Edible honeysuckle: types and varieties, especially cultivation and care in different regions, treatment against diseases and pests, reviews

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Edible honeysuckle is a particularly valuable and promising berry crop for regions with harsh climatic conditions, long frosty winters and late spring frosts. Its early ripening dark blue berries are tasty and very healthy, they contain many vitamins. This winter-hardy shrub is quite unpretentious and grows well even among novice gardeners, without requiring special care.

Blue edible honeysuckle is the earliest berry

Blue honeysuckle bushes with delicious edible fruits are found in the forests of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. The local population of these regions has long been collecting wild-growing honeysuckle, which ripens very early, even earlier than strawberries. It is the earliest of all temperate berries and one of the most winter hardy berry crops, withstanding frosts down to -50 ° C in winter and freezing up to -7 ° C during flowering.

Edible honeysuckle - an early berry with record frost resistance

Honeysuckle fruits contain many vitamins and other nutrients and are considered healing. Wild plants often have berries with bitterness, and some garden varieties are also bitter, especially in hot dry weather without watering. The bitter honeysuckle berries make a wonderful jam with a very interesting piquant taste. They are also suitable for compotes, including mixed with other fruits and berries. They can also be frozen and stored in the freezer. Fresh berries are stored in the refrigerator for no more than three days, then they get wet and spoil.

Blue honeysuckle berries make delicious jam

Despite its many advantages, blue honeysuckle attracted the attention of breeders very late, only in the middle of the last century. For several decades it was considered a new exotic horticultural culture, and only by the beginning of this century it became sufficiently widespread among amateur gardeners in Russia and neighboring countries. Industrial plantations of edible honeysuckle still do not exist, this is a purely amateur culture. Outside the former Soviet Union, blue honeysuckle is almost never found in the wild and is rarely grown in culture.

Edible honeysuckle berries contain many vitamins

The main breeding work on the development of new varieties of edible honeysuckle was carried out in Soviet times and continues today in the following scientific institutions:

  • Pavlovsk experimental station VIR (Leningrad region),
  • Far Eastern experimental station VIR (Vladivostok city),
  • Research Institute of Horticulture of Siberia named after M.A.Lisavenko (Altai Territory, the city of Barnaul),
  • Bakchar stronghold of northern gardening (Tomsk region),
  • South Ural Research Institute of Horticulture and Potato Growing (Chelyabinsk),
  • All-Russian Research Institute of Horticulture named after I. V. Michurin (Tambov Region, Michurinsk).

Breeders of Moscow, Samara and Nizhny Novgorod worked with honeysuckle in small volumes. Many wonderful varieties of honeysuckle were created by an amateur breeder Leonid Petrovich Kuminov from the Moscow region, some of them have already been zoned and included in the State Register, others are being tested.

Edible and inedible types of honeysuckle

Among the many varieties of honeysuckle, the fruits of only a few closely related species are edible:

  • blue honeysuckle,
  • Pallas honeysuckle,
  • Kamchatka honeysuckle,
  • honeysuckle Turchaninov,
  • edible honeysuckle,
  • Altai honeysuckle.

They are all very similar to each other. These are low, upright shrubs without thorns, from one to two meters in height. Edible honeysuckle has a number of common features:

  • bloom in early spring immediately after the snow melts,
  • have pale yellow bell-shaped flowers,
  • dark blue fruits ripen at the very beginning of summer, earlier than all other berries.

Edible honeysuckle blooms with pale yellow flowers in early spring

The overwhelming majority of honeysuckle species have inedible or slightly poisonous fruits of red or orange color ripening in the second half of summer, also popularly known under the collective name of wolf berries. Inedible honeysuckle blooms in late spring or early summer with white or pink flowers.

Edible honeysuckle varieties

In most regions favorable for growing blue honeysuckle, all varieties of this crop grow well. For the more southern regions of the country and the monsoon climate of the Far Eastern Primorye, more adapted varieties of local selection are better suited.

The best varieties of edible honeysuckle by maturity (table)

In the most large-fruited modern varieties of blue honeysuckle, berries reach 4 centimeters in length and 1.5 grams in weight (for comparison, in wild-growing original forms of berries about 1 centimeter long and about 0.5 grams weighing). Productivity is from 0.5 to 2 kilograms per bush, depending on the variety, plant age and growing conditions. The fruits do not ripen at the same time, and as they ripen, they crumble to the ground.

Modern varieties of honeysuckle are large-fruited and productive

In my garden in Tatarstan, edible honeysuckle of the Blue Bird and Blue Spindle varieties grows, the seedlings of which my grandfather brought from Moscow at the end of the eighties of the last century for our garden and for our neighbors. Bluebird has smaller, oval, sweet-sour berries with almost no bitterness. In the Blue Spindle, the berries are noticeably larger, elongated, elongated, slightly sweeter and slightly bitter. They ripen at me almost simultaneously in the first half of June. I love both of these varieties, and the savory gourmet honeysuckle jam is one of my favorites. Over the years, my honeysuckle has been repeatedly transplanted and redrawn, while the neighbors have preserved at their original planting site and still bear fruit two bushes from that very first import, one plant of each variety.

Features of growing honeysuckle in the regions

Edible honeysuckle grows well and bears fruit annually in the zone of its natural growth: in the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. Late spring frosts are not terrible for her, and frosty winters with a stable snow cover without thaws are only good for her. Local varieties are ideally adapted to the peculiarities of the difficult regional climate.

Very valuable specimens of this shrub with excellent quality fruits can also be found here among wild plants in the nearby forest, from which you can take cuttings for propagation and grow beautiful seedlings for your garden.

In nature, edible honeysuckle grows in the forests of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East.

Blue honeysuckle has taken root well in the conditions of the Russian Non-Black Earth Region. It gives annual stable yields of tasty and healthy berries in the Northern, North-Western, Volgo-Vyatka and Central regions, in the Moscow region and throughout central Russia, as well as in the northern part of the Middle Volga region.

In Tatarstan, edible honeysuckle grows well and bears fruit every year. The first specimens of this shrub appeared in our area in the eighties of the last century. Now honeysuckle bushes can be found in almost every garden, this is the earliest of all our berries. In our country, it does not get sick, is not damaged by any pests and perfectly tolerates the local climate even in the most problematic years.

Honeysuckle grows well in regions with even snowy winters without thaws

There are quite favorable conditions for the cultivation of this crop throughout the territory of Belarus and in the Ukrainian Polesie. There is enough humid air and relatively even winters, so almost all varieties of edible honeysuckle of any origin grow well.

Blue honeysuckle can be grown relatively successfully in the Samara region of the Middle Volga region, in the Central Black Earth region of Russia and in the forest-steppe zone of Ukraine. The climatic conditions here are already less favorable for this shrub, so it is better to choose varieties adapted for the Chernozem region, created in the city of Michurinsk, Tambov region, as well as varieties of Samara selection.

Blue honeysuckle grows poorly south of the Chernozem region

With further advancement to the south, certain problems arise, ways of which have not yet been found sufficiently effective to eliminate them. Firstly, edible honeysuckle needs constant high humidity of the air and soil and reacts extremely painfully to the summer heat and drought characteristic of the southern regions. Secondly, this shrub has a very short dormant period. During long winter thaws that occur in the south almost every year, the buds of honeysuckle wake up and start growing, and then die when the frosts return. Prolonged warm autumn, which is typical for the southern regions, also provokes premature awakening of the buds and even the flowering of honeysuckle. After such an untimely autumn flowering, the berries do not have time to ripen due to the inevitably coming cold weather. All this greatly weakens the plants and contributes to their premature death. As a result, in the southern regions, a normal harvest of honeysuckle is becoming extremely rare.

For the steppe zone of Ukraine, Crimea, the Lower Volga region and most of the territory of the North Caucasus region of Russia, the cultivation of blue honeysuckle is very problematic and has no practical meaning. Separate areas with a relatively acceptable microclimate for this berry shrub can be found in the mountainous and foothill regions of the North Caucasus, especially on the northern slopes, including in the mountainous part of the Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories.

The main stages of growing and caring for honeysuckle

Edible honeysuckle is one of the most unpretentious and undemanding berry crops in temperate climates. Its cultivation is available even to the most inexperienced novice gardeners.

Planting honeysuckle

Blue honeysuckle is a very durable shrub that can bear fruit for up to twenty years or more. Its young bushes tolerate transplanting relatively easily, but it is better not to disturb older plants. In the spring, she wakes up very early and starts to grow, so it is necessary to plant and transplant honeysuckle in the fall, no later than a month before the onset of stable cold weather.

Only container-grown seedlings with a closed root system, as an exception, can be planted in spring or summer.

Soil for honeysuckle and choosing a planting site

Edible honeysuckle grows well on any soil, except waterlogged and too heavy. The acidity of the soil is permissible in the range of pH 4.5 - 7.5 with an optimal pH value of 5.5 - 6.5.

The acidity of the soil for honeysuckle is permissible in the range of pH 4.5 - 7.5 with an optimal pH value of 5.5 - 6.5

For bountiful berry yields, blue honeysuckle is best planted in open, sunny areas, although it can grow in partial shade and even on northern slopes.

My honeysuckle grows in a high place with very light sandy soil and in hot dry summers it requires constant watering even in partial shade. A friend of mine has a garden plot on the same sands, but in a wetter lowland closer to the lake, and she almost does not water her honeysuckle.

Selection of pollinators and placement of honeysuckle plants on the site

Edible honeysuckle requires obligatory cross-pollination, so at least two different varieties of it should be planted in the garden. In the presence of three - four or more varieties, the yield of berries will be even higher. Almost all cultivars of blue honeysuckle are inter-pollinated with each other. The main pollinators of honeysuckle are bumblebees, there are still few bees at this time.

Bumblebees are the main pollinators of honeysuckle

Groups of several nearby shrubs are more attractive to bumblebees and are better pollinated than single plants. To obtain high yields of berries, the distance between the bushes should be at least two meters. You can use blue honeysuckle to create hedges by placing plants in a row a meter apart, but the yield from each individual bush will be lower when planted this way.

Honeysuckle compatibility with other plants

Edible honeysuckle tolerates well the neighborhood of most garden plants. It should not be planted only under large trees with a dense crown, giving continuous shade, and under birches that overly dry the soil.

In openwork penumbra under birches, honeysuckle will suffer greatly from a lack of moisture in the soil.

When planting on the lawn, around each honeysuckle bush, you must keep a trunk circle with a diameter of at least a meter mulched with gravel, wood chips, pine bark or nutshells. The roots of lawn grasses, like perennial weeds, have a depressing effect on the root system of honeysuckle.

Of the other berry bushes, blue honeysuckle has the most similar requirements to black currant and can be planted side by side. Both of these crops love moisture and tolerate light partial shade if necessary, although higher yields are obtained in full sunlight throughout the day.

Black currant is a good neighbor for edible honeysuckle

Planting honeysuckle on video

Landing procedure:

  1. Dig a small hole in the bayonet of the shovel and pour in half a bucket of water.
  2. When the water is absorbed, pour some good fertile soil on the bottom.
  3. Place a honeysuckle seedling in the prepared hole.
  4. Cover the roots with soil so that the seedling is at the same depth relative to the soil surface as it grew in the nursery.
  5. Carefully pour another half a bucket of water from a watering can with a spray under the planted bush.

Watering honeysuckle, mulching the soil and controlling weeds

Edible honeysuckle makes increased demands on soil and air moisture. In hot dry weather, the yield is noticeably reduced, the berries grow small and often begin to taste bitter, even in sweet-fruited varieties. Therefore, in the absence of rain, it is imperative to water once a week with a bucket of water for each young plant or two or three buckets of water for a large adult bush. Drip irrigation systems also have good results.

Mulching the surface of the earth under the bushes with any available materials (organic matter, gravel, special mulching film) will help to preserve moisture in the soil and avoid the appearance of weeds. Large, powerful weeds are especially dangerous for young specimens of honeysuckle and can completely drown them in the absence of timely regular weeding. It is better not to use herbicides on honeysuckle plantings.

Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil and inhibits weed growth

If you do not use mulching, then after each watering, the surface of the earth under the plants needs careful shallow loosening by five to seven centimeters in depth. Digging deep under honeysuckle bushes is dangerous due to possible damage to superficial roots.

Top dressing of honeysuckle

The first two to three years after planting, blue honeysuckle does not need additional feeding. In the future, the plants are fed annually in spring, evenly distributing fertilizers over the entire area of ​​the trunk circle.

Fertilizer rates for large adult bushes of edible honeysuckle (per plant):

  • 40 grams of ammonium nitrate,
  • 30 grams of superphosphate,
  • 20 grams of potassium salt.

Mineral fertilizers can be replaced with a bucket of well-decomposed humus or compost.For younger plants, the fertilizer dosage is reduced by two to three times.

Pruning honeysuckle

Comparatively young (less than ten years of age) edible honeysuckle bushes may not be cut at all. There is no need for post-plant pruning of seedlings. Young specimens of honeysuckle grow well and form a crown without the intervention of the gardener, and unsuccessful pruning can only delay fruiting and reduce the yield of berries.

Old honeysuckle bushes can be rejuvenated to extend the fruiting period for a few more years. To do this, thinning the bushes is carried out. The first step is to cut out all dried and broken branches, as well as those lying on the ground. Then several of the oldest large branches are removed so that there is a place for the emergence of new powerful shoots.

Old honeysuckle bushes are thinned out for rejuvenation, removing part of the branches

My neighbors still have two huge thirty-year-old honeysuckle bushes every year, periodically subject to light rejuvenating pruning.

Reproduction of honeysuckle

Edible blue honeysuckle is very easy to propagate by seeds and vegetatively.

Propagation of honeysuckle by cuttings

Green cuttings are the most popular, reliable and affordable way of propagation of edible honeysuckle, allowing you to fully preserve all the valuable qualities of the original variety. Procedure for grafting:

  1. After the end of the collection of berries, cut off the young shoots of the current year from the best yielding bushes of honeysuckle at the time of the end of their growth and the very beginning of lignification.
  2. Cut the cut shoots into cuttings with two pairs of leaves and buds on each.

    The lower leaves of the cut cuttings must be carefully removed.

  3. Carefully cut off the bottom pair of leaves with a razor.
  4. Stick the cuttings with their lower end into a cold unheated greenhouse in partial shade filled with a mixture of sand and peat.

    Prepared cuttings are planted in a mixture of peat and sand

  5. Water the cuticle regularly, preventing the soil from drying out.
  6. When the cuttings take root and give new shoots, you need to start airing the greenhouse every day, gradually accustoming young plants to open air.
  7. The next spring, you can transplant the resulting seedlings to a permanent place in the garden.

I have repeatedly grown edible honeysuckle from green cuttings cut at the very end of June. The soil in my garden is sandy, so I simply stuck the freshly cut cuttings into the prepared garden bed in partial shade and covered each cutting with a liter glass jar. I have never used any root stimulants. The survival rate has always been one hundred percent, not a single honeysuckle stalk has died. The first flowers and berries on the seedlings obtained from cuttings appeared in the third year.

Seed propagation of honeysuckle

Seed propagation of edible honeysuckle is used only for breeding purposes when creating new varieties. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Seeds isolated from fully ripe berries, rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry.

    Honeysuckle seeds are extracted from fully ripe berries

  2. At the end of autumn, soak the seeds in water for a day.
  3. Stratify the soaked seeds in slightly damp peat or sand at a low positive temperature in the refrigerator for a period of two to four weeks.
  4. Sow the stratified seeds into boxes with a mixture of peat and sand to a depth of half a centimeter.
  5. Keep crops at room temperature and constant watering, preventing the soil from drying out.
  6. Seedlings will appear in three to four weeks.
  7. Seedlings should be watered regularly and kept in a bright place.
  8. The grown seedlings should be planted from common boxes in separate pots, and planted in open ground at the beginning of summer.

In amateur gardening, seed propagation of honeysuckle is not used, since the bulk of the resulting plants will have small, bitter fruits of mediocre quality.

Treatment of honeysuckle from diseases and pests

Edible honeysuckle very rarely suffers from pests and diseases. In most cases, when growing it, it is possible to do without any chemical treatments at all, which allows you to get a particularly valuable environmentally friendly crop.

From the moment of flowering until the end of the collection of berries, any treatment of honeysuckle with pesticides is strictly prohibited.

Pests and diseases of honeysuckle and control measures (table)

Pests and diseases of honeysuckle (photo gallery)

For thirty years, I have never observed any pests and diseases either on my honeysuckle bushes or on my neighbors. Even our local thrushes, which every year in hordes swoop down on irga and cherries, have not yet tasted blue honeysuckle, although the neighboring honeysuckle bushes grow very close to my huge irgi bush. Apparently, the reason is a much earlier ripening of honeysuckle - our thrushes simply have not yet discovered that there is already food in that corner of the garden at the beginning of June. The invasion of these voracious birds begins closer to July, when all the honeysuckle has long been collected and eaten.


Due to its unpretentiousness and record winter hardiness, edible blue honeysuckle is one of the most valuable and promising berry crops for the central, northwestern, northern and eastern regions of Russia. Unfortunately, due to its natural biological characteristics, this wonderful shrub is very difficult to adapt to the conditions of the southern climate. Attempts to grow edible honeysuckle south of the Black Earth Region are extremely rarely successful.

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Pavlovskaya was bred on the basis of the second generation of Kamchatka honeysuckle hybrids in Pavlovsk at the All-Russian Institute of Plant Industry and was included in the State Register of Fruit Plants in 2000. The Latin name is lonicera Caerulea Pavlovskaya. Authors - a group of scientists: Plekhanova M.N., Teterev F.K., Koroleva Z.A.

Pavlovskaya honeysuckle is widespread in regions with a temperate climate, in particular, in the northwestern regions of Russia.

Choosing a landing site

First you need to choose the right variety for the region in which you plan to breed magnolia. Depending on the natural zone in which the magnolia tree will grow, the appropriate variety is selected. The tree does not tolerate frosty winters. The correct choice of varieties will enable gardeners to grow an ornamental plant in the garden.

Site selection for Magnolia

Lebner (magnolia tree with white flowers) and Kobus are declared frost-hardy, suitable for regions with cold winters. The magnolia of Ash, Soulange and Wilson are also frost-adapted, but less resistant than Kobus and Lebner. Magnolia varieties will allow you to choose a variety that is suitable for the region. Tulip liriodendron (magnolia tulip tree) is a plant of the magnolia family, a frost-resistant variety. The tulip tree can be grown in central Russia.

Magnolia and Liriodendron are very similar. There are several features that make tulip trees different from magnolias:

  • Flower shape. Liriodendron resembles a tulip
  • The size and shape of the leaves.

  • The magnolia planting site must be protected from the wind. The plant can stop developing with constant drafts.
  • A flowering tree grows well in the light, so it is recommended to choose a site that is sufficiently lit, but without direct sunlight. In an open area, magnolia varieties feel comfortable: Star, Kobus, Lebner.

On a note. The Kobus variety is resistant to the negative impact of industrial emissions, exhaust gas, which makes it possible to plant a plant near highways and industrial zones.

To protect magnolias from the wind, they are planted next to taller trees. Neighborhood with fruit crops is undesirable - there is a risk of damaging flowering branches with falling fruits.

Growing cercis on the site

In order for the tree to be beautiful, it is necessary to choose the right planting site and follow the simple rules of care.

The choice of soil and place for planting

The best area is one that is well warmed by the sun. Also, the area where the tree will grow should be away from drafts.

This is very important, as the frosty wind can negatively affect the branches.

The plant loves a substrate that allows water to pass through well. The soil should also have lime in its composition and drainage. If there is clay soil on the site, then a little sand should be added to it. This will prevent stagnant water.

Cercis Canadian is most often grown in the Moscow region. This is due to the fact that he is not afraid of frost.

Plant pruning

This procedure is carried out in the fall on trees that are 4 years old. Shoots are removed by 1/3, and the cut sites are treated with a special tool.

It is also necessary to cut off the side branches that have the wrong direction and root growth.

In spring, pruning consists of removing frost-damaged shoots.

Potential pests

Cercis is resistant to various diseases and insects. Very rarely, a tree can infect aphids. In this case, all parts are treated with "Confidor", "Aktara" or other similar preparations.

Correct wintering

Before the onset of frost, the twigs must be carefully tied and covered with burlap. The material is fixed at the base with a dense thread.

You also need to pay attention to the soil near the trunk. His sawdust or fallen spruce needles

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