Honeysuckle seems to grow abundantly in my neighborhood in Virginia. I have read online about honeysuckle being an invasive species many sites refer to it as a "bad guy".

I have considered growing it in the backyard to attract birds and for the fragrance.

Is there anything inherently bad if I were to grow honeysuckle in my backyard from a clipping?

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    You should contact your county agricultural agent about this. I see that Japanese honeysuckle is classified as an invasive species in Virginia and, therefore, should not be planted. However, there are also several varieties of honeysuckle that are Virginia natives. – Jim Young May 19 '16 at 5:12
  • @JimYoung - sounds like an answer to me? – Stephie May 19 '16 at 20:32
  • Plants bad enough to be on the invasive list should be absolutely avoided. Especially plants that have berries that birds can eat because it won't just be a problem for you and your neighbors where the wind can blow seeds but the seeds can travel far in the birds stomachs and get pooped out who knows where. Might be in a distant farm, backyard or even a natural habitat where it can outcompete other plants and disturb that ecosystem endangering not only native plants but wildlife as well that depend on various food sources. – OrganicLawnDIY May 25 '16 at 15:43

Just be sure that you plant the right type of honeysuckle!

That white/cream colored honeysuckle that you are seeing/smelling everywhere right now is Japanese honeysuckle. It is extremely invasive, and once it is established, is nearly impossible to eradicate. I also live in VA, and have personally seen older roots as big as my wrist.

You mentioned birds. Coral honeysuckle vine is a variety that is native to VA. It is good for attracting hummingbirds, and is grown at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. http://www.miraclegro.com/smg/goART2/InfoHowTo/grow-coral-honeysuckle-vine-for-hummingbirds/16400044

(Jim Young in comments had an answer, too.)


Why not grow a honeysuckle cousin, Honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea)? With this non-climbing fruiting bush you get flowers in spring followed by tasty edible berries (similar to blueberries).

Honeyberries are native to eastern Russia and hardy to -40F (zone 3), but can be grown as far south as USDA hardiness zone 8, so in Virginia I see you having no problem growing it.

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    To be clear, honeysuckle berries are poisonous, the honeyberry is the ONLY edible variety of honeysuckle berries. This is not a correction, just an important fact. – Escoce May 26 '16 at 16:04

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