centuri Posts: 37
I have a very old honeysuckle which needs a serious prune but I was wondering before I begin if I cut it right down to the old wood, which is the hight I would like,, is there a risk that the whole hedge dies
Peg a few long shoots into the soil around it. They should root. That will give you back ups if the old plant dies.
unfortunately I can't peg a few roots as it grows in the pavement in front of my house and has been there for about 40 years and I cannot see any earth what so ever so I suppose I should treat it like Lavender and just prune down slightly .thanks for all your advice
It's one of those 'do or die' moments centuri. If it needs pruning, it needs pruning. You could do it in stages though. Take anything diseased or dead out, and then prune back the worst bits back by half or two thirds. The rest, prune back lightly for now.
It possibly isn't thriving because of the conditions anyway, if it's almost in the pavement and has very little soil - it's not ideal for honeysuckle at all. They don't like to dry out at their feet. You'd be doing it a favour. As always, a good watering and a feed afterwards, and a mulch if you can manage it. That will help it recover and you can do a bit more pruning at a later date,or next year to try and get it back in shape. Losing flowers will be inevitable, but it's either that or leave it the way it is and see it decline, so it's worth trying.
Or take it out and replace with something else, and get a new honeysuckle for somewhere else in the garden !
I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
Try pruning back half of it this year, and see if it produces new growth next year, then prune the other half back next year after flowering.
I've taken cuttings of honeysuckle very successfully. Maybe you could do that as back up just in case.
I took one of my honeysuckles back to the bone last year along with the mega rose that grows up through it and both are thriving and blooming like mad this year.
LF's advice sounds like the less murderous of the options. Cut half back (and use for cuttings) and then do the other half if that works.