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applestar
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Rhododendron and trumpet honeysuckle in full bloom -- prune?

They looked so gorgeous I had to snap a picture :D

Image

...a question though: I did prune back the honey suckle, but it grew at an amazing rate this spring, and now the gate arbor looks kind of lopsided. Later on, Honeyvine Milkweed, which dies to the ground, will grow up from the other side, but I'm concerned that the heavy honeysuckle may be putting too much stress on the PVC arbor.

What do you think? Would it be better to cut these back? ...maybe as much as by 1/2? Sort give it a "haircut" so the vines are evenly hugging the arbor?

For future reference, what is the best way to prune the vine (time of the year, what to cut back and how much?)

Image

Hey, way cool -- when I took that 2nd photo from the upstairs window, a hummingbird zipped in to take sips. I was thinking that since the honeysuckles are blooming, they should be coming back soon. O:)

No way you can see it, but there's a mourning dove's nest in there. They land on top of the arbor arch, walk across one of the spans, then make their way into the vines. Last year, robins made a nest in there too.

(p.s. OMG The arbor needs a good cleaning! I'll probably go out and scrub it today -- the perfect rainy day project :wink: )
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applestar
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Re: Rhododendron and trumpet honeysuckle in full bloom -- pr

More pics:

Image

Image
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RamonaGS
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Re: Rhododendron and trumpet honeysuckle in full bloom -- pr

Oh wow! It is growing beautifully! Love the color of the flowers too. I personally like to wait and do my major pruning in the fall, or when the plant is not blooming. I may trim a bit while it's blooming, to keep it out of everyone's way, but otherwise I do the big snip when the plant is hibernating, so it has all spring and summer to grow back and recover. Here on the central coast though, some plants don't go into their winter hibernation. It's kind of a tough call then, lol

Also, IDK if my pruning method works in other locations. I never have lived in an area where it snows.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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applestar
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Re: Rhododendron and trumpet honeysuckle in full bloom -- pr

Yeah. I've been puzzling over WHY I'm having this problem at all... And I have a theory:

We had an unheard of mild winter last year when the ground hardly froze at all -- well maybe lowest temps in the 20's with just dips in the teens. This winter was a bit colder but still not down to our normal minus single digits -- maybe more teens.

I think the honey suckle wasn't beaten down by the winters as much as I'm used to, so that it hasnt experienced as much bud die offs and the roots are more energetic -- it's growing back much more vigorously than my normal winter pruning can handle. :roll:

I'm wondering how far back gardeners in the more mild winter zones -- like Zone 8 or so, let's say -- cut back their trumpet honey suckle :?:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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RamonaGS
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Re: Rhododendron and trumpet honeysuckle in full bloom -- pr

My mother cut her red honeysuckle in half before, and it came right back. It's some hearty stuff! She lives in a coastal town out here in California, but not sure what zone it is. She also had it freeze and partially die off. One bush to about a third the size of what it was, and they still came back. So I guess here in the milder climates we can get away with a nice big trim, that gardeners in more extremely changing climates can't.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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RamonaGS
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Re: Rhododendron and trumpet honeysuckle in full bloom -- pr

Ok, I looked it up, and my mom and I both are in hardiness zone 8B? I'm not sure what exactly that means, but I know we have fairly mild winters. :?
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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