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Plant of the Month | November 20, 2012

Plant of the Month: Coral Honeysuckle

Coral Honeysuckle has a large number of traits to recommend it as a great landscape plant: it has attractive coral flowers, supports wildlife, it is vigorous enough to fill a space but not so aggressive that it overtakes a yard, and it will be evergreen as well as everblooming in mild winters.

As a vine it climbs by twining on a support and can grow to 20’, but usually remains shorter. It can also be used as a spreading groundcover. The tubular flowers, which are most numerous in the spring, may be present in all but the coldest months. They are enjoyed by hummingbirds while other birds eat the red berries that follow in the fall.

Coral Honeysuckle occurs naturally in woods and thickets in East Texas and throughout most of the Eastern US. It is tolerant of many conditions. When planted in our area it prefers morning sun and afternoon shade. With those conditions it will require an occasional deep watering during the summer once it is established.

It can take full sun, but it will need more water. It will also grow in shady locations but will have fewer blooms. It can tolerate our limestone soils, but prefers to have some added loam. While it prefers areas with good drainage, it will tolerate a wet location for short periods. Give it good air circulation to prevent mildew. It is moderately deer resistant, but deer will nibble on the blossoms

Text by John Siemssen.  Photos by Andy & Sally Wasowski and Norman G. Flaigg, Wildflower Center

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