The fragrance of the blooms of winter honeysuckle is usually why most people grow this large, arching shrub. Its botanical name, Lonicera fragrantissima , even denotes the sweet lemony scent of the tiny white blooms that appear anytime from January until the beginning of March. Birds love the red berries that appear after the blooms fade and eat them as fast as they ripen. Winter honeysuckle needs a lot of room to grow and looks best if grown in a natural setting, possibly at the edge of a wooded area. This fast growing shrub has an upright growth habit with the stiff branches spreading outward. It blooms on wood grown the previous year, so prune it only when absolutely necessary. It will grow in either shade or sun and in almost any well-drained soil.
If you have a place in your landscape for winter honeysuckle, you and your neighbors will be rewarded with the sweet smell of its blooms.
Winter honeysuckle is available at our local nurseries.
Sue Adee, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service