Forest honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum)

Climbing plants are plants that can be used, not only to cover those areas that we do not like, but also to beautify those places that, for one reason or another, are special. Of all those that exist, the Lonicera periclymenum species is one of the most interesting for temperate climates, for its rusticity and of course its beauty.

In addition, its magnificent flowers attract insects as beneficial to all plants as bees.

Origin and characteristics of Lonicera periclymenum

Image – Wikimedia/ Acabashi

It is a deciduous climbing shrub (loses its leaves in autumn-winter) native to Europe, from the south of the Iberian Peninsula to the south of Norway and Sweden, as well as North Africa. It can reach a height of 10 meters or more, as long as it has support to climb on.

The leaves are opposite, lanceolate-elliptical, petiolate and green in color; and its flowers are yellowish, hermaphroditic and zygomorphic. The fruits are red berries, somewhat toxic, so their consumption is not recommended, although in small doses they can be medicinal.

It is popularly known as forest honeysuckle, as it is frequently found in those places. But it also receives other names such as: chupamiel, wild vine, vulgar honeysuckle, periclimeno, samuso, sogüeño or samuso.

What are the care it requires?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you provide the following care:


When we are going to buy a plant it is important that we know in advance if it can live well in our climate, because this way we can save ourselves troubles and money. In the case of the forest honeysuckle, it is a climber that fortunately for us adapts to a wide variety of climates as long as they are temperate.

This means that it will grow wonderfully in areas where the thermometers drop below 0 degrees in winters at some point, being able to withstand intense frosts without problems, and high summer temperatures.


It has to be placed outside so that you can feel the passing of the seasons, and in semi-shade.


  • Garden: grows in soils rich in organic matter, and well drained.
  • Pot: fill with universal substrate.


The Lonicera periclymenum is a climber that does not resist drought, but neither does waterlogging. That is why it is necessary to water every time the soil dries up, so that it can continue to grow normally.

If we talk about the frequency to follow, this will vary depending on the weather above all, but in principle you should water an average of 3 times a week during the driest and warmest season, and an average of 2 a week the rest of the season. year.

If you have it in a pot, it is better that you do not put a plate under it or place it inside a pot without holes, since stagnant water will rot the roots.


Image – Wikimedia/ OliBac from FRANCE During all the warm months of the year the forest honeysuckle, in addition to water, will also need some ‘food’ in the form of compost or fertilizer. For example, if it is in the garden, it is interesting to add a little guano, compost or mulch regularly every 15-20 days.

On the contrary, if you are growing in a pot, it is better to use fertilizers or liquid fertilizers to avoid worsening the drainage. Of course, you must follow the instructions specified on the product packaging.


You can prune it in late winter, using pruning tools previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol or a disinfectant product. Don’t forget to clean them after use as well, to prevent infections and keep your plants protected in this way: the spores of fungi, viruses and bacteria are not visible to the naked eye, but that does not mean they are not there .

Remove dry branches and stems, diseased and weak ones. Take the opportunity to cut out those that are getting too long, and those that give it an ‘abandoned’ appearance.


It multiplies by seeds in autumn-winter (they need to be cold before germinating) and by cuttings in spring.


I advise sowing them in seedling trays, filled with universal substrate and putting a maximum of two seeds in each alveolus. Then, water conscientiously and put it outside, in semi-shade.

In spring they will germinate.


It is the fastest way to get new copies. You just have to cut a piece of stem, impregnate the base with homemade rooters and then plant it in a pot with substrate. Put it outside, in semi-shade, and water.

In a period of about 15-20 days it will emit its own roots.

Planting or transplanting time

In spring.


The Lonicera periclymenum withstand frost up to -18 ° C.

What uses is it given?

Image – Wikimedia/ gailhampshire from Cradley, Malvern, UK

It has several uses:

  • Ornamental: it is a perfect plant to cover lattices, garden arches, pergolas. It can also be worked as a bonsai, or have it as a potted shrub.
  • Medicinal: in low doses, the fruits can be consumed as they have purgative and diuretic properties. Although yes, they can also cause digestive problems, heart or even death in case of overdose, so its consumption is NOT recommended without first consulting a specialist doctor.

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