Perennials/growing honeysuckle Belgica from seed
QUESTION: Hi Tom
I have a Lonicera 'Belgica' (Dutch Honeysuckle) that flowered in May/June with 3 flower heads and they turned into berries. The other day, I pulped the seeds from the berries and left them to dry. What do I do now?
How do I start them off and when?
If these seeds do not work, its got a fresh crop of flowers at the moment and a few more buds that will turn into fruit and more seeds.
I have tried raising cuttings from the plant but had no luck apart from a sucker that had roots and that is now growing.
I have no idea what I am doing wrong.
I also have seeds from the hybrid Lonicera x Tellimania that flowered in June/July and that has now got two fresh heads now. I have tried raising this from cuttings but had no luck at all.
I know that the yellow hybrid will not come true but I would like to try and raise both from seed.
I have had both plants since spring 2012 and this is there first season of flowering and have grown rapidly from 1ft plants. They are huge and I want to know how to prune them too.
Any help will be appreciated.
ANSWER: Hi Jonathan,
Thanx for your question. I've never tried growing lonicera from seed. Here is a link to the RHS. They indicate that propigation of this plant is not by seed method.
Here's what I do with seed.
Wrap ripe seed in damp paper towel. Place paper towel inside plastic baggie and seal. Place plastic baggie in fridge for 90 days. After the cold treatment, remove seed from fridge, from plastic baggie, from paper towel and plant in moist potting soil as deep as the seed is long. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. You may want to cover with plastic or glass to maintain humidity until the seedling sprouts. Sprouting could take a few weeks to several months. Prick seedlings out after they have become large enough to handle (preferably after second set of true leaves appear.). I hope this helps.
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QUESTION: Hi Tom
How do I prune them?
Thanx for the follow-up. Generally, we only prune lonicera when it gets unruly or you want to contain it. Remove all dead or dying material and dispose of in rubbish pile. Generally, I don't recommend putting in compost pile in case of disease. One never knows. Pruning should be accomplished after flowering. Best to wait until early fall to accomplish this except that you can remove dead material anytime you discover it. Prune off straggling growth anytime you please. I hope this helps.