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Honeysuckle Pruning

I have Lonicera Tellmanniana which grew great guns last year and after flowering, I gave it a prune. Looking at the overall shape of it now, it's a real mess and I desperately want give it a real hard prune to start as close to from scratch as possible. I grew it through a willow obelisk but was restricted as to where I could direct the vines due to the established shape as I didn't want to break any stems. I'd really like to start over with it, the advice I've seen says to hard prune to about a foot, is it possible to go harder than that without completely killing it?


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    They normally don't get hard pruned, but I see no reason why you can't, although I'd be very wary of pruning back too far. You might need to opt for the 'removing some stems back hard' method  instead.
    How big is your obelisk though? As far as I'm aware, it would be a bit too big for an average obelisk. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • bédébédé Posts: 3,012
    edited 10 January
    The standard advice is to prune honeusuckles a little every year.  I was over vigorous with a "Stuart Thomas" and it died on me.  Not the same plant but, care.

    Hey, ho, I can afford a replacement.
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • @Fairygirl Removing a couple of stems actually sounds like good idea as there'll be a lot less wangling involved down the line. The obelisk I have is 1.5 metres and is against a fence. The plan is to grow up the obelisk and then train it along the fence using Gripple support but the direction it's currently growing in isn't conducive to that. Would it be worth pruning now? Due to the mild weather the leaves are starting to bud.

    @bede I did do a little in the summer after flowering and ideally would like to stick with that long term but at the moment it really needs getting under control. This one was a replacement after aphids destroyed the other one I had. Hopefully it won't become a victim of its own success.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I wouldn't tend to prune any climber at this time of year as it's too early here, but it might be ok where you are.
    I took some dead/damaged foliage off a couple of clematis yesterday, and one or two are showing buds higher up, but they're likely to get damaged as we haven't had any winter yet. I don't usually prune until about mid to end of Feb, and even then, I'm always a bit careful. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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