Hummingbirds and butterflies like to visit this non-invasive vine.

David Wann

Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) loves to cover fences, mailbox posts, and trellises with woody vines that reach lengths of 15 to 20 feet. But unlike some members of the honeysuckle family, it's not invasive. From late spring through summer, clusters of 1½- to 2-inch-long blossoms dangle from branch ends among the oval leaves. The species bears scarlet-and-gold blossoms that have no scent, but butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar-filled trumpets. Forms with larger flowers and other colors are available.

Most nurseries and garden centers carry the versatile vine, which is hardy in Sunset climate zones 2-24. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and takes moderate to bright sun. Fertilize only moderately to avoid having vines develop with foliage but few blooms. And since most blossoms form on the previous year's stems, you'll need to prune after spring bloom to encourage flowering.


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