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For massed plantings, with the aim of clipping into a neat ground-covering block 500-600mm high (not a hedge), is Lonicera pileata or L. nitida species superior? What are the best cultivars for this purpose? I am not interested in alternate species, just these and their cultivars, as I've never really got a clear answer off the internet.

Differences in hardiness, pests, diseases, soil/light/water requirements would be very useful as would individual decorative merits (best scent for example).

  • Neither, frankly, but if I had to choose one, L. pileata because it doesn't want to get up to 2 or 3 metres tall. Both are what I'd describe as untidy, rather gawky growers... – Bamboo Nov 19 '18 at 18:27
  • I just noticed your second paragraph - note that Lonicera nitida, whilst capable of producing fragrant flowers, will not if it is kept cut back to 60cm. Lonicera pileata does flower, but they are not fragrant, or not detectably so. – Bamboo Nov 19 '18 at 19:01
  • I agree with @Bamboo - Wikipedia is right when it says nitidia "often has the appearance of a haystack", not a nice neat 0.5m high hedge! Plants that look like haystacks are perfectly OK, of course - so long as that is what you want them to look like. – alephzero Nov 19 '18 at 21:33
  • Lonicera pileata is a wonderful, rather architectural plant with strong horizontal growth. The branches intermingle with the other branches of this species when planted en mass. Nitida would be great planted no more than 1 1/2 feet apart, certainly never in a straight line. Planted on the corners of a triangle. – stormy Nov 20 '18 at 4:45
  • Pileata works so very well as a high ground cover, one to 1 1/2 feet high, and it will grow to 3' high and as wide. No pruning necessary. No scent to get excited about. Flowers are insignificant. Evergreen, tough plants. Pileata worked well in zone 5, zone 4 in a protected micro environment. Great for large areas slightly sloped. These plants need drainage! A little fertilizer once or twice per year. What zone are you in George? I am surprised with the negative adjectives here for these two plants. Don't use straw as some type of mulch, it will get caught up in both of these plants. – stormy Nov 20 '18 at 4:53

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