Orange!

My honeysuckle vine is in bloom, and there's nothing I can think of except "orange!" when I stand underneath it, surrounded by its thousands of blossoms. I've mentioned this vine a few times in the past: when I pruned it right after starting this blog, and after it flowered last spring. I have to post about it every year though, because it's just such an eye-catcher!


It's come back quite nicely after its pruning, and seems to be quite healthy and happy. If you really hate the color orange I suggest you do not continue reading.

***


And by "reading" I really mean "looking", because I don't have much to say about this vine. It's Lonicera x 'Mandarin' and is one of the first things I ever planted in my garden, probably in 2002 or earlier.

Here's a tip: if you keep plant tags (if you don't, why don't you?) write the year you planted on the tag. I didn't do this early on and there are several plants of indeterminate age like this one in my garden.



It's a low-fragrance (or no-fragrance) cultivar, which is disappointing. It also doesn't rebloom too much, which is also disappointing.



It is completely care-free though, considering I've pruned it one time in its life. I never intentionally water it, although it gets the runoff from the driveway when I'm cleaning out my truck bed or washing away the soil from a planting session.


I was going to say that it's disease and pest-free, but that's not really true. It does get aphids:


Although they don't appear to be doing much harm in that photo, they are having an effect:


See how the flowers are curling up? That's aphid damage I think.

I wonder if the plant has aphids every year once it warms up, and that's stopping it from reblooming more? I'll have to keep an eye on that, and blast them off with the hose once in a while.




I've often thought about planting a second variety of honeysuckle vine here too, something that is more fragrant and reblooms more reliably. I'm not sure how easily it would get established though, competing with this plant's thick, gnarled vines:



Still, I may give planting a new one a try this year.


I just need to find a variety with a bloom color that will complement orange!

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anne  – (May 17, 2011 at 7:52 AM)  

That's an intense color - I have several tangerine colored peony-like tulips that are eye-catchers too - I can imagine what an attention-getter your expanse of honeysuckle must be!

This past weekend I planted a Lonicera Harlequin in my yard - green, cream & pink variegated leaves with rose & soft yellow/cream flowers. The foliage is supposed to be great in the fall but I don't what know what it will look like. Maybe you could find another spot for a new honeysuckle - yours seems to have taken over it's spot!

Gerhard Bock  – (May 17, 2011 at 9:26 AM)  

I like the regular honeysuckle for its intense fragrance, but yours has much more attractive flowers. Truly a beautiful plant.

:: Bamboo and More ::

Greggo  – (May 17, 2011 at 9:42 AM)  

I would say that the aphids would not cause the plant to not rebloom. Just my thoughts.

Curbstone Valley Farm  – (May 17, 2011 at 10:03 AM)  

Stunning color, I love it! Although I almost can't imagine a honeysuckle without that characteristic sweet fragrance. Do the bees frequent this variety much?

Steve Lau  – (May 17, 2011 at 4:13 PM)  

Since you have so many plants, one plant I'm surprised you don't have yet is the liliums which look similar to those orange blooms, but get huge.

Anne McCormack  – (May 17, 2011 at 8:09 PM)  

I love orange and all the hot colors in my garden--of course, so do the hummingbirds! I bet they love this plant!

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (May 17, 2011 at 10:35 PM)  

I'll have to go do a pollinator survey on this plant, but from what I remember it is not very attractive to bees. (I was wrong about the viburnum though, so I'll verify.)

Hummingbirds do visit it, but I expect I'd get more hummer activity if it bloomed later in the season. Another reason to add a second variety. :-)

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