Pruning honeysuckle: why, when and how to do it right
The yield of honeysuckle depends on many factors: weather conditions, region of cultivation, fertilization. In order for the bush to consistently bear fruit and give a good harvest, from the 6th year of life, summer residents carry out pruning. The procedure stimulates fruiting, protects the plant from diseases and insect pests. We will tell you about pruning honeysuckle and when and how to do it correctly in the article.
The content of the article
Do I need to prune honeysuckle
Honeysuckle develops slowly, so they start pruning only 6-7 years after planting. If you do not remove old and diseased branches, they grow in a chaotic manner, and after a couple of years the shrub will turn into a tangled ball. Because of this, yield decreases, diseases arise, and the annual growth of young shoots decreases.
When to prune honeysuckle
Honeysuckle pruning can be done in the spring or fall, depending on your goals. In spring, the shrub is pruned after the snow melts and the ground warms up to + 5 ° C. At this time, the plant needs sanitary or anti-aging pruning.
It is forbidden to shorten the shoots in the spring if the air temperature has already warmed up to + 12 ° C and above, otherwise the plant will weaken and reduce the yield next year.
In the fall, attention is paid to formative pruning. Some summer residents make a common mistake - they cut the plant after the last harvest. You can't do this, the right time is in 2-3 weeks. In the south of the country it is the end of October, in the north - the end of September.
Attention! There is no consensus on whether it is better to prune honeysuckle in spring or autumn. Each gardener independently determines the timing of pruning, suitable for the growing region and the age of the shrub. Sometimes summer residents are guided by the lunar calendar - it indicates the exact dates when the care procedures are considered the most favorable.
How to do pruning correctly
Formative, sanitary, rejuvenating - each pruning involves its own procedure and rules for the procedure. If all recommendations are followed, honeysuckle will quickly recover and give a rich harvest.
In the spring for a good harvest
Honeysuckle buds form early, so the branches are pruned in March or early April. For spring, formative pruning is chosen, the purpose of which is to create a crown. This is true for decorative and edible honeysuckle. In fruiting varieties, not every bush is left with 4-5 shoots that grow from the center in different directions.
How to prune honeysuckle in spring:
- Remove branches growing at the very bottom, touching the ground.
- Young growth - it promotes the reproduction of insect pests, the development of diseases, and also obscures sunlight.
- Branches that grow strictly vertically inside the crown.
- Shoots growing inside the bush, as well as weak and dry.
- Old, thick branches and shoot tips giving weak growth.
The shrub has about 5 powerful skeletal branches. Places of cuts are smeared with garden varnish or sprinkled with charcoal to protect honeysuckle from fungal or viral diseases.
Once every 2-3 years, the honeysuckle is thinned out - old and thick branches are removed "on a stump". Next year, 2-4 strong and young shoots will grow from this place. One of them is left to replace the remote branch, while the others are cut out.
In the fall, after harvest, regular pruning is carried out. It prepares shrubs for winter, slows down plant growth and stimulates root development.
The following signs help determine the exact time for pruning:
- the shrub has dropped its foliage;
- air temperature at night - 0 ° C;
- about a month remained before frost.
Watering is stopped 1-2 weeks before the procedure so as not to awaken new kidneys. On the other hand, after pruning, honeysuckle is watered abundantly to give it the strength to recover.
What includes post-harvest autumn pruning:
- removal of root growth and shoots growing inside the bush;
- pruning old and diseased branches;
- removal of shoots that do not give growth.
When pruning decorative honeysuckle, make sure that its top is not wider than the root zone. In this case, the crown will break under its own weight or due to the wind. The crown should taper slightly towards the top. This rule applies to both the regulatory procedure and the formative one.
Sanitary pruning is carried out as needed (in March, August, October). It is easy to understand that honeysuckle needs sanitary pruning: the shoots dry out, become covered with spots or rot, insects are visible on the bark and foliage, the crown is deformed. Affected and diseased branches are cut to the ground, the cut sites are smeared with garden varnish.
When pruning a fruiting shrub, make sure that the lower parts of the branches are not exposed.
Attention! Garden var is bought in a store or prepared independently. The second option requires 500 g of natural beeswax, 500 g of turpentine, 300 g of rosin and 100 melted fat. The ingredients are heated until smooth and mixed. Then they are placed in a container and placed in cold water. Store garden var in the form of balls in a plastic bag.
Plants over 7 years old need rejuvenating pruning.
How to update an old honeysuckle bush:
- Summer residents cut off the stems at the base, leaving a stump 2-3 cm high. This is necessary in order for healthy shoots to form in the future.
- Branches growing inside the bush or at a strong slope are also removed. They do this every 3-5 years.
With the help of the procedure, the life of the honeysuckle is extended by 10-20 years.
If anti-aging pruning has not been carried out, and the plant is more than 15 years old, it needs radical rejuvenation.
How to rejuvenate such a bush:
- In October, after the foliage has fallen off, all shoots are cut out at the root.
- Large cuts and cracks are covered with garden var.
- Honeysuckle rests until spring, and the root system stimulates the development of young and healthy shoots.
- A year later, gardeners re-form the crown.
For pruning, choose a sharp pruner, which makes even and clean cuts without torn edges. Otherwise, wounds take a long time to heal and cause diseases. For any type of branch, choose a bypass garden pruner. It is versatile, it cuts dry, green, thick, thin branches equally well.
It is interesting:
The best times to prune honeysuckle are considered early spring and mid-fall, depending on the growing region. Before the procedure, they prepare a sharp pruner, disinfect it, make a garden varnish to lubricate the wounds, and study a step-by-step plan. Formative pruning is carried out in the spring, regulating in the fall.
If the honeysuckle is more than 7 years old, start anti-aging; if insects or signs of disease appear - to sanitary.