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By Samjp

Staffordshire, West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

Unhappy Honeysuckle.

Hey all, it appears I have a somewhat ailing honeysuckle. From the quick search I've done I'm not the only one either although my honeysuckle doesn't appear to have the same issues as the others I've seen. Any help greatly appreciated.

I'm not certain of the variety of honeysuckly (flowers have been more than a little sparse this year and tend to die before they have fully formed). The honeysuckle is planted in the south facing border at the side of the deck in full sun - part shade (depending on the time of the year - now the sun is starting to drop the apple tree is starting to shade it a little). If I've worked my dates out right I think it was planted about 10 - 12 years ago.

The problem (photos below - third photo is the back of the leaves): I've noticed a lot of the leaves have a strange pigmentation to them, they are not a solid green. Some have black spots or a dark (black or brown generally) area to the leaf. Several leaves look as though they are being eaten and I have noticed one or two which have a white (ish) colouring to them which made me think mildew. As I said very few flowers have formed and those that have formed haven't survived to maturity. I've seen lots of what appear to be berry buds but only two berries, the others seem to have died off. There was quite a lot of dead wood in the bush which I have cut back to where there is growth (although i may have got a few living branches accidentally). Some of the worst branches I've taken off completely.

I did notice some new leaves today just below what looks to be a flower forming. The new leaves are a lovely young green and appear to be healthy. Just have to wait and see what happens with it.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be or any suggestions what to do?

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My honeysuckle looked exactly like yours Samjp, but to be honest, it had not been very good for the last three years (it's about 15 years old). I decided to take it out totally but as it's roots were behind netting, I was unable to get the root out so I just chopped it down to about 2" from the soil. I thought that would kill it. Now, about four weeks later, it has started sprouting new growth which looks very green and very healthy. If it's nice and healthy, it can stay, if not I'll chop it down again. Maybe cutting it right down to the soil has cured it, I dunno, I'll see what happens next!

16 Aug, 2011


I must admit, i had thought about doing the same thing. Although it used to fill quite a big gap, before the massacre lol, it would be a shame to loose it.

Lets hope chopping it down that far sorted yours out. Have you any idea what caused the problems with your honeysuckle? Just age perhaps?

16 Aug, 2011


honeysuckle does like the sun, maybe the shade from the apple tree is not helping. Also the weather has been very variable.

it does look like black spot in roses, but I don't know if honey suckle suffers the same fate if the weather is variable.

I gave my son a honey suckle cutting and his is superb, whilst mine in the shade of a woodland backdrop, without much sun is struggling.

16 Aug, 2011


honeysuckles are prone to aphid attack, Leaf Spot (bacterial and fungal, but more usually the latter) and mildew - looks like yours has suffered all three. Unfortunately, this is one of those plants which can require regular spraying with a pesticide for aphids and an anti fungal treatment. If yours is congested with plenty of dead wood underneath, I'd be inclined to cut it down - but not now, its a bit late, so do it in March or early April. You will probably get no flowers next year, but you might.

17 Aug, 2011


I'm not sure what caused the problems with mine. It was treated early in the season when I first noticed the mouldy leaves, blackspot and disfigured leaves, but it never really cured it. It kept on growing up but was very straggly. My next door neighbour has the same one and his was fantastic! I'll see what happens when it re-grows.

17 Aug, 2011


Thanks guys. Nice to know whats (probably) causing the issues. Hopefully it'll pick up a little or at the very least get through winter and sort itself out next year.

Bamboo I had been considering doing just that. I've removed a fair amount of dead wood but may well cut it right back in spring. We'll see how it goes.

Good luck with your honeysuckle sheilar, hopefully it'll come back nice and strong and healthy.

17 Aug, 2011

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