Goldflame honeysuckles attract butterflies to the garden.

What Is Goldflame Honeysuckle?

by Michelle Wishhart

Goldflame honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii), a sprawling semi-evergreen or deciduous flowering vine, may grow between 10 and 15 feet long. Confusingly, "Goldflame" is also the name of a goldflame honeysuckle cultivar (Lonicera x heckrottii "Goldflame"). "Goldflame" has more intensely colored flowers and may have a more vigorous growth habit than the species, notes Missouri Botanical Garden.

1. Appearance

Goldflame honeysuckle flowers in summer, producing terminal whorls of tubular pink flowers with golden yellow interiors. The flowers are up to 2 inches long and are followed in the fall by inedible, attractive red berries. Semi-evergreen or deciduous 2-inch, oval, bluish-green leaves and reddish stems provide a lush backdrop for flowers to shine. "Goldflame" flowers are dark pink or purplish-red rather than light pink. "Goldflame" may be the same cultivar as "Mardis Gras," "Pink Lemonade" and "Summer King," notes University of Connecticut Extension.

2. Care

Goldflame honeysuckle grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, potentially surviving in warmer parts of USDA zone 4. The cultivar "Goldflame" grows in USDA zones 5 through 9. Where borderline hardy, plant goldflame honeysuckle in a sheltered spot with some protection from chilly winter winds. The plant will grow in full or partial sun, tolerating most soil types as long as they are well draining. It does best with a rich, moist soil enhanced with organic matter.

3. Features

The fragrant flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds, making goldflame honeysuckle an excellent choice for wildlife gardens. Deer usually avoid browsing on the plant. Goldflame honeysuckle is tolerant of black walnut tree (Juglans nigra) roots, which secrete a substance that prevents many other types of plants from growing well. Black walnut grows in USDA zones 5 through 9a. The fast-growing goldflame honeysuckle vine can be trained up a porch, patio, entryway or wall, where you can enjoy its fragrance. With regular pruning, the vine may be maintained as a specimen shrub.

4. Problems

Goldflame honeysuckle is notably susceptible to powdery mildew, a common plant disease that causes spots of patches of powdery white or gray growth on leaves and flowers. The disease is especially pronounced in shady, humid conditions. Prune away growth infected with powdery mildew and destroy any infected plant debris. Never compost infected plant material, as it often survives and infects other plants. It may also be helpful to selectively prune out crowded areas of the plant to allow air to circulate more freely.

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