The Easiest Way to Propagate Coral Honeysuckle

Coral honeysuckle is usually propagated by cuttings, but by far the easiest way to propagate it is by an age-old practice known as layering, which requires no special skills, tools, or care, apart from a bit of patience.

Coral Honeysuckle's bright red flowers
What is layering?
Layering is laying a stem (usually new or one year old growth) on the ground, covering it with soil, and then waiting for it to form roots – it’s that easy!

When is the best time to layer?
Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) forms roots in late summer, so you can lay down a stem any time from winter through mid-summer and the plants will be ready to transplant as early as late fall.

So, let’s get started…

Loosen the soil where you plan to lay down the stem. There is no need to add amendment such as compost or manure unless the soil is particularly poor and dry.

Lay down the coral honeysuckle stem and cover it with soil

Lay down the stem and cover it with soil

Lay down the stem and make sure at least one set of nodes (where the stem and leaves join) is in contact with the soil – this is where the new roots will grow.

Cover the stem lightly with soil (around ½ inch) and put a brick or large rock on top of it. This serves two purposes: keeping the stem in place and marking its location so it’s not forgotten. Now, it’s just a matter of waiting.

To keep it in place and mark its location, place a rock or brick on the stem

To keep it in place and mark its location, place a rock or brick on the stem

By mid to late fall, the stem should have formed a good root system. At this point, you can cut the stem from the parent plant.

Cut the stem off from the plant with pruners

Cut the stem off from the plant with pruners

In areas with a long growing season, go ahead and dig up your new plant straight after cutting the stem and transplant it. If you’re unsure and want to play it safe, wait until the spring to dig it up.

A healthy root system

A healthy root system! Notice that the roots formed at the nodes

Here is some additional information that may be helpful.
Do I need to water it while it forms roots?
As long as there isn’t drought in late summer, there is no need to water.
How long can I leave it in the ground before digging it up?
As long as you want, but the new plant will keep growing and getting larger.
Why isn’t layering used more often?
Layering is not a very efficient method for producing large numbers of plants, but it is perfect for the gardener wanting a few extra plants.

Now you can propagate coral honeysuckle vines to plant or share. If you don’t have one to start with, we sell them here on our website.

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