Honeysuckle has recently joined the list of popular edible garden crops. Its unpretentious, hardy, and useful properties first attracted the attention of northerners. For them, it is the earliest berry, rich in vitamins, trace elements, and other substances needed by the body.
The pleasant taste combined with a slight acidity, the opportunity to complement your fruit menu with new products as well as winter preserves, is the main reason for increasing the propagation of honeysuckle in all regions, but especially in cold areas. Propagating honeysuckle is not difficult. Like all berry crops, this shrub can be propagated by seed and asexual propagation methods.
This article discusses in detail the methods of growing honeysuckle from cuttings, the conditions for preparing cuttings and rooting.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF HONEYSUCKLE
For those who are new to gardening, honeysuckle is easy to recognize. The shrub is deciduous, 40-80inch (1-2m) tall, with fine branches.
The young branches are pubescent and its color is green with varying shades of purple. The old bark of honeysuckle turns grayish-brown, loses its pubescence, and peels off in narrow strips along the perennial stems.
Honeysuckle’s leaves are lance-shaped and 2-4inch (6-10 cm) long. The top of the leaf blade is pointed. The young leaves of honeysuckle have discoid leaflets fused to the petiole and are densely pubescent. As they age, the pubescence of the leaves disappears or is retained in the form of individual bristles.
Honeysuckle flowers are funnel-shaped and have a yellow corolla. They are usually arranged in pairs in the leaf axils. The flowering period of honeysuckle depends on the region and cultivar and lasts from early May to early June.
The fruits of honeysuckle come in various shapes.
- Cylindrical with an oblique cut at the bottom.
- Oval-shaped and others.
Honeysuckle berries are purple in color with blue spots or dark blue in different shades. The flesh is very juicy and has a reddish-purple color. There are some honeysuckle varieties that have yellow berries. Inside there are light brown seeds, no bigger than 2 mm in size.
Please remember! Only the blue and blueberries are edible. The yellow berries are not edible.
HOW TO PROPAGATE HONEYSUCKLE
For those who wish to grow honeysuckle in the countryside, it is best to initially purchase young seedlings. If you like the taste of the berries (not everyone likes the bitter aftertaste of the berries, the astringent flesh, and other flavor characteristics of some varieties of honeysuckle), the shrubs can be propagated independently.
Honeysuckle can be propagated in the following ways.
- By seeds.
- Bush branches.
- Branching out.
- Cuttings (green and woody).
Among them, cuttings are the simplest and easiest method of propagation for honeysuckle to obtain a large number of seedlings. Green cuttings are the cuttings with the highest survival rate.
BREEDING TECHNIQUES FOR GREEN CUTTINGS
Timing of cutting
The best guide for picking green cuttings is when the honeysuckle flowering period is over and the first fruit ovary is formed. This stage is usually at the end of May or the beginning of June.
Determining whether honeysuckle shoots are ready for green cuttings
Before taking honeysuckle cuttings, check whether the shoots can be used for cuttings.
- Marked honeysuckle branches bent: soft, flexible – not suitable; such cuttings do not have enough energy to form a root system quickly.
- Mature material for cutting green cuttings are shoots that crunch and break when bent.
Rules for honeysuckle green cuttings
- The green cuttings of honeysuckle are harvested from the middle part of the selected shoots.
- The length of the cuttings is 3-5inch (8-13cm) with 3-4 nodes.
- Each node has a bud and a leaf.
- The leaves of the lower nodes were completely removed. Only the flower buds are still there.
- Half of the leaf plate is cut off at the middle and upper nodes.
- In the lower part of the honeysuckle plug, the cut is beveled at a 45-degree angle.
- The honeysuckle cuttings are cut directly from the top and at 0.6inch (1.5cm) above the last bud.
ROOTING GREEN HONEYSUCKLE CUTTINGS
Treat the lower part of the prepared honeysuckle cuttings with a rooting agent (rooting agent, isoflavones), which helps the root system to form faster and prevents it from contracting fungus and rotting. This procedure is carried out according to the recommendations.
Rooting is carried out in a soil mixture prepared by yourself or in a substrate purchased at the store.
A separate soil mixture for honeysuckle cuttings is prepared from peat and sand in 1 and 3 parts, respectively. Perlite or vermiculite can be used in the soil mixture.
The lower part of the honeysuckle cuttings is immersed in the prepared moist substrate and covered with a film to keep the air and the substrate humidified. Maintain temperatures within 68-77°F (20-25°C) during the rooting period. Spines appear within one to one and a half weeks. Current year honeysuckle seedlings are transferred to a permanent location or the following spring.
BREEDING TECHNIQUES FOR CUTTINGS OF LIGNIFIED HONEYSUCKLE
Honeysuckle cuttings can be harvested 2 times.
- In spring before budding and flowering.
- In autumn, after the leaves fall off, around the third decade of September or the first decade of October.
More precise timing is determined by regional conditions.
Rules for harvesting lignified honeysuckle cuttings
- Choose honeysuckle cuttings that have been growing for one year.
- The thickness of the cuttings should be no less than 0.4inch (1cm) in diameter.
- When taking cuttings in autumn, the length of honeysuckle cuttings is 6-8inch (15-20cm) with 2-5 internodes.
- Store the honeysuckle cuttings in wet burlap, sand or sawdust. You can bury them in the ground for storage.
- Sand, sawdust, and substrate must be treated with fungicidal or biofungicidal preparations to prevent fungal infections during storage.
- When taking honeysuckle cuttings in spring, harvest the branches shorter, 4-5inch (10-13 cm).
- The top cuttings are straight, 0.2-0.4inch (0.5-1 cm) above the last bud. The bottom one is 0.4-0.6inch (1-1.5cm) below the bottom bud and the cut is slanted.
Rooting woody honeysuckle cuttings for rooting
- Prepared honeysuckle cuttings are planted in a seedbed in cold regions, in warm regions – immediately on a high ridge in the open ground.
- The soil in the nursery and on the ridge should be plowed, leveled, well moistened, and watered with rhizobium or heterocycle and bio fungicide: Trichodermin, and possibly other preparations. Zeaxanthin, isoflavones are needed to accelerate root formation and fungicides – to disinfect the substrate and prevent fungal infections, which can cause rot of the plugs located in the soil.
- Honeysuckle plugs are planted at an angle of 45 degrees every 5-6inch (13-15 cm).
- The top buds are covered with a layer of the substrate of about 0.4inch (1cm) or left open.
- Cover seedlings with cling film or otherwise cover and keep substrate and the air moist.
- 15-20 days after planting, remove the mulch. The first roots appear in the honeysuckle cuttings.
- Further care includes watering (less than under mulch), where the soil should be moist, not wet, as well as loosening the soil and promptly removing weeds.
- In the spring of the following year, if necessary, the rooted cuttings of honeysuckle are repotted for rearing or immediately planted in a permanent place.
Remember! When reproducing with green plugs, the survival rate is 60-70%, lignification does not exceed 20%, more rarely 40-50%.
Share your experience with the propagation of honeysuckle cuttings. What species do you grow in your area?
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