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Common household remedies request

My honeysuckle (planted mid-May) are happily growing leaves and twining along the woodchuck fence, but they aren't growing flowers. And my plan was to have them attract pollinators.

What am I doing wrong? Too much water?

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Submitted by Elliott Lake on

to flower (woody vines need more time to put on the carbohydrates to support flowering), or you may have over N'd the soil. If you have, treat them to some P: Miracle gro if you aren't organic, microphos if you are.

Submitted by Lex on

Most soils are not Phosphorus deficient, and unless you really poured on a high-nitrogen fertilizer the necessary nutrients are probably not out of whack.

As both above said, perennial vines are notorious for taking a fairly long time to settle in to a new location. Yours have led anything but a charmed existence until now...probably being grown in one place/climate, shipped to another and then transplanted into your yard.

Just be patient. Though an established honeysuckle would probably have already finished flowering where you are, these may yet flower this season.

*An excellent plant for bringing pollinators into the vegetable garden is Bee Balm (Monarda) and it grows like a weed. Careful though, it's a prolific seed producer. Plant one, don't deadhead the flowers and you'll have enough to start a mailorder operation the following season.

Submitted by lambert on

And I will take your advice and not deadhead them. Or, should I remove the flowers, to keep them flowering, but carefully transport them elsewhere?

I didn't get the honeysuckle from a box store, at least. But they may well have been shipped. I think I'll give them some phosphorus, and then stress them with less water.

I also have pinks, which are at least pretty, and lots of marigolds, as companion plants for the tomatos, and the daikon and napa I just seeded.

Submitted by Lex on

you'll find a massive clump of seedlings around the original bee balm plant in the spring. (if you don't deadhead) These can be easily moved elsewhere and it won't matter if you lose a few in the process because there will be hundreds and hundreds.

I really wouldn't worry about trying to force the honeysuckle to flower, lambert. Only a few of ours in the nursery have even begun to flower at this point...we're in a kind of zone 5. And those get sun from roughly 7 am until 9 pm, along with daily fertigation.

The P though will promote root growth as well and help the settling in process.

Shipped nursery stock is the norm in the north. Much of it comes from out West where the stock will reach sale size sooner and be salable looking in May when shoppers want to buy. Norcal, Oregon, Washington. If you can find a nursery that stock's stuff from Bailey's you're in luck. Bailey's is a Minnesota company with a close relationship with U Minn's hort department and they specialize in zone 5 and lower.

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

Honeysuckle is a weed, but a rather warm weather weed, and you're in Maine, right?

They'll flower during summer. Which you get a couple of weeks of sometime in late July, right? (Bwahahahaha.) /end needling/

Submitted by lambert on

It's been pretty warm so far, but we've only had real heat for a week or so. I think phosphorus plus heat plus a lot less water might do it.

Historiann's picture
Submitted by Historiann on

June in Maine is like April in most of the rest of North America. (Having just visited for a week of rain in York Co., I can say that it was!) In Southern Ohio, where I lived for 4 years, honeysuckle was a weed that gangs of volunteers would be sent out to kill b/c otherwise it would overwhelm elementary school playgrounds, side yards, barns/outbuildings, etc., kudzu-style.

Hard to say if your flowers have missed their season, or if they're yet to come, but short of a serious drought, you shouldn't need to water your plants once established.