Download Care Guide Lonicera - MiKo Bonsai Leicester

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Care Guide
Lonicera Species
Lonicera is a genus of about 180 species, many of which are climbers unsuitable for bonsai use. However, there are a number of
shrubby honeysuckles that make excellent subjects for bonsai.
Shrubby Lonicera species include L. pileata and L. nitida which are both evergreen shrubs often used for hedging. Their ability to
regenerate from old wood and the minute size of their leaves that make these two honeysuckles such good species for use as
bonsai. With sufficient growth in the ground both species develop heavy, thick trunks and have light, fawn coloured bark that peels
off in strips revealing a smooth, light-coloured underbark. Both species produce insignificant flowers and purple berries.
Lonicera nitida is a bushy, evergreen shrub with paired ovate leaves about 1 cm long, they are glossy, dark-green above, lighter
beneath. Originally native to China where they reach around 3-4 metres height with a 3 metre spread. L.nitida has a number of
varieties which carry differing coloured leaves including the widely available 'Baggesen's Gold' which has yellow and purple hues
to its green leaves.
Lonicera pileata is of a similar appearance though it carries slightly larger leaves which grow to 3 cm. Originally native to China, L.
pileata is less vigorous and has a more spreading habit, reaching heights of only around 50 cm.
Lonicera are not suitable for indoor growing!
Place in a sunny position or in dappled shade. Frosts below -5°C can cause lose of foliage though this is quickly replaced in
Spring. Some frost protection is advised for trees in very small pots.
Keep soil evenly moist.
Balanced feed every two weeks during the growing season. Being evergreen, the trees will benefit from an application of bone meal
in late autumn, which will help to support growth in very early spring.
In Spring as new leaf-buds appear and growth starts to extend. Use basic soil mix.
Constant clipping is essential to keep foliage pads tidy and to encourage dense growth. Foliage should be thinned out in Spring to
allow light to reach inner leaves. Carving or hard pruning can be carried out during late-Autumn and Winter.
Branches become stiff and brittle as they harden off, so any wiring should be done while the branches are still green. The main
styling of foliage pads will be achieved through clip and grow methods.
Mature branches and trunks cannot successfully shaped by wiring. Try to obtain a specimen that has plenty of trunk movement.
Pests and Diseases
Lonicera are relatively trouble free, but trees weakened by lack of water or root damage may be subject to infestation by aphids
and scale insects. Treat infestations with a proprietary insecticide as soon as detected.