Japanese Honeysuckle – White and Yellow Strangulation

honeysuckle

honeysuckle

Honeysuckle… such a beautiful name… such a sweet smell. When I was little, we’d grasp the green base of a flower, pull it from its creamy white petals, and enjoy a teeny drop of honey-flavored nectar. Spring in Virginia, wherever I’ve lived, has been scented by the lovely smell of white and yellow Japanese Honeysuckle, or Lonicera Japonica.

honeysuckle covered tree

honeysuckle covered tree

As a homeowner, this sweet flower isn’t quite as lovely. Though I’ve long known about its invasive habit, our farm has exposed me to its ability to take over and nearly strangle slower-growing native species. July in the Shenandoah Valley this year is hot and relatively dry, but the Japanese Honeysuckle that claimed the farm while no one lived here continues to thrive.

In addition to taking over a wild-black-cherry tree, covering structures in one of the gardens, and covering the hill I hope to use as an herb garden, the edges of the forest are carpeted in the plant. I’ve researched the best ways to deal with this nuisance, and to start, I’m waiting for a good, long period of rain, which makes it easier to pull the vines. I hate to use poison, but I may have to hand apply a dab of roundup on some of the larger vines. The next year(s) will require vigilance to tame back and keep the beast at bay, and I hope we’re up to the task.

Let me know if you have methods to destroy Japanese Honeysuckle! (I’ll add pictures of our native honeysuckle once we move it from our old home to our new.) – Stacey Morgan Smith

*** This personal blog is comprised solely of the opinions, views, projects, and travels of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She is lucky enough to have loving family and friends whom she drags along with her on her adventures and whom she puts to work on her little farm. She uses this blog to help promote living in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.**

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