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The lonicera genus includes about two hundred species of shrubs, deciduous or evergreen, widespread in nature in Europe, Asia and North America; these are decidedly very different plants depending on the species; in general two large groups of lonicera are used in the garden:
- Climbing lonicas: often deciduous, very vigorous, almost infesting, which produce fragrant flowers in spring or summer.
- Shrubby lonicera: generally with an evergreen leaf, they are used to form hedges or as single specimens, there are also dwarf varieties, particularly appreciated.
The cultivation of honeysuckle is simple, also because usually in the nursery there are species and varieties well adapted to cultivation in the open ground all year long; they are placed in a good fresh and rich soil, in a sunny position, taking care to keep the foot of the plant slightly shaded, as if it were a clematis.The plants have been settling for a long time and are satisfied with the rains, while the new plant creepers may need watering during the hot season, especially in the case of drought. At the beginning of spring we spread at the foot of the plant a slow release granular fertilizer, which will guarantee the right level of fertilization throughout the summer.Often the vigor of these plants makes pruning necessary, which can also be drastic, since the plant produces a few meters of vegetation every year.There are specimens and varieties of lonicera that are particularly delicate, remember to place them in a very sunny place, and to cover them with woven fabric when winter comes.Honeysuckle - Lonicera: Shrubby Lonicere
Commonly used as hedge plants, shrubby lonicera can produce very fragrant flowers, or even small insignificant flowers, which give off only a slight fragrance; some are evergreen, however characterized by small leathery leaves; there are also very decorative dwarf and variegated or almost yellow varieties.
The most widespread species are Lonicera nitida and lonicera fragrantissima; the second, of Asian origin, produces an intensely aromatic flowering.
Honeysuckle specimens are planted in a very sunny place, they are rustic shrubs, which, depending on the species and the variety, can reach 150-300 cm in height.
They are generally evergreen plants, rustic and resistant to heat, cold to drought.
As soon as they are placed at home they need a good soil worked in depth, and watering, in order to avoid leaving the soil dry for a long time, to favor the development of a good root system.
Plants that have been planted for a long time can be satisfied with the weather.
The shrub lonicas tend to have a rather disordered development, and hardly give rise to a compact hedge, it is therefore necessary to prune them, in late spring, after flowering; naturally if we want a less formal and more natural aspect of the plant we can easily avoid pruning it since the annual development is not excessively vigorous, and the plant hardly becomes bulky.
There are also creeping varieties, which are used as evergreen ground coverings.