenty of space to grow.

Experts say it is a versatile and vigorous vine but not widespread. You can let it roam as a ground cover. If you want it to climb, you'll need a sturdy trellis or trellis to support it. The vines intertwine independently but will still need tying and trimming occasionally to look tidy.

Trumpet Honeysuckle Problems

Aphids on honeysuckle vineCourtesy Susan Huffington
Aphids on Major Wheeler's Trumpet Honeysuckle Vine

Although considered somewhat deer-resistant, Growing Wild Nursery suggests that if you live among deer, wrap the bottom 5 feet of the plant with chicken wire to reduce browsing near the roots.

Native honeysuckle can sometimes be disturbed by powdery mildew or aphids, Loren says. Provide good air circulation in full sun, keep them well watered, and if aphids appear, hose them down.

Next, learn how to attract hummingbirds to a small garden.

About the experts

Mary Phillips He is head of native plant habitats and certification for the National Wildlife Federation. Since 2014, Mary has led the Wildlife Park and Certified Wildlife Habitat programs as a native plant ambassador.

Lauren Carvalho He works as the Director Gardener at High Country Gardens. Lauren specializes in native pollinator plants and sustainable gardening practices.


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(tags for translation) Trumpet honeysuckle

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