Dead honeysuckle flowers

Credit: Andrew Fogg


Q: My honeysuckle is about 3-years-old. It bloomed just fine for the first 2 years. This year, however, it bloomed but all the blooms are now dead. The leaves are beautiful and green, but all the flowers are dead and with absolutely no smell like the previous years. The bees and hummingbirds don’t even go near it any more.

We have dumped our charcoal ashes from the grill about 5 feet away from it at times. Also my husband has cleaned our patio, possibly depositing residue from the cleanser on the plant as it was washed away. But wouldn’t that make the leaves brown and curl, not just the flowers?

What could be the problem?

Please help me! I live in central Indiana.

Thank you for your time.

The honeysuckle flower buds most likely have been killed by cold winter temperatures that weren’t enough to damage the plant. Flower buds are usually more susceptible than the plant to cold temperatures. Where you reside in central Indiana, the winter temperature is rated as USDA zone 5 (4), where successfully growing honeysuckle is considered marginally dependent on winter temperatures, choice of site, and soil moisture, etc.

If you are eager to grow honeysuckle vines, I would suggest a more protected location (e.g. shelter by the house), wrapping or burying the vine for the winter, and ensuring soil has adequate moisture going into the fall/winter, etc. Anything you can do to prepare the plant for the winter will minimize winter damage.