How prune native coral honeysuckle vine?
Native coral honeysuckle, a deer-resistant vine, is a favorite with hummingbirds. It grows in sun to part shade, blooming mostly in spring to early summer.
Viewer Kathy Faul from Moody, Texas, loves her coral honeysuckle gifted by a generous bird. Trellised on her patio, she can even watch hummingbirds from indoors. And every year, cardinals and mockingbirds build their nests in its dense shelter.
But, this twining vine can get sparse without some gentle pruning. When deciding when to prune, Kathy carefully balances the needs of the wildlife with her own needs to have a beautiful, well-kept landscape. Pruning only lightly, and when absolutely necessary, Kathy illustrates a great point: as with most vines, coral honeysuckle does require regular pruning to keep it in check, but when and how will depend not only on the plant’s growth, but on your personal preferences.
You can either leave the vine shrubby and a bit wild for most of the growing season, or you can shear it back into shape regularly, to give it a more refined appearance. It’s best to do any hard pruning in the late fall or winter, once flowering is done and the birds have eaten most of the berries.
As coral honeysuckle moves into dormancy, winter is the best time to get flowering vines back into shape and prepare them for new spring growth next season. By their very nature, vines are rampant growers, so you’ll need to stay on top of any errant runners and offshoots in the early spring.
Just prune those all the way back to the ground if you don’t want your vine taking over any new garden real estate. Vigorous vining plants such as coral honeysuckle also produce offshoots all during the summer, so if you want to keep your vines in bounds, you’ll need to make a regular visit to the garden with your pruning shears. This is the price we have to pay in exchange for all that boundless expansion—plants that grow this easily will quickly take over, if you don’t watch out.