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Lonicera flava (Yellow Honeysuckle)

Yellow Honeysuckle, Pale Yellow Honeysuckle, Lonicera flava var. flavescens, Lonicera flavida

lonicera flava, yellow honeysuckle

Lonicera flava, commonly known as Yellow Honeysuckle, is a climbing, twining vine that belongs to the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae. This deciduous plant showcases vibrant yellow flowers that add a burst of color to gardens and landscapes.

Native: This species is native to parts of the United States, mainly found in southeastern and central states. Its natural habitat includes woodlands and forested areas, usually alongside streams and rivers. The plant is considered endangered in some states

Plant Type and Habit: Lonicera flava is a deciduous woody vine that twines itself around other plants and structures. It has a habit of climbing, usually ascending on trellises, fences, or other support structures.

Size: This vine typically grows to a height of 10-20 feet (3-6 meters) and 3-6 feet (0.9-1.8 meters) wide.

Flowers: Its striking feature is its tubular, trumpet-shaped yellow flowers grown in whorls. The flowers are about 1-1.5 inches (2-4 cm) long and have a mild, pleasing fragrance. They give way to small, round, orange to red berries berries in late summer and fall. These berries offer a food source for birds and wildlife.

Bloom Time: The bloom time for Lonicera flava generally ranges from mid to late spring, offering a prolonged period of visual interest.

Foliage: Paired along the stems, elliptic green leaves, up to 3.5 inches (8 cm) in length, exhibit a grayish-green underside. The uppermost leaves on each stem are fused at their bases. The foliage provides a nice contrast to the bright yellow flowers.

Hardiness: It is a fairly hardy plant, generally able to tolerate USDA zones 5-8. However, it does appreciate some protection from strong winds and extreme cold.

Uses: The plant is often used in landscape design for covering fences, trellises, and other vertical structures.

Wildlife: Lonicera flava is a magnet for pollinators. Hummingbirds and various types of butterflies are particularly drawn to the nectar-rich flowers. Birds are attracted to the berries.

Deer and Rabbits: While it’s not entirely resistant to deer and rabbits, this species is not usually their first choice for foraging, making it a reasonably safe bet in gardens that have these animals.

Toxicity: It is generally not considered to be toxic to humans or pets, but consuming large quantities is not recommended.

Invasiveness: One of the benefits of Lonicera flava is that it is not considered invasive in most of its native range, unlike some other species of honeysuckle.

Lonicera flava stands out as a valuable addition to many types of gardens, from naturalistic settings to formal landscape designs, thanks to its captivating yellow blooms, hardy nature, and attraction for pollinators.

Growing Yellow Honeysuckle

Growing Lonicera flava is relatively straightforward.

Site Selection:

  • Sunlight: Prefers full sun to partial shade. However, it will produce more flowers in full sun.
  • Soil: Grows best in well-drained, fertile soil. While it’s fairly adaptable, avoid waterlogged conditions.

Planting:

  • When to Plant: The best times to plant are in the spring or fall.
  • Spacing: Plant 3-6 feet (90-180 cm) apart to allow room for growth.
  • Soil Preparation: Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep. Amend the soil with compost if it is not already well-drained.
  • Planting: Place the plant in the hole and fill with soil. Press firmly and water well.

Watering:

  • Newly planted vines should be watered deeply and regularly.
  • Once established, the plant is moderately drought-tolerant but benefits from consistent moisture.

Fertilization:

  • Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring before new growth begins.

Pruning:

  • Pruning is generally not required but can be done to shape the plant or remove dead and diseased branches. The best time to prune is late winter to early spring.

Mulching:

  • Mulching helps retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Use organic mulch like shredded bark or leaves, keeping it away from the stem to prevent rot.

Pest and Disease Management:

  • Generally resistant to most pests and diseases.
  • Keep an eye out for aphids and treat as necessary.

Supporting the Vine:

  • Provide a sturdy trellis, fence, or other support for the vine to climb.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful, fragrant blooms of your Lonicera flava for many years to come.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Plant Type Climbers
Plant Family Caprifoliaceae
Genus Lonicera
Common names Honeysuckle
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Height 10' - 20'
(3m - 6.1m)
Spread 3' - 6'
(90cm - 180cm)
Spacing 36" - 72"
(90cm - 180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Southwest, Southeast, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Ground Covers, Wall-Side Borders, Walls And Fences
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Lonicera hirsuta (Hairy Honeysuckle)
Lonicera dioica (Limber Honeysuckle)
Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’ (Trumpet Honeysuckle)
Lonicera involucrata (Twinberry Honeysuckle)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle)
Lonicera albiflora (White Honeysuckle)

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Native Plant Alternatives to Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle)
Native Plant Alternatives to Lonicera fragrantissima (Sweetest Honeysuckle)
Best Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Plant Type Climbers
Plant Family Caprifoliaceae
Genus Lonicera
Common names Honeysuckle
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Height 10' - 20'
(3m - 6.1m)
Spread 3' - 6'
(90cm - 180cm)
Spacing 36" - 72"
(90cm - 180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Southwest, Southeast, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Ground Covers, Wall-Side Borders, Walls And Fences
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Lonicera (Honeysuckle) to pick?
Compare Now

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