Major Wheeler Is an Improvement Over Our Native Honeysuckle

Major Wheeler Honeysuckle flowers

Major Wheeler Trumpet Honeysuckle in flower

Close up of Major Wheeler Honeysuckle flowers

Close-up of Major Wheeler Trumpet Honeysuckle flowers

Don’t let the word Honeysuckle scare you about this native vine. This is not at all like the Japanese Honeysuckle that tries to take over any space it inhabits. Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a twisting vine that grows in our woodlands across this part of the South, but it is far from rampant. The selection I have, Major Wheeler honeysuckle (I have also heard it called General Wheeler), produces a profusion of blooms and does not seem to have much, if any at all, problems with powdery mildew. There is also a yellow one that is very nice, too. I have mine planted on a trellis about 8-feet tall, and I still prune out long shoots and shape it after flowering, which is easy. I think mine must be in the perfect spot, half a day of bright sun, planted in fertile soil, and its roots are shaded. In other locations I have grown this vine, it has never done as well as the plant in my garden now, which is shown above. For a thin twining, not as vigorous as Major Wheeler, and has beautiful yellows, try the yellow (Lutea) selection.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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