Learn About the Goldflame Honeysuckle
The goldflame honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii) is a plant which is highly appreciated by gardeners due to its beautiful shape and distinct scent. However, it is quite a picky flower and requires a lot of maintenance work throughout the year. It also needs just the right amount of sun, water, shade and healthy soil.
The goldflame honeysuckle needs a spot that is not too sunny and it best served with a semi-shady spot. While the plant needs a lot of light, it cannot cope with constant heat so that the area for planting must be chosen carefully. The soil must be rich and well-nourished, and it should be mixed up with high quality compost which must be kept damp at all times. In fact, plants like the goldflame honeysuckle have been growing most successfully in places with a high humidity such as coastal areas and along rivers. The roots are very sensitive and large variations in temperature can become dangerous.
If you live in a climate zone that has mild temperatures all year round it is definitely to your advantage. However, places that experience hot summers, frosty winters and very wet autumns may have to help the plant artificially. It is good to keep an eye on the soil temperature all year round to see whether it gets unusually high or low. You may have to provide shade in extreme heat and artificial light/warmth in cold winters. A lack of water will result in disease and pest, strong winds will damage the plant and frost will kill the roots.
The goldflame honeysuckle is famous because it can climb up walls and cover them in beautifully green leaves. The major vegetation period is between April and October while other types of honeysuckle may be green all year round. There are also variations that grow bush-like and others that loop around tree trunks or poles.
The blossoms are what make the goldflame honeysuckle stand out: They grow in small bunch and their colours can vary between cream, white, yellow, pink orange and red. The flowers are simply magnificent and absolutely gorgeous- definitely worth all that trouble!
Once the blossoms have served and fade, they are replaced by black, red or orange berries. These are slightly poisonous and should certainly not be eaten. Nevertheless, they spread an enchanting scent and attract many birds that eat the berries.
You can certainly control the way your goldflame honeysuckle grows by choosing a nice looking pole or guiding it along your walls. Sticks, wire and ropes can help you to lead the plant in a certain direction. They also grow beautifully along roofs, doorways, pergolas, fence and arches. While they transform your seating area or entrance into a beautiful oasis, they also attract insects, but if you live in an area where insects are not an issue you can go right ahead and let your goldflame honeysuckle climb.
Make sure that the pole or roof that you choose is stable enough to carry the plant as it may get very heavy. Trimming is also important and a very delicate procedure. If you are an experienced gardener it should not be a problem, but as a beginner you may want to seek help before you chop the plant down and damage what you worked so hard for. Buying a goldflame honeysuckle is fairly inexpensive and may cost between US$6-10 depending on the size and type. Often enough you will find hybrid varieties because wild honeysuckle is rarely sold in stores.
Remember to protect your children from eating the berries as they can be dangerous for the little ones. Nonetheless, the berries are a great way to decorate and you may want to pick a twig with a few berries and leaves to put in a vase or decorative glass container.