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Can you plant honeysuckle in shade

wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

Hi I just wondered, can you plant honeysuckles in the shade? I planted a very cheap small one (variety Belgica) at the base of a big conifer tree by a fence a few weeks ago. It's very dark where the plant is but if it grows it will get some light. It's north facing image

The ground was very dry and there also conifers on the other side of the fence so I guess the ground lacks nutrients. I did put some organic soil into the hole when planting. It hasn't died but I'm not sure if it's growing. And now I am wondering if I should have planted it in sun or grown it in a pot...



  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,805

    It's a lot to expect a plant to grow, let alone thrive, in the starved and dried up soil at the base of a conifer which will have depleted all the nutrients and whose canopy will stop rain water getting through.   Better to plant it in a well prepared hole at the edge of the tree canopy and then wind the new growth through its branches.   

    Last edited: 04 August 2016 21:28:56

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    Hi for the late reply - thanks for all the advice. The last thing I want to do is be cruel to the honeysuckle. I managed to take some photos. Hope you can see the plant properly. As you can see there is a hydrangea next to it. It doesn't flower as well as the hydrangea on the other south-facing side of the garden.

    Anyway I am hoping you will look and tell me in between here is not too bad and I can leave it. Or you may say yes, this is still a very awful place for the honeysuckle:


    Excuse the mess. My dad hard-pruned this poor conifer a couple of years ago and the beautiful foliage never grew back, exposing the area behind :-( Am still trying to find a plant to grow in front of it to the height of the gap...I thought a honey suckle might at least grow near some of it. I look forward to your further advice.

  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    Hi Verdun. Oh dear. Yes I want the conifer - it is providing some shelter for birds and is at the back of the garden. I don't like chopping down trees. We've already lost one when we had a shed installed. Although it looks awful since it was pruned,  I want to keep it and plant something in front of it.

    Hmm. Is honeysuckle on the wrong side of the garden? Later I will try and post a pic of the other side - you might be able to spot a gap. But the south side has sooo many plants already.

    I thought honeysuckles grew anywhere and in woodlands by trees?

  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    No I didn't want to grow it up the conifer Verdun - I just thought that maybe it would bush out and look nice as that is the worst looking part of the garden. It's also near my bird feeder which I've put close to the edge of the lawn near the bushes so the birds can take cover. You can't see it in the photo. I thought the honeysuckle would help the birds also due to the berries later and I thought putting in the area I see them most active would be good.

    I did have a corner which gets morning sun as in on same side but no tree beside it. But that's nearer to the house and I also have now put a rose and a clematis there. I don't want anything to grow weedy. Also don't want to squeeze plants in - but am running out of space!! I did take out some big euonymus the other day and transfer to pots for front of house as they were overcrowding. I will have a think what to do about the HS and post a picture of the other area of the garden.

  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

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    I will move it and be generous then. I think there is a strong case being made for to not leave it there by the poor old pine image

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 6,959

    Honeysuckles are a bit like clematis, they like their roots in the shade and their head in the sun.  They don't like dry roots though so its not a good place for it. 

    Aucuba (spotted laurel) would fill in the gap under the conifer.


    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
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