Honeysuckle – blue-fruited bush

honeysuckle blue fruited bush Blog

What you need to know about honeysuckle

If you do not yet have honeysuckle in your country house – by all means plant it, even if you do not yet know how to grow this shrub. The plant is fast-growing, winter-hardy, and can be grown on any soil.

Honeysuckle is a perennial shrub 1-2.5 m… Dense, densely branched crown, has a generally rounded or semicircular shape. Honeysuckle is very popular due to the early ripening of berries (6-11 days earlier than garden strawberries), as well as their peculiar taste.

The plant is hygrophilous, but grows poorly on waterlogged soils, it is demanding on air humidity, but it is resistant to gas pollution and tolerates shading well.

Honeysuckle is a good honey plant. Berries are highly valued for their taste; they produce high-quality jam, rare in its taste and medicinal properties.

The beneficial properties of honeysuckle have been known for a long time; it has long been widely used as a medicinal plant. Berries – as a diuretic, decoction of bark, branches – for dropsy, decoctions of leaves – for diseases of the eyes, throat, tincture of flowers – for inflammation of the bladder. Berries help with upset stomach and intestinal tract. The bactericidal effect of blue honeysuckle berries has been proven, and therefore they are used for angina. The beneficial properties of honeysuckle make it a real healer in your backyard. Since it is quite easy to grow it, honeysuckle is gaining more and more popularity among gardeners.

Honeysuckle is a very winter-hardy plant and can grow in northern conditions, up to the coast of the Arctic Ocean. The most winter-hardy are Turchaninov’s honeysuckle and edible. The period of full high fruiting begins in honeysuckle at the age of 7 and reaches a maximum by the age of 14-25. Honeysuckle lives 35-40 years. Honeysuckle is practically self-fertile. Cross-pollination is required to harvest, and if you plant only one plant, you will not get a harvest. It is necessary to plant 5-6 seedlings in the country, preferably of different varieties. Fruiting on the growths of the previous year, so the harvest is located mainly on the periphery of the bush.

How to propagate honeysuckle

Honeysuckle can be propagated by green cuttings, layering, lignified cuttings and seeds. Lignified cuttings are cut after the fall of leaves, by autumn, for this, the annual growth is cut off and the shoots are stored until spring or at the bottom of the refrigerator, or in a hole in the garden. In early spring, cuttings are planted in a box of sand at an angle of 45 °, leaving only 1 upper bud on the surface. The box is covered with foil or glass and placed in a warm place. Honeysuckle is a fast-growing plant, seedlings begin to bear fruit as early as the 3rd year of life. If the honeysuckle is propagated by cuttings, the plants will begin to bear fruit in the 2nd year. One bush of edible honeysuckle can give a maximum of6 Kg… Turchaninov’s honeysuckle – up to8 Kg from the bush.

Reproduction of honeysuckle and green cuttings is possible. The upper cut is made by 1.5-2 cmabove the upper internode. This slice is perpendicular to the stem, the plane of the cut is minimal. The lower cut is made with a sharp razor with a uniform sawing motion from oneself and to the right (oblique cut at an acute angle). Then make a double furrow with a length of 5-7 cm, only slightly cutting the bark on the sides of the handle with a razor blade. The lower cut is made below the lower internode by 7-8 cm(depending on the length of the internode). After that, the cuttings are planted in a wooden box filled with well-washed sand (sand is poured onto the bottom of the box with a layer9 cm). The cuttings are deepened by 7-8 cminto the sand (according to the 10×5 cm scheme) to the level of the upper internode, but before deepening, make inclined indentations in the sand with a pencil, and then insert the handle (so as not to damage the cut of the cutting). A film is stretched over the box from above, which should be 4 fingers away from the surface of the sand or on the palm of your hand, no more. Then the box is placed in a well-lit place, but not in direct sunlight. Rooting occurs in 2-2.5 weeks.

When propagating by layering, young shoots are bent to the soil in early spring before bud break. Sprinkle shoots with earth for 3-6 cm, then the earth is sprinkled three more times until autumn, each time pouring loose earth 5-6 cm… In the fall, the finished cut is dug up and planted in a permanent place.

Planting and leaving

Planting and caring for honeysuckle is pretty simple. Weak forms of honeysuckle are placed at a distance of 1 m in a row and 2-2.5 m between rows. For vigorous forms, the distance in a row to2.5 m, and between the rows – 2.5 m, such placement is necessary in order for the bushes to be easy to care for. Since the plants are highly winter-hardy, they are placed on the northern border of the site.

Honeysuckle is planted in small pits 20-25 cm, but so that the root collar is 3-4 cmbelow the soil level. You can plant in the fall – this is the best planting time in the spring, before bud break. After planting, the stems are pruned at a height of 1215 cm…

During spring and summer, the soil under the bushes is loosened and weeded from weeds, in the fall they are dug up with a garden pitchfork to a depth of 15 cm…

Honeysuckle is responsive to fertilizers. In the spring, under the bushes, nitrophosphate is applied at 40-50 g on the 1 m2, and then the trunks are loosened and mulched with humus. In the fall, for digging the soil, they give60 g superphosphate and 30-40 g potassium salt on 1 m2… Once every 2-3 years, under the autumn digging, they bring in10 Kghumus per 1m2. Proper planting and care is the key to a good harvest of honeysuckle.

Pruning honeysuckle

Honeysuckle bushes are pruned. Before the branches start aging, the bushes are thinned out, removing thickened and broken branches. With the onset of aging, long stem shoots appear on skeletal branches from dormant buds. The tops of these branches deviate to the side, form small leaves and fruits, and then begin to dry out. Such branches are shortened by removing the aging tip to a strong stem shoot. Depending on the type of honeysuckle grown, pruning by shortening begins 5-7 years after planting the bushes in the garden. In vigorous varieties and forms, this time comes later, in low-growing varieties – earlier.

Pruning is carried out in the spring, before the buds swell and the sap begins to move. Small branches of high branching orders can be removed during the entire growing season.

Old bushes with low yields rejuvenate by removing the entire aerial part at a height of 30-60 cm… Under the cut bushes, they apply a one and a half dose of fertilizers and loosen the soil well. Anti-aging pruning strongly stimulates the growth of young shoots.

Harvesting

If you take good care of honeysuckle, then fruiting begins in the second year after pruning, and in the third it reaches 500 g and more from the bush.

Honeysuckle berries ripen at different times, so they are removed as they ripen. Part of the harvest can be harvested by shaking off the berries on a film. The fruits are consumed fresh or processed into juice, compote, raw jam, preserves.

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